Our Sweet Baby J,
Today is your birthday. Three years old! It's the second birthday that you have passed since we asked to become your parents. It's a long process, and it's definitely weighing on me. I'm ready to have you home! Ready to stop waiting and start building our new life with you in it.
But I hope it's not weighing on you. I hope you passed the day happy, playing with your friends, noshing on your beloved spaghetti. I hope your third birthday is bliss for you!
You're so loved, baby girl. Even as I feel my heart breaking that you are still 9,000 miles away from me, it's filled to the brim with how many people are praying for you, harboring hopes for you, ready to embrace you wholeheartedly when you do finally come home.
You aren't just getting a family, sweet little one, you're getting a village! And oh, the strength and the heart of this village!
Your Kuya Howie is so excited to love on you. He talks every day about the things he will teach you, ponders what you will like to eat, what toys you will play with. Let's just say he's really hoping that chocolate and super heroes make your "likes" list!
He made a beautiful doll for you with painstaking care. Okay, so a very nice lady in San Jose actually made it; but he poured over every detail--she should have hair like Baby Sister, with a flower. She should wear orange--Howie is sure that you will love orange--and blue so you'll have his favorite color too.
Howie was hoping to give your new little friend to you for your birthday, but things didn't go quite as we hoped. Instead, you will meet her when you meet your brother (hopefully soon!). He's so very excited to see the smile on your face! And he's a hugger, so you should prepare yourself!
I got a little something for you too, Baby J. What can I say? I couldn't help myself! It's nothing big, just a little bit of shine that is all your own. Peridot is something of an odd birthstone; I hope you like green! It reminds me a little bit of the tropics where you've been spending your days. I can't wait to spend some time there with you as a family!
You'll find I really like to shop with a cause, sweet baby, and this necklace I chose for you is a special one in that regard. It was made by people who have overcome their own challenges, just as I know that you will overcome the ones that are in front of you! I'm in awe of your strength, little one, to have endured so much in your short life, and still to wear a smile.
You're three, so I doubt this little trinket is one that will last very long. But I can imagine the smile on your face as you open the little box--a gift that is all your own!
I don't know when we will get to celebrate with you, Little One. I hope that soon we will all be together, and that your Kuya, Daddy and I can love on you in person! Learning to be a family is going to be, in itself, a journey. It may be a wild ride sometimes, but we're ready! We can't wait to finally finally be a family of four that is all in one place! And we can't wait to introduce you to our incredible village.
But in the meantime, we are sending you every ounce of love in our hearts. We are thinking about you, we are praying for you, and wishing you the happiest, happiest of birthdays sweet Baby J!
I hope you can feel all the love and warm wishes all the way on the other side of the world!