Today 13 years ago you, my sweet daughter entered the world. Your birthday was wonderful and amazing but it was also difficult for me because for 9 months I had protected, and sheltered and provided for you. You were a part of me. I was only 3 weeks into my pregnancy when I found out that I would be a mommy. From the moment there was laughter and joy and the 9 months that I carried you, even with morning sickness, and swollen ankles, it was one of the happiest times of my life
I saw you for the first time at 5 weeks gestation. You looked like a smudge, we had no idea if you were male or female, but your father and I already loved you. The first time I ever felt you move I was in the bathtub on the phone with one of my best friends, Judy. She and I were talking and you moved. It was amazing and Judy and I both cried. You grew and did well, no complications, no problems. You would get the hiccups and my entire stomach would jump. Those 9 months were the most anticipated, anxious, exciting and wonder-filled times in my life and they were only a foreshadowing of the next 13 years to come.
A few weeks later the doctors did another ultrasound and found out that you were a girl. I had known your name since I was 12 years old and had seen the movie Somewhere in Time. The female lead’s name was Elise McKenna and even though I said I would never have kids, if I did have a little girl her name would be McKenna. From the moment the doctors said you were a girl, everyone then called you McKenna before you even breathed your first.
On October 15th, 1996 when I went into the hospital to have you was an exciting time, but it was hard. Not just the labor and delivery, but giving you to the world, where I wouldn’t always be able to keep you safe, and protected. Giving birth was the first step in letting you go. Early in the morning of October 16th I watched as your father helped the doctor cut the cord Your umbilical cord, what had connected you and I and had provided everything that you needed for the last 9 months and everything I took in, food, water, corn dogs (your father was wonderful about going to get me corn dogs). I was very aware of what I put into my body for those 9 months, because I knew that cord connected me to you and that I was responsible for keeping you okay. And as the cord was cut, the connection severed, it was the beginning of your becoming.
They placed you in my arms, and I looked into your eyes and while all the love in the world welled up inside my heart, I did the only thing I could think of to do, and I stuck my tongue out at you. And our relationship has been that way ever since. I love to hear you laugh, I love to surprise you (which I know you hate but I can’t help it) and I have loved watching you grow and become. I looked through photographs last night and in so many you are standing with your arms wide open, wanting to hug the whole world.
God gave me such gift when He blessed me with you and He knew you even before I did. He loved you before I did and He loves you now even more then I will ever be able to.
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Those who have heard my testimony know that it wasn’t until I had you that I could even grasp how it was possible for my heavenly Father to love me. The cord between you and I might have been cut, but McKenna, you helped reconnect me to the supplier of all my needs and you continue, as you grow and become, to amaze me at the young woman I see before me.
You don’t need me to feed you food anymore, you can feed yourself. You don’t need me to hold your hand as you walk, you have that all figured out, and you have a passion for solving problems and helping others, and a heart that grows bigger the more people you meet.
All of this in order to become the woman of God He created you to be. So while you grow up and further away from needing me, please my blessing, grow in your love of God, deepen that connection with Him and allow His hand to hold you. Anytime you feel lost, or alone, or the world gets you down pray to Him but remember your belly button and know that before you breathed your first, you were loved, you were wanted, and you were celebrated, and not just by me, your daddy, and your family, but my darling, by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, your heavenly Father and keep those beautiful eyes on Him.
I pray that you and He will ALWAYS have that connection no matter where you go or what you do. Don’t ever cut the cord that exists between you and God and never grow up away from Him but keep growing, keep embracing the world, keep that giving heart but no matter what, keep your hand in His, no matter what your age.
I love you and thank God for the gift of you.
Happy Birthday Boo.