I’ve been told that one of the best gifts I could ever give you, my children, is to love your mom…to show and model what love is by honoring our marriage vows and loving here.  So, I want to take a chance to express just some of how I feel about your mom.  The words below pale in comparison to the words of my heart and soul when it comes to her.  She is my soul mate, my partner, my best friend.  If I should be taken from this life before you’ve grown into adults, it’s my desire for you to know how much she means to me.  It is my prayer that each of you find a love like ours…that you find someone to share in your successes…to stand by you in your failures…to cry with…to laugh with…to share in all that life brings your way.  It is also my prayer that I have modeled for you what true love is…shown you how to love your spouse…how to treat women with kindness, tenderness, love and respect.  (SD it would be your mom’s job to teach you how to be a Godly wife, to love and respect your husband…I believe she does that every day.)

I met your mom while I was in college at SMSU in Springfield.  It’s MSU now, but not back in 1992.  I had just finished my freshman year and started working at McDonald’s a mile or so from my dorm.  I was an assistant manager, trying to pay my way through college.  In the fall of ’92, as I was entering my sophomore year, I first met her.  She was a senior in high school, working at the same McDonald’s part-time.  I’ll be honest here (because she’ll call me out on it if I’m not 🙂 ), I wasn’t interested in her at first.  I was interested in one of her friends, which never went anywhere, thankfully.  We went out together a couple times in groups of friends, and your mom…she worked her magic on me.  She found a way to catch my attention, and from the first kiss I was hooked…I knew she was the one.  Within months we were planning the wedding, and the following June we were married.  I have only one regret about our time dating.  I did her parents (your Grandma and Grandpa) wrong.  Way wrong.  The first time they met me, I was moving her out of the house into our own apartment.  Wrong.  I hate that about my past.  I’m ashamed of it…ashamed and embarrassed to admit it.  Don’t ever do that.  Please.  The parents of any girl you’re dating or are interested in dating deserve way more respect than I gave them in that.

Your mom has blessed me more than I could ever imagine.  In all our years together, she has been faithful, devoted and tender-hearted.  The beautiful children that she’s given me are more than I deserve.  You don’t know this, but I was hesitant (to say the least) when she first approached me about becoming foster/adoptive parents, and now I can’t imagine life without you SD.  The pain and discomfort she endured to birth you boys is a gift beyond my ability to express gratitude.  She has created a home for us that is perfect.  In the eyes of an outsider, they may not see it as perfect, but I do.  She is the right mom for all of you…perfect for the job, she was handpicked by God for her role as mother for you and husband for me, and she fulfills it daily better than anyone I know.

Her humble, servant’s heart is something to be admired by others.  Her willingness to always put the needs of her family above her own is a wonderful model for you to see how Jesus always served others.  Her love for each of us is greater than any bond I know.  Her willingness to walk alongside me through all these years is honorable.  She has stayed with me through my selfishness and pride and made me the man I am today.  She is what has softened my heart and turned my eyes and heart toward Jesus…in her humble, quiet, unselfish willingness to serve.  She truly is a Godly woman, and I love and respect her for it.  I know I don’t tell or show her this enough, but I thank God daily for her.  I could not navigate this life without her constant companionship and love.  She is the Proverbs 31 wife!

Eighteen years ago today, we made a promise before God and family.  A promise to love each other through good and bad.  A promise to honor each other in sickness and in health.  A promise to respect each other in all that we do.  A promise to put the needs of the other above our own.  We’ve certainly seen our share of good and bad times.  We’ve survived some hard times, and we’ve enjoyed some easy ones.  I don’t need to share all the details…she and I both know our story, and some things are just for us to know…one of the joys of marriage.  We’ve certainly worked through our troubles, though, and we’ve always stood firm alongside each other.  I’m looking forward, with joy and anticipation, for what lies ahead for us in the next 18 years…and beyond.  I look forward to growing old with her…to walking beside her throughout the remainder of our lives.  Whatever hardships and struggles await us, I’m blessed beyond words to have her by my side.   There is no other.   There will never be another.  She is the love of my life…my soul mate.

Love always,

Dad

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