having a baby abroad

To Genevieve, On the Occasion of Your First Day on Earth

Dear Genevieve,

The day you were born seemed to stretch out forever, like the sky. You woke your mom up in the middle of the night, but then you took your time making your entrance. Your mom and your dad and your grandma (who came across the ocean just to meet you) and people clear across the world waited a full twenty-four hours for you to finally arrive. Your mom told me those last nine hours of labor were the hardest thing she’s ever done. But I know she would say that you were worth every minute of it and that if she had to, she would do it again if it meant holding you at the end.

Josh, Laura, and Genevieve Louise Rhoads

Daddy, Mommy, and Genevieve Louise Rhoads, born Tuesday, August 5th at 1:03 am . 8 lbs. 3 oz of perfection.

You won’t remember meeting us because you were only 14 hours old, but I will always remember your tiny, perfect body, your wide-open eyes and the impossible sweetness of your little mouth. The way your face is shaped distinctly like your dad’s and how you already have your mom’s long. tapered fingers. You lay in my arms so quietly  kicking your feet and sticking out your tongue, like you were still getting use to the feel and the taste of air.

As you grow you will hear the story of how your mom and your dad moved across the world, far away from their home, their friends, and their families because they held a precious seed of hope that would become you and they believed that this was the best way they could provide for you. Some days it was really hard for them to be so far away, and scary to be having you in a country where the language and culture still feels rough and strange. But they were brave and God gave them the strength and encouragement they needed to push through the hard days. One day, you will get to be the coolest kid in the first grade when you tell your friends you were born in South Korea. I hope when that day comes you remember your parents and everything they sacrificed to have you here.

Your mom and dad are some of our closest friends. From the day we found out you existed we have watched them preparing their hearts and their lives for you. We have hoped and prayed with them  for you. And today the waiting and the hoping is over. Now comes the part where we marvel together as your glorious life unfolds.

Jonathan and Genevieve...He looks good with a baby, doesn't he?

Jonathan and Genevieve…He looks good with a baby, doesn’t he?

The world is a miracle, darling, and you are part of that miracle. We can’t wait to know you – your favorite color, your talents, and what things make you laugh. But no matter who you become in the course of your life, you should always know that you are deeply wanted and greatly celebrated.

So Genevieve…Happy Birthday, and welcome to the world. We can’t wait to hear your story.

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Kid president actually says this way better than me. This video makes me all weepy – in the good way.

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