This year you have grown up so much... Last year you were still my baby; the little chubby body has slimmed down, the babbling has become words and sentences, the rattles are gone and its all about teasets and baby dolls. Ŷou have grown up in all the ways a one to two year old should do, but you've had to grow in other ways too...
No one year old should have to be a month away from Mama, no one year old should have to try and grasp that her baby sister is sick, no one year old should have to spend a week "visiting" Mama and Papa for an hour a day before leaving us again. But do you know what? You have thrived and flourished and grown such resilience despite that - perhaps because of that, and you are stronger for it. You have been so cherished, so loved and so prayed for throughout this journey, and I am so grateful to God for the incredible support network that we have.
But ultimately I'm grateful to Him. God has entrusted you, our darling little girl, into our care. That feels so huge. You are our firstborn... We are learning everything on the job with you; learning how to set you wise boundaries, learning how to shepherd your heart, learning how to be Mama and Papa, learning how to handle tantrums, and cheekiness and the countless good things too. Forgive us when we make mistakes, because we will, but our hearts desire is for you to grow up to be a woman who knows and loves the Lord.
This past month you have seemed to suddenly grow up... Overnight you started speaking in full sentences... You adore the story of "Heidi" and you sing the soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" all day every day. You love your dollies, your books and your beloved Bärli. You love your sister... Sometimes a little too much, and tell us she is your best friend. Sometimes I find you praying on your own for Heidi's heart, and it warms my heart too.
Of course, you are a normal two-year-old and you love your independence... "Ava do it!" in all three languages is probably your most common phrase. You want to be grown up, but you aren't quite ready yet, and you're learning how to cope with your frustrations too (at the moment, you like to throw yourself down on the floor and lie there crying!) but we're learning and growing together, and I know that you need to learn to handle frustration and disappointment and upset. Those are lifelong lessons.
Ava, I just want you to know today how much we love you, how grateful we are to God for your little life, how excited we are about being a little family together. You are a joy to us, you fill our days with music and fun and you are the life and soul of the party.
We pray Gods richest blessings upon you this coming year,
We love you SO very much,
Mama and Papa xxx