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2004-11-18 - 9:24 p.m.

Dear Emma,
One year ago today, I held you in my arms for the very first time. I looked into your eyes and saw your soul. At that moment, my heart grew so big it no longer fit in my body. I gave it to you to carry around for me. The world that once existed in black-and-white now shines in amazing technicolor. In the past 12 months, I have had the privilege and the honor to be your mom, to hold you in my arms almost every day, to watch you grow and learn and explore, to see you sleeping with such peace, to witness your smile turn into a grin that lights up every room you enter. I don't know sometimes know what I did to deserve the gift of you, but I can tell you without question that I thank God each and every day for trusting me with you. Daddy and I talk a lot about what we want for you in this world, and the thing that we always say is that we want to protect your innocence as long as possible. To watch you live in this world makes it a much better place to be. I see the light and the spirit in your eyes, and I hope it never goes away. Always fight for what you believe in, even if it doesn't make you popular. Be proud of who you are and don't let anyone make you feel that you should be less. Champion and protect those who need you, those who may not have a voice that can be heard. Keep your head up even when times are tough, and sadly my sweet girl, there will be tough times. Above all else Emma, be secure and confident in the fact that you my sweet baby are loved, by so many with utter and complete devotion.
I have struggled today because part of me is sad to see your "babyhood" end. You are no longer just months now, you are years. It seems as though they will all go as fast as this one has. I wish for just one moment that time would stand still, that once again we would be back in that delivery room discovering each other for the very first time. And yet, I am joyous because I am here to share your first birthday, and for as long as you and I are here, we will share your every special day. Now, that is something to celebrate.
All of my love,

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