Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy 13th Birthday, Meribeth!

Mery Elizabeth Patterson
Born in Colombia, September 16, 1997
Born into The Patterson Family, November 10, 2008
We love you, Smiley!

Meribeth, you are such an amazing young woman.  I cannot believe you are a TEENAGER!  It seems like you have been a part of our family all of your life, and it hasn't even been two years yet that you've been with us! 

I know that it was very hard for you to come to Texas and be a part of our family. You still had older siblings in Colombia who you longed to be with.  Your mom and grandma were buried in Colombia, and that was the only world you had ever known.  It would be oh so difficult to leave your family, your friends, your culture, your Spanish language and move to Texas, but you said YES, even though it meant you would have to say goodbye to everything you knew and loved.

You courageously agreed to become a part of our family and move to America at the age of 11, even though it would be hard.  And it was so much harder than any of us ever imagined, wasn't it?!?  Oh, we were just so clueless about everything!  We had no idea what we were doing as first-time adoptive parents (of an older child on top of it!), so we apologize for all of the poor choices we made in parenting you.  We were learning right alongside you, Meribeth, and thank you for your grace while we learned how to parent an international, older-child, adoptee who had suffered more tragedy and tribulations than any person should ever have to endure.

Meribeth, I am so sorry that I missed out on your first eleven years, but God has made it feel like you've been with us forever, so I praise Him for that special gift.  You are a precious treasure, Meribeth.  It is beyond amazing to witness and experience first-hand how God has grown you (and us!).  I never thought we'd get to the point where we are today, where you are now known as "Smiley", full of joy, helpful, respectful, honest, kind, generous, selfless, hard-working, humble, bonded, connected, engaged, smart and beautiful in every way, inside and out.  Praise God for redemption, unconditional love and amazing grace!

Meribeth, you are such a blessing to our family.  We are so grateful that God chose YOU for our family.  You are the one He hand-picked out of 147 million orphans to be our very first adopted child.  You are CHOSEN, Meribeth.  Thank you for persevering through the hard times.  Thank you for allowing God into your heart, opening your broken heart to experience a meaningful and personal relationship with the King of Kings.  Thank you for allowing God to mold you into who you are today.  Thank you for loving Jesus.  Thank you for serving your family with joy.  Thank you for your smile, your joy, you laughter.  Thank you for being you, Meribeth.  You are lovely in every way. 

We love you, Smiley! :-)

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