Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ali is 23!

Happy 23rd birthday, my dear Ali-Pooh!!!

Since your 16th birthday, how many of your birthdays have been spent at home? Or, how many have NOT been spent at home?
17th in Masterton, New Zealand
18th in France AND Germany on the same day!
19th up in Santa Barbara, at Westmont
22nd in Germany at Bodenseehof!
Now, your 23rd in New York City! Actually, North Carolina!
Am I forgetting some?? Anyway...whether you are home, away from home with us, or away from home without us, we celebrate YOU!!! My dear, precious baby girl...

So, with you, we thought it was great to have one child that we had planned...If you call Dad praying, spur of the moment, one morning, before ***, "Lord, please give us a health, sweet baby," planned. :-) And, just for the record, we have loved GOD'S plan regarding all three of you! I mean REALLY LOVED His plan! Way better than any plan we could have come up with!

Back to you...Again, I am trying to recall the details of the day of your birth...Hmmm...Well, you came earlier than expected. The doctor thought you would arrive in May. But, you have never really done things that are expected of you! And, I love that about you! After the trauma of a natural birth with Gregory, I told Dad, "It's drugs, or Gregory is an only child!" So, epidural kind of in place (it slipped and went into a muscle in my back and didn't go in to my spine...fun times!...Is this too many details?), you arrived!

We didn't know if we were having a boy or girl. After a very bald baby boy, what a surprise to see this little girl with a head full of black hair! Can't remember what name we had picked out if you were a boy, but we thought we would call you Alex, short for Alexandra, if you were a girl. But, after meeting you out in the world, you just looked like an Ali! So, I sent out birth announcements introducing you, or at least that was my intention. I forgot to put the announcement in many of the envelopes. Aunt Pudge called Grandma to say she knew from receiving the envelope that we probably did have a baby. She just had no idea of any of the details. Yep...

We brought you home, excited for your big brother to meet you! He sat in his little rocking chair, and we set you on his lap. He looked at you for a moment, (just enough time for a photo) then handed you back. The whole idea of a new little Wright took Gregory a little getting use to. Okay, a lot getting use to.

Ali, what a gift you have been in my life! I think of you as a toddler, usually smiling, cute little chubby cheeks. Your days of kindergarten...me dropping you off, you crying, me with a happy face until I got to my car, so I, too, could shed a few tears. Your tenderness with Maggie as we raised her that one year. The very difficult times with your health. The relief of home schooling. The fun of cheering for you during your basketball and volleyball games. The unique way you finished high school...Escondido Charter, Mira Costa, Neighborhood in Phoenix, Potter's Clay, traveling around Europe! The wonderful times of moving you in to Page Dorm at Westmont, saying goodbye to you as you headed to Bodenseehof, and then to New York. And, through it all, or because of it all, we have been drawn closer to Jesus, clinging to Him, learning more about Him and His great love for us, seeing Him as our very Life!

Ali, what a joy it has been for me to see you grow into a beautiful, creative, intelligent young woman! Do you remember, during those tough years, I would tell you that you were going to love being an adult?! It amazes me to watch you pursue your passions! I know that you will always be learning, and, enjoying the whole process! I love how you love people, again, with passion, intensity, pointing them to Jesus!

So, my precious Ali on your 23rd birthday...I pray that today you are celebrating YOU, thanking God, praising Jesus, and enjoying your time with Anne, Michael, Caroline, Gregory, Grandma and Grandpa. And, yes, I am a little jealous that they get you today! ;-)

And, here in Encinitas, I am celebrating YOU, thanking God for YOU, praising Jesus for YOU, and happy that if you are not with us, who love you dearly, you are with others who love you dearly!

Happy birthday, my Ali!

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