my dearest hosea,
today you are one year old. i can't believe my baby boy is already growing up! you are my grace baby... number 5. God gave me the best pregnancy with you, following the worst pregnancy with your brother, and although it wasn't a perfect blissful ride, it was doable. for that i am thankful.
but you were late in coming out. you decided to make your mama wait to meet you! i joked at the time that you were waiting for a name because we didn't even decide on your name until the night of your due date... and you were born 5 days later. the funny thing is, your name wasn't even in our top considerations - it just suddenly felt right that night when your daddy and i were out to dinner and talking about all God was doing with us and teaching us and who we thought you would be... and suddenly we knew that it was who you are.
hosea justus. "salvation." the original name of joshua and then of Jesus, our Messiah who is our promised salvation. the saving Grace that we need so badly. justus... the greek name for justice. and there is just something about the prophet hosea and his demonstration of the undeserved unrelenting love of God... well, now i know how much it fits you and how much i need that constant reminder of His unrelenting love.
your labor and delivery were different than all my others. for one, God decided, for reasons i still don't quite understand, that the perfect time for you to come was during one of my darkest hours. such intense grief and threatening fear, and yet such a thick presence of God that i cannot quite put into words. He met me and carried me through when i didn't think i could do it. He heard my cry and didn't leave me alone.
i am so thankful, my little boy, for your life. you fit our family so well. you are so playful and full of sugar and sweetness and joy. you have the most gentle dove eyes - a lot like how i imagine Jesus' eyes to be (besides the crystal blue color). so much innocence and peace and gentleness in those eyes of yours.
your first year was one of the hardest of my life, but it was your first year. and i just want you to know how much i love you with all of my heart - how thankful i am for you filling my tears with smiles. you are such a good baby and you are my baby.
happy birthday my special little boy. i love you more than my fumbling broken words can describe on a page.