Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Tomorrow is Jack's birthday, but while he is napping I thought I would drop a quick line while I had the chance.

A child's birthday is such a special occasion for a family, and we can't wait to celebrate with him tomorrow. We met him for the first time a few weeks before his 1st birthday, and the year+ since has been such a wonderful ride. I can remember the exact place where we were on a back road in Vladivostok where I felt that unfamiliar feeling that right then and there was exactly what God wanted Michelle and I to be doing at that moment. It's rare that feelings are so clear like that, especially during life changing events, but it was impossible to deny the feeling I had that day. As we drove along a dusty road in the middle of that far away land I felt with 100% certainty that we were doing what God wanted us to be doing for him. I'm a fairly indecisive person and often over analyze whether I should have a PB&J or ham sandwich for lunch, but the decision to adopt Jack was crystal clear in my mind at that point. I guess it was mostly a peaceful feeling more than anything, a feeling that God had our back through the tough adoption process. I felt that there was no way that we would have ended up on that dusty road near Jack's baby home in Artem without God hand picking us to be Jack's parents. There are just too many variables involved with taking a couple from Knoxville, TN and matching them up with a beautiful baby boy in Vladivostok, Russia for God not to be calling the shots. With any big decision in our lives, we gather information and analyze data and eventually make an educated decision and feel that we made the right decision, but with Jack's adoption we knew. We just knew.

We have had Jack in our home now for almost nine months now, and we can't thank God enough for matching us up with him. Sure there are cranky days (God, please help his teeth come in so we can be done with this teething nonsense :) ......) and the days where we have to try to channel Gandhi-like levels of patience and tolerance, but we wouldn't have it any other way. We are so thankful for Jack each and every day and we can't wait to hug him tomorrow morning when he wakes up on his 2nd birthday. We have some making up to do since we missed his 1st one.

This weekend is Part 2 of our birthday celebration w/Jack. Last weekend we had family in town for a party. This weekend we have already met up with Jack's cousins from Florida (pictured above) who were nearby visiting my brother in law's parents. Next weekend we are taking Jack to a really cool water park resort for a good family birthday vacation. We figured he deserved a month long celebration of his 2nd birthday!

Happy Birthday Jack, we love you so much!


  1. HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY JACK! I think you should celebrate all month long!! Jack looks like he has a posse of girl cousins around him just like Matt does when we are around his cousins!! Too funny!!!

  2. Happy 2nd Birthday Jack! Enjoy it!!! I agree celebrate it all month long! Love the pictures. Jack is so date cute! Give him a birthday hug and kiss from the Dudas too!

  3. Have a wonderful birthday! I'm so happy you're celebrating as a family!

  4. What a beautiful Boy, I think he will love his month long celebration and he does deserve it.
    Isn't God amazing how he can weave our lives into amazing wonders. Like sending you to your son in Vladivostok Russia.

  5. Happy b-day! It is amazing how close our boys are in age! Wish you loved closer to meet! We will be celebrating our first b-day with Harper next month when he turns 2!