I thought I would post the letter I wrote for Joshua's Birthday book...for my kids and (future) grand-kids to read one day...and so I can always remember it.
"Well, I hardly know where to begin! These past 30 years have gone by so fast! And they have been the best 30 years of my life!
When your dad and I found out we were going to have a baby, we were overjoyed!
When we found out you were a boy, we were so happy! We already had your name picked out: Joshua. It means, "Jehovah saves." We thought it would be perfect for you. Your middle name would be "Osborne." It's a family name, and we wanted you to have it.
After you were born, and the nurses placed you in my arms, I got to look at your sweet face for the very first time. I thought you were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen! We were so thankful for you!
The doctors told us that you had something called Down Syndrome...that it might take you a little longer to learn stuff. We were a little surprised by this news...but it was okay with us.
They said you might not talk...but that was okay with us.
They said you might not be able to walk...but that was okay with us.
They said you might not be able to read or write. The thought of you not being able to read made me sad, because you loved books so much. But, if you never learned to read? Oh well...we'll just read to YOU!
It was okay with us.
Well, Joshua...you proved everyone wrong! You learned to talk and walk and read and write just fine. You learned to speak slowly and clearly. You learned to walk and run and dance. You learned to do martial arts, and you are an awesome Powerlifter. You can read your Bible, or a book or Facebook, or the newspaper. You can read directions. You can read a recipe. You can read letters and emails.
And you can write. Oh, MAN, can you write! You have probably written more in your 30 years than I have in my whole life! What a blessing!
And, yes...you have worked really hard to master these skills, but any glory that comes from your life...goes to God.
HE made you; HE healed you; HE watched over you.
All along our way, HE planned for and provided doctors, nurses, therapists, and teachers...who have been diligent in providing the best care and attention to you. Not only that, HE placed wonderful family and friends in our lives, who have walked with us every step of the way.
So thankful for you, Joshua. Your life is a testament to the faithfulness of God.
*Never forget how far HE has brought you.
*Never forget that YOU must decrease, but HE must increase.
*Don't be proud...it is GOD who blesses your endeavors.
*Be kind to ALL of your friends...they each have a special place and role in your life.
*Honor God in everything you do. Not everyone can be a teacher or a preacher...not everyone can be a missionary in a foreign land.
*But EVERYONE can encourage the people God places around them each day.
Happy 30th Birthday, Joshua!
I love you.
"...The LORD called me before my birth; from within the womb, He called me by name..." Isaiah 49:1