Monday, February 16, 2015

Celebrating Sam

We are celebrating a BIG double-digit birthday in our family today.

Samantha Love is 10 years old!

I've been feeling extra sentimental this past week, often catching myself imagining what baby Sammers may have looked like. She was tiny; that much I know. Less than 5 pounds.

Its hard to imagine my little squish quite so small. The cuteness is almost unbearable.

I tell her, "I bet you were the sweetest baby there ever was."

I can say that because, let's be honest. She was the sweetest baby there ever was.

I've also been taking every opportunity to tell Sam how special she is. To be sure, she really doesn't understand a whole lot of what I'm saying to her. But I know she feels extra loved.

We smile at one another, her face only inches from mine. She cocks her head to one side and then to the other, then lifts her sweet, chubby little hands up to hold my face while I tell her,

"Do you know that Mommy is so proud of you?

You are such a good girl.

And you are SO beautiful. Do you know you are SO beautiful?

I love your laugh. And your smile. And I love the way you dance.

You are so funny. And smart!

And you are kind. You are such a good friend to have. Everyone should be so blessed to have a friend like you."

She giggles and giggles.

"How in the world did I ever get to be your mommy? I love being your mommy, precious girl."

I don't think there's many days that go by where I don't say aloud, "I wish I was more like Sam."


Sam was celebrated today with a special surprise.

She had never had a playdate with a school friend before, so I asked her best buddy, Charlotte, and Charotte's mom to join us for lunch and a trip to the children's museum- another first for Sam.

The girls had a great time.

Sam was happy as a clam all day long.

She loved every minute of her special day with with her friend. Thank you Jesus for the gift of a friend.

Sam had even more fun at the children's museum than I expected. It was as if they knew she was coming today. There was a music exhibit filled with instruments that Sam was able to try. Obviously, she was great at all of them. She could have stayed in that room all day. She had the best time.

Sammers has such a natural talent and love for all things music. I love that we can share that passion with one another. We may not ever be able to communicate with words, but we'll always have music.

And joy of all joys, there was a water exhibit, too. This little chick was in heaven. 

And let's be perfectly honest here. I was just beside myself with pride watching her play and love and get into things, and just thoroughly enjoy herself. God has done a great work in this little baby girl's heart. She is happy and healthy, a joy to all who know her.

Speaking of which, Sam also enjoyed a few phone calls and visits from people who love her dearly.

It was a lovely day, for an absolutely, delightfully, perfectly lovely girl. 

(Well, Tony might have a slightly different opinion, haha. Sisters can sometimes cramp your style. Dog pile anyone?)

Please, keep praying for Pleven. 

For those who are willing, let's change our profile or cover photos on facebook to remind people to pray for Pleven. Its just one small way for us to show our solidarity. We will not stop hoping and praying for victory.

Our beloved older children, who have already suffered so much, will be transferred tomorrow. I can't even bear the thought.

I know you can't bear it either. I've heard from so many of you whose hearts are broken. 

We will not give up.

This story is far from over; God is working. This I know for sure. 

Thank you to everyone who has written letters and prayed. Please, keep praying! And if you haven't, write a letter

I hope to be able to share good news soon. Or at least more ways you all can help. 

Until then, lots of love to all of you.


  1. Beautifully said, Grace. Praying...and still rejoicing that in the face of such tragedy, two precious little ones are safe with you. Happy birthday to Sam! Glad it was such a special day for all of you!

  2. Happy birthday, Samantha Love! It looks like you had a wonderful day celebrating turning 10. I loved watching you play with the instruments and the water. No wonder your mom is so proud of you! How fun to have a friend joining you and your amazing mom and brother. May God continue to bless you with abundant joy and health this new year!

    With love, Auntie Carol (Maybe I can kind of claim the desired position of being your Auntie since one of my kids spent his baby years in the same house as you.)

    P.S. For your mommy: We’re still praying!

  3. Happy Birthday, Samantha! Thank you for this joyful update, Grace!! I vividly remember reading the update when you cocooned in your living room on your little "boat" shortly after bringing Sam home. Rejoicing in how far she has come!!

  4. Happy birthday Samantha! What a big girl you are!