Dear Sam,

                   Started in May, 2014

My sweet and exuberant 2 1/2 year old Sam… I cannot tell you how many times my heart has written you this letter. Somehow, I’ve never had the confidence that I could translate it from my heart to a piece of paper.



Samuel. heard by God. God heard our prayers for a sweet child as well as our questions surrounded the pull of both starting our family and going overseas. Well, he did it all at once – we found out we were pregnant with you after deciding to quit our jobs and spend three months in Turkey! It was perfect. I spent my entire second trimester during your pregnancy in a country that honors and takes care of pregnant women. I think there was only one or two times when your presence inside of me didn’t get me a bus seat… sometimes from an elderly gentleman who was well into his 70’s or 80’s! 🙂  So we came back from Turkey, we moved from California to Michigan, we lived in the basement of our incredibly gracious friends for 2 months, we moved into a place where we house-sat for 5 months just to have you about 2 or 3 weeks after we moved in. All of these moves happened while your Baba built an incredibly successful counseling practice so that he could help people find healing and take care of his family.

Sometimes I reflect on all that you have been through over the past 2 1/2 years and I have to fight back an ‘ugly cry.’ I’m sure by the time you are old enough to read this that you will have seen your Mama do the ‘ugly cry.’ You have seen me cry already over this past year especially. I am blown away by your tender spirit that shows when you cup my face in your hands and sometimes give me a kiss or just sit near me or say: “Mama’s sad.” Your Baba and I try to make emotions seems normal and okay when expressed without hurting anyone else. And we try to include you in those moments so you have a way to respond and process it in whatever small way you need to. {I should’ve known that you and I would be bonded together through various trials when you took 30 hours of labor and 1 1/2 hours of pushing before you joined us. Even when the pain was at it’s most intense point, I felt so connected to you that we were working together to get your 8 lb. 12 oz posterior (stubborn?) body into the world. I felt such peace in these moments during labor knowing that our faithful God has always had His hand on you.}



You. You, Samuel, are full of life. You embody joy and every other kind of emotion that reflects the uniqueness of God. You love to dance while your Baba plays guitar and I sing or play flute… until you pull me from the floor and say: “Mama, dance!” And then we spend the next few songs just laughing and dancing together. It’s probably one of your Baba and I’s favorite things to do all together. I think it might be your favorite thing as well. I still can remember how you danced in the middle of the church at the Christmas Eve service. Now that Ada is with us, she likes to take it all in and smile while her eyes follow you around the room. Now that she is crawling and walking, she loves to pull herself up on your Baba’s guitar and bounce/dance as well.


Samuel, you are our little sponge – absorbing all of your Baba and I’s emotions over your short little life. Because of our decisions and transitions, you have absorbed a lot of anxiety and stress. This absolutely breaks our hearts to know that we have made decisions that have hindered your sense of stability. That said, we have every intention to undo some of that harm caused to you in the months and years ahead – and instead, make sure you are absorbing far more joy, laughter, comfort, love, and strength than you know what to do with. Your Baba and I are committed to loving and forgiving one another so that you grow up seeing a marriage that is redeemed by and surrendered to God.


When we were back in the States, we spent some time with a child therapist to understand how we can love you well and parent you better, despite the ‘very strange childhood’ you are going to have. She gave us some great insight and encouragement in how to understand you and respond to your unique needs. You are worth all the training times in the world if it means that you will grow up just a little bit healthier and safer. We are big advocates of having someone else speak into our lives for the purpose of growth and understanding – as we should be, since your Baba’s work is inspired by this God-given desire for people to have healing and restoration in their hearts and relationships. You will not be the casualty of our work or life overseas. You deserve the richness of life’s beauty and joy.


Seeing you with your grandparents last month was oh-so-sweet. They spoiled you with adventures into the woods, boat rides around the lake, crafts at the table, zoo trips, park outings, special treats, reading books together, and a lot and lot of attention and love that you have been craving so much since we moved away from them and had a baby. What JOY it was to see you instantly feel so safe around all of them – and know that this relationship you have with these four people are sacred and surpass miles and time apart.


There is so much more I can say, and I will say it – soon enough. But I just wanted to record these thoughts and remember these emotions of joy and heartache that flow out of a love for you but stronger than that, they flow out of God’s love and adoration of you.

We love you, Samuel. God hears you. He sees you. And so do we. Thank you for your patience with us as we finally can offer you a bit more of a rhythm and daily routine that will increase your sense of security that the world is a safe and beautiful place.

With all my love,



1 comment
  • Mark Awabdy - I was blessed and enriched in my soul by your words to Sam. Thank you for sharing them openly.

    Miss you, friends!

    -Mark A.ReplyCancel