Precious little Shepherd,
We learned about you a year ago today. One year ago I was getting ready to drive to Nashville, and knowing that I would likely be drinking that evening, decided to take a pregnancy test. I really had no reason to think I was pregnant--I had been dizzy a few times during the week, but all signs pointed to no baby on board. But something told me to check. For some reason, I just felt pregnant. So on a cold Saturday morning in West Lafayette, Indiana, mom called dad to the master bathroom and handed him a little plastic stick that said mom was pregnant. I will never forget the immediate smile that spread across your dad's face when the news registered--his face was pure joy. And then he laughed. While dad was laughing, I began to cry. But Shepherd, please know that I didn't cry out of sadness. No, those tears poured over from the immense love for you that had already filled my heart. You see, dad and I wanted you so very deeply. We prayed that you would join our family, and it was hard to believe that you were really on your way to us. It was so hard to believe, in fact, that mom stopped every few hours along the way to Nashville, taking additional pregnancy tests and sending dad pictures of each. I couldn't get enough of that beautiful second line!
Over the past year, we have loved and protected you as well as we know how. Sheltering you while you developed inside me was such a privilege. Welcoming you to the world was indescribable, and watching you grow and change over the past three and a half months has been a joy. You are a treasure, my son.
I love you so very much,