My Dear Sweet Liam,
Well, we have finally reached the day I have been thinking about since the day you were born. Tomorrow afternoon we will be at one of the best children's hospitals in the country, working with one of the very best doctors to give you a smile that you will love someday. You see, to us you are perfect, beautiful in every way. If your daddy and I had it our way, we would never change anything about the way you look. You smile more than anyone we have ever known, so it seems a little silly to change one of the things we love most about you! It doesn't feel right to say that we are "fixing" or "repairing" your lip because to us, it's not broken. Your smile works perfectly, and you are truly one of the happiest little guys in the world. However, we know we can't be selfish right now. We need to think about what's best for you and how you will feel as you grow older. We imagine that you will want to have a smile like all of your friends. This is the reason why we are having your surgery tomorrow. I am thankful that you will be too young to remember and that you can grow up feeling proud of the way you look.
For the past six months, we have taken as many pictures as we can and have proudly hung pictures of you and your beautiful smile all over our house. I will cherish those pictures and these moments we've shared as long as I live. The moment I held you in my arms when you were born, I was in love. It is a mother's instinct to do everything she can to protect her child from harm, so I know tomorrow will bring its own set of challenges for me. Please know that I am praying with all of my heart and that so many others are doing the same.
I've wondered so many times why God decided to give you this special smile. Years before I had you and your brother, I always was drawn to the pictures of children from other countries who have cleft lips/palates. I think it was God's way of preparing my heart for your arrival. I know someday we will understand why, and I am excited to see where this journey leads us together as a family, as well as individually. Your daddy and I have already bought three other children smiles in your honor, and it is our hope that we can do this for at least 100 children. We are so lucky to live in a country with access to such great doctors and hospitals and that we can afford this surgery for you, so we felt led to give others the same opportunity you will have - the chance to feel proud of their smile. Will we reach our goal of 100 smiles together as a family? Will we go on mission trips to help other families across the world? Will you or Noah help children in your same situation someday? God has a reason for this, and I am so excited to find out His purpose. Your birth was a catalyst for something, possibly many things, and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.
I love you with all of my heart, and I only wish I could take the place of any fear and pain you might experience. Earlier this week, as I was preparing my mind and my heart for tomorrow, I found myself getting very sad at the thought of the nurse taking you from me to go to surgery. Then, I heard a still small voice say, "Amy, he will not be alone. I will be with him, caring for him, while he is away from you." And you know what followed? Peace. I know God will be with you the whole time because as difficult as it is for me to imagine, He actually loves you even more than I do, and I love you in a way that is impossible to describe with words. So tomorrow, when they take you, rest peacefully knowing that God is holding you and have the sweetest dreams. When you open your eyes, I will be right there, smiling at you and ready to help you in everyway possible. Be strong and know that your daddy and I love you with our whole hearts, my beautiful, beautiful son.