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My dear Nadia Grace Kay Archer,

Your name was very carefully chosen six years ago. Bursting with excitement about adding another child to our family, we wanted your name to reflect the heartbeat of our family. The reason for our existence. And so, we chose Nadia Grace Kay…”hope,” “grace,” and “rejoice.”

Your daddy and I would sit together in the evenings, both of our hands on my swelling belly, feeling your tiny feet kick. And we would pray. We would pray for your health, as my pregnancy with you was somewhat complicated. We would pray for a safe delivery, as we knew you’d be joining this world earlier than full-term due to those complications. And we would pray for us, as we understood the importance of raising a daughter to understand the very meaning of her name…hope. grace. rejoice. 

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We could never have guessed the journey that you’d pave for us. What an honor to teach you, to love you, and to care for you. We continue to pray for wisdom as we teach you. That we would continue to point you to Jesus…the only One who can give you the hope and the grace that will cause you to rejoice every day of your life.

I could literally write a book, filled front to back, with stories of your six years. From your seemingly endless colicky nights as an infant to your adventurous climbing stage as a toddler, we realized right away that you weren’t going to let us “slide by” with parenting. You required so much attention. So much discipline and direction. Random strangers would comment on “that spark in your eye” that showed the whole world your spunk and spirit. Some days your spunk and spirit would drive me insane, but most days I couldn’t get enough of it. And you know what? Those strangers were right…you had more spunk and spirit than almost any child I’d ever met.
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Over the past year or so, that spunky spirit has taken on a bit of a different look. While there’s no doubt that the spark is still there, we have begun to see a side of you that makes my mommy heart swell. Your love for people and your desire to care for them is clearly evident. Nobody can walk through our front doors for longer than a few minutes before you’ve offered them something to drink or eat. You have a very hospitable little heart, and I love that about you. I want to fan those flames and give you opportunities to practice hospitality, as it’s the heartbeat of my soul, as well. I have visions of us hosting dinner parties together one day, my dear. I know you’d be fantastic! I pray that you will always look to the needs of others. That you would always love people in word and in deed. And that you would do all of this because of a much deeper love that you have for Jesus. May His love and spirit always flow through your smile, your words, and your hands.

I love the way you are able to make a new friend anywhere, anytime. Your outgoing and carefree personality draw others to you, and you love to befriend anyone. I pray that as you begin kindergarten in fifteen short days, you will be drawn toward and befriend others who will strengthen you and challenge you. That you would be sensitive to the numerous personalities you’ll encounter. That you’ll befriend those who might not otherwise have a friend. That in whatever you do and whoever you play with on the playground, that you’ll shine for Jesus every day of Kindergarten, and every day of your life.

Sometimes I laugh when I think of how very similar we are, yet so very opposite at the same time. Your lighthearted personality sometimes clashes with my Type-A personality. We are good for each other, my dear. You teach me to slow down and let my hair down a bit, while I teach you that a little organization in life is a good thing. 🙂 We have much to teach one another in the years ahead, and I cannot wait to continue this journey together. I love you, sweet pea! Enjoy your special birthday. Revel in each moment, and know that you are loved far deeper than you’ll probably ever realize. Happy birthday, baby!

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