Dear Katie,

I have been holding back my tears since the realization that today you’ll be turning 8. Another milestone my darling daughter, and indeed time moves swiftly…it seems like yesterday, around the exact moment 8 years ago when I first laid eyes on you. You were so tiny then – that I was actually scared to hold you.

I stayed up last night looking at your pictures. Smiling over how you’ve grown over the years…

We’ve been through so much, you, me and your baby sister Ashley…at 7 you were my little anchor when I was at my lowest.

When I first had you, I was daunted with how much I had to teach you, never realizing that you will teach me as much as you have. You’ve taught me acceptance, forgiveness, devotion and the purest form of unconditional love that exists in this world.

There is nothing more overwhelming than the pride that fills me whenever you report to me how well you did at school. And those letters you write to me and coming up with the sweetest words that never fails to warm my heart and melt our distance from each other.

You fill me with so much love and joy that brings me to my knees when I imagine you growing up, and soon become independent. Nonetheless, I continue to marvel over God’s precious and wonderful gift to me.

I understand that you won’t be 8 forever. While your hand still fits in mine and you still call me Mommy, I will relish every second of our journey together.

And though, at times it feels like you don’t need mommy to do things for you, but I know that there are things that only mommy can help and remember; you will always be my little girl, my precious wonderful first born.