Happy one month birthday, little girl! In the relatively short time of your existence, you have brought so much delight and joy into our family.
As you lay beside me, swaddled in a blanket and sleeping peacefully, there are some things I want you to know.
Your name, Alexandra (defender of people) Li Wan (strength and grace), is my hope and prayer for you. I hope that you will have a life that is characterized by fighting to defend and protect others. I hope that you will be a woman of strength, who stands tall with force and firmness. I hope that you will engage the world with graciousness, kindness, and mercy.
You might hear voices that say things like, “You’re not ______ enough.” This world has a lot to say about what makes you valuable – your physical appearance, your money, your fame – and you will be tempted to let those values shape you. Ignore those voices. You are enough, just as you are.
You are allowed to pick your own outfits, draw outside the lines, and be unique. Even when your choice of apparel is mismatched socks, ballet slippers, and an Elmo t-shirt, you go and rock it, girl. Embrace creative expression. Take courageous risks. Be free to stand out from the “normal.”
You will learn how to cook a great meal, drive stick-shift, hem pants, change a flat tire, and budget your money. These are all important, non-negotiable skills necessary to becoming a mature, capable person.
You can do what you love. Spend your life pursuing your passions, not what you think you should do. You can’t please everyone. As for me, I simply want you to experience purpose and joy. If that means taking a minimal salary to do something life-giving, go for it.
You will encounter obstacles, heartbreak, mean people, failure, and disappointment (85% of this will occur during adolescence). Learn, grow, and keep going. Come to me for endless hugs and a shoulder to cry on.
You are a beloved daughter. Absolutely nothing will ever, ever change that. Your dad and I will love you and be on your side for your whole life. We will always listen to you, encourage you, and support you (yes, even through your teenage years when you hate us and disagree with us).
All My Love Forever,