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Saturday, May 28, 2011

.Dear Bethany.

Dear Bethany,

I can easily pull up my first memory of you. It took place seven summer ago in the nurse's station at camp. You were sitting on the infamous couch down there with your then boyfriend, Ben, sharing a gallon of chocolate ice cream that Dan hAlign Centerad purchased you. I remember thinking that you were such a cute girl. Slowly that summer and the next you crept into our hearts, not taking no for an answer. There was something about you that drew all of us to you. Perhaps it was Cadi who first fell in love. The other day Cadi looked at me with big eyes and asked Mommy, even though Bethany is getting married, will she still always be my sister? Oh, how she loves you Bethany, and loves the moments that you have spent with our family. It is only then that she ever says that our family is complete. And Jim and I feel it too - you are family and will always be.


I had never seen a teenaged girl invest so much time into a child, and it was real and heartfelt. I knew you loved me because of the fierce love you had for my children. To love a mommy is to love her children. I have never seen you impatient with my children or brush them away. Even last night, at your wedding rehearsal, a night when you surely had every right to be caught up in the moment, you took time for Cadi. She asked as we drove to the church last night if she could sit with you at the rehearsal dinner. I told her no, that this was your special night and that you had so many people to share it with. But you made a liar of me, when without any hesitation, you took Cadi's plate filled it with food and without question sat it by yours. And that is just one instance where you have poured love into my daughter. She will never forget it. My prayer is that Cadi would grow up to be just like her big sister Bethany.



Although you and Cadi have a very special relationship, all of my children know your love. You stood behind us, and fund raised with us, supported us and cheerleaded us every step of the way as we fought to make Jamesy our son. And even more amazing is the way I watched your heart break for orphans as you truly invested in the journey to Jamesy with us. And when you laid eyes on him the first time, my heart burst with happiness to see the genuine love that you felt for our boy. Scotty calls you his Bethany. And you are and have been from the moment you witnessed my water break as I was carrying him.

I could write forever of my memories with you. Of tent camping when I was supposed to be the leader, and pushed you out the tent to check the fire because I was too scared to go myself, of our love for Starbucks, of hours by the pool at camp, of painful pilates, of our trip to Virginia, of our love for Banilla yogurt and granola, of My Sister's Keeper and sneaking glances at one another to see if the other was crying as hard as well, of Christmas cookies that never quite turned out, of car trouble, of watching God show you how to truly trust Him, of watching your heart get broken over and over and every time you would get back up put a smile back on and move forward, of our prayers for you, of tears, of hugs, of a million I love you's.


Bethany, I could not love you more today if you were my blood sister. I am so proud of you, of the choices you have made and the woman you are becoming. Roger is getting a gift today. As full and happy as my heart is, I would be lieing if I said that a corner of it wasn't sad. We will all miss you terribly, but Bethany know this, you will always, always have a place in our family. We are praying that God blesses your wedding today and your marriage forever. I know you are going to be an amazing wife, because I know you never do anything half-heartedly. May He get all the glory.

I love you, my one-in-a-million girl.

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