(Photograph of Anna Marie by her grateful mother.)
Gracious God, from the moment I touched my daughter's newborn toes, my heart exploded with love for her. Although I didn't carry her in my body for nine months, I was instantly bound to her by the invisible threads that weave the human race together. She was my child, and I was her mother. Through miraculous circumstances, and after great pain, I had been handed a rare and precious treasure, and when she opened her eyes and looked at me for the first time, it was as if you were looking back at me. Only then did I fully understand that you had been working all along, even in the darkest season of my life.
During the years when I had prayed, 'Lord, please give me a child,' you heard and you knew exactly what was best for me. If I could turn back the clock, I wouldn't change a thing. Thank you for blessing our home with Anna Marie. She is the child I wished for in all of the barren years. Today, on her 24th birthday, my heart is filled with thanksgiving. I humbly ask for your divine protection and guidance in all of her tomorrows.