We’ve never had a 3 year old before today. As foster parents we have replayed the first 2 years of life over and over for the last 4 years and today each of us hit a new milestone.
The boy who forever has our last name turns 3. So far life with you has taught us a new kind of parenting and the importance of grace. You have a mind of your own, know what you want and are not deterred by anyone trying to keep you from achieving it.
You weren’t the easiest baby to bond with when you first arrived, which makes me sad. I think the combination of a new grieving momma and your 7 months of expectations caused much heartache in the beginning. We spent much of our first months together battling, but today, we trust each other. We know each other’s limits, and we continue to test them. You can find relief and safety in my arms. And I know your strengths and challenges and when to choose my battles.
You have an unbelievable love for dinosaurs! I think it truly broke your heart when I told you they aren’t living today. You can name about 6 of them without any help. I’m sure one day you will be teaching me all of their names.
Baseball is your all time favorite. We play it every single day and I’m afraid indoor baseball is quickly becoming a hazard! You can hit about 70% of pitches thrown and you do it left handed, though you like to switch hit in occasion. We are still working on catching. Maybe one day you will be a famous ball player, and if not, I’ll still be your biggest fan.
Your favorite color is orange and you look so handsome in it. You can count to 3 forwards and backwards, but mostly backwards. You have survived the last few months on soy milk and dinosaur chicken nuggets (Sam’s Club killed me when they stopped carrying them.) and ketchup. Don’t forget the ketchup.
You aren’t into music but you like me to sing a few songs on occasion. You sleep in your own bed for nap time and can go to sleep after “2 minutes” of snuggles. We’re still co-sleeping at night and for now, that is quite alright.
I love the way you say “Bumbee” (bumblebee) and you call flies “Buttafies”. You sound Spanish when you say “wharreel” (squirrel) as you leave the ‘sq’ silent and roll the ‘r’s. You refer to yourself as “Gables” and I think it will forever be your nickname.
Your Daddy is still your favorite but I am now a close second. You know to thank Jesus for your dinner, even though you try to skip it on occasion. You miss your cousin, Keith and your foster sister, Little Beauty, and you feel ownership for your friends, My Barrett and My Nathan.
The sweetest of all is your acknowledgement of feelings. I was very upset about a situation regarding your brother today and I was crying on the couch. Youasked me, “Mommy, you mad?” “No, baby, I’m sad.” I said. “Don’t be sad, Mommy. Don’t be sad. I don’t want you to be sad. You okay? I help you. You okay?” And with that, you offered a hug and we moved on to better things.
I love that even though you are very driven by the things you want, you are willing to set it aside to make sure your family is okay. A frequent question you ask is “You okay, Mommy? Daddy okay?”
These temperature checks are a great quality to have in relationships and the only place I can guess where you got it is your daddy.
Happy 3rd Birthday to my baby boy, Gabriel. I am so thankful to Jesus for the miracle that you are to our lives. Your name means strength from God and I pray you always seek God throughout your life and recognize that He is your strength always. You are loved, chosen, brave, silly, caring and determined. I love you more than you can imagine.