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                        December 18, 1989
Dear Mattie,

As I write this letter, you are just over three months old, and in one week you will celebrate your first Christmas. We have tried to think of things to get you for Christmas, but it seems kind of silly for us to buy things, wrap them up, put them under the tree, and then unwrap them for you - all while you have no idea what is going on! So I am writing this letter to you to share with you some of my feelings at this time. I will save it for you and give it to you when you are older.

You have been at home with us for ten weeks now - not really very long, but in some ways it seems hard to remember a time before we had our Mattie. You are a beautiful, happy, sweet baby. It is so much fun to watch you growing and changing - which happens every day! Last week you rolled over for the first time, and you are laughing out loud and trying to make lots of sounds.

As you will know by the time you read this, we waited and prayed for a child for a long time before you came along. At times, the waiting was very hard, but I now know that it was worth it. I believe with all my heart that you were the child God intended for us to have, and that we simply had to wait until you came along. I cannot tell you the incredible joy that we felt when we received that phone call from Edna Gladney and then we saw you for the first time!

We will talk to you as you grow up about your adoption and your birthmother. I hope we will communicate to you that she was, we are very certain, a very strong and caring young woman. Giving birth to a child and placing her for adoption is not a decision that a person could make without a great deal of pain and sadness. She loved you so much, however, that she made that decision and allowed you to have a complete family. You may or may not ever know who she is - that will be your decision (and hers) when you are older - but I hope that we will teach you that she is a very important person in your life and ours. She gave you the gift of life, and she gave us the gift of you.

As important as she is, however, I believe that it was God who put us together and made us a family. I believe that it is - and always has been  - part of God's plan that you are our daughter and that your father and I are your parents. I hope that we will be able to carry out the sacred trust that He placed in us when he gave you to us. You are in every real sense my daughter, and I thank God for that daily.

I wish many things for you, as any mother does for her child. I want to see you dream dreams and set goals, and see them realized. I want you to be the best at whatever you want to be. I hope that I will help you grow and learn, but that I let you be who you are and not try to make you into what I want you to be. Most of all, I hope that you will grow up secure and happy with yourself.

I hope that I will be a good mother. I hope that you and I will talk openly and freely, and that there will be the kind of trust between us that will encourage you to come to me whatever the issue. I hope that I will never be judgmental. I hope hat I will always communicate to you that my love for you is unconditional. I know that I will make some mistakes, but I know for a fact that I will love you always.

I hope that, over the years, I will remember to take the time to tell you how I feel. You are very, very loved by a great many people, and I am at the top of that list. We have been truly blessed by having you in our lives - and this is just the beginning.

Merry Christmas, my beautiful daughter!

                        With all my love,