“You can’t choose what happens to you. But you do choose how to respond.”

Not sure who ever said that, but its been a motto I used to use with my clients and now remind myself and others of that truth very often. If you’re able to learn this from a young age, its going to save you from a lot of unnecessary craziness. If you do have the power to choose what happens to you, you’re a freak of nature.

As your mom, I can already tell that I’m going to want to protect you from any unexpected curve ball life throws at you. But, at the same time, I know I shouldn’t and honestly can’t. If I could protect you from everything, then I’d be the freak of nature!

Your daddy and I complement each other very well in many ways. And when I think about the many obstacles you’re bound to face as you venture on this journey of life, I hope you get the best qualities in each of us to help you face them.

You see, I have this ability to love deeply and forgive quickly. Some people might choose to call it simply being naive. But, I choose to see it as a supernatural grace. Honestly, sometimes I wish I was able to hold a grudge and remain mad for a while. It seems natural. But, I’m not like that. When I really love someone, there’s nothing they could do that would keep me from forgiving them and choosing to keep them close. I hope you get that quality from me. I hope you love people unconditionally and choose to have the strength to forgive quickly. This trait has helped me face head-on the many obstacles that life has thrown at me.

The quality I hope you inherit from your daddy when these unexpected challenges approach you is his strong backbone and conviction about what it right. Your dad has a very strong ability to know right from wrong and will forever stand strong and speak boldly about what is right. No one stands a chance against him if he believes in something. I told you this from the beginning, you want him in your corner. (And believe me, he already is.) No matter what comes his way, his backbone is strong and he speaks truth.

If you can inherit both of these traits, my ability to love deeply and forgive quickly and your dad’s backbone and ability to speak up for what is right- combine this with a knowledge of God’s Word and a sensitivity to His direction- and I think you’re going to do quite well when life presents challenges and you have to respond.

In the end, you aren’t held accountable for anyone’s actions except your own. So, choose your actions wisely. Choose your words wisely. Realize that every action you make and every word you speak reflects on your character and leaves an imprint on your legacy. In moments when the world will tell you to lash out in anger, choose to love. When you “ought” to push for your own way, put the needs of others first. When you have the opportunity to speak, choose words that honor and words that will build instead of destruct. Those reactions, those words, those moments are what you will be held accountable for. Let God handle the rest. He’s more than capable.

Sometimes life is going to hand you huge, unexpected, unmerited blessings (much like you are to us!). Other times the story of your life is going to take unexpected turns, good or bad. There will be moments when choices are made that effect you, even when they shouldn’t, again, good or bad. That’s life. Anything less would be boring, and we D’Angelo’s don’t “do” boring!

My Little Love, I need you to know that from the day we found out about you, you have effected each action we take and each word we speak. We realize that it is our legacy being left for you and we want to be parents you can be proud of. Be assured, that with each bump in the road over the last six months- your cute little face is the first thing we see when the moment comes to respond. You’re our priority now and every decision we have to make requires you to be put at the forefront. And believe me, we don’t regret that or take that lightly. You’re our future, our legacy, our kid!

So, choose wisely. Don’t do things just because everyone thinks you should. Do the right thing, make the right decisions, react the right way, simply because it’s right and you have a Heavenly Father who’s watching. I can guarantee, you won’t regret it. God will make sure you won’t have to!