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Happy 2nd Birthday, Raya!

It's hard to believe that this little bitty girl:
Raya 1 day old, ready to go home from the hospital
 is now THIS:
She's saying, "Wah WEE-ah?" (Where's Raya?) Followed by...
 
"BEE-boo-boo!"

I read a quote on this blog yesterday that described how I feel about my experiences so far as Raya's mother:

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”
Orson F. Whitney

The challenges that we've faced with Raya pale in comparison to many people we have come to know over the past 2 years. I have always felt blessed that there has never been a point where we wondered whether or not Raya would survive. Fortunately, people can live without a fully-functioning stomach and Raya's is working fine now. Even though our trials have not been an immediate matter of life or death, they have been significant for me and have stretched me in ways that I didn't really want to be stretched. :) I have definitely had opportunities to develop patience, faith, fortitude and humility. There have been high points and very low points, and through all of it, I have felt my character being built, my heart being purified, my soul being expanded, and I feel like I am much more tender and understanding of others in similar situations. And of course I HOPE that I am becoming who my Father in Heaven wants me to become. This is definitely an education that I could never have gained in any other way but through the "sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation" of the past 2 years  (although I feel like those words are all a little melodramatic for our situation :) and I am grateful for it. I have no doubt that Raya is destined for great things in her life and I am enjoying watching her grow and develop and overcome the obstacles in her life with a smile on her face. Happy birthday, Raya!































(ps for the emotional well-being of your mother, please at least have ONE bite of your cake this year. :)

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