My dear daughter, a most happy and blessed birthday to you. I cannot believe it has been 19 years! At times it feels like just yesterday you were born and at other times it seems like it was an eternity ago. There are so many memories I have of you.
At 1, we realized how very smart you were. You walked by 9 months and said at least a dozen words before your first birthday.
At 2, you could recognize all the letters of the alphabet, upper and lower case and you loved to sing the alphabet song to anyone who would listen.
At 3, you knew all the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. On one occasion you even led the Rosary. We laugh about it no, because you thought you had to have the microphone right up against your mouth in order for it to work.
At 4, you were already coming up with wonderful and creative games for the JayP and Oleander. You had an uncanny knack for combining games so that everyone was content. Our favorites were your nativity plays, with JayP as the drummer boy and Oleander as Mother Mary.
At 5, you were a cat fanatic. Everything was all about cats, even your pink and purple bike had cats on it.
At 6, we discovered you were so far ahead in your academic abilities, we knew we would have to customize your homeschooling curriculum to fit your talents and needs.
At 7, you could not have been more prepared to receive First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. You were so excited. I'll never forget how lovely and holy you looked.
At 8, you were just beginning to discover your gymnastic talents.
At 9, you found a love for music and really began to excel at piano.
At 10, you began to take on more and more responsibility. You were always a great help.
At 11, you soared academically, musically and in gymnastics.
At 12, you truly began to show independence of thought and strength of character in everything you pursued.
At 13, you were more than ready to make your Faith your own and were independently well prepared for Confirmation.
At 14, you began to discover new talents in art, photography, and especially as a writer.
At 15, more new talents emerged in karate and physical fitness. It was amazing how disciplined you were, very often getting up before anyone else so that you could finish your school work early in order to help out and to have more free time for your pursuits.
At 16, you took full control over your academics and I could always depend on you to work hard and excel at all you undertook.
At 17, I will always remember your reaction to receiving a new sibling. Your tears of joy touched us all.
At 18, you proved nothing would defeat you. Although it was a difficult year for you, you grew again in independence and overcame some mighty obstacles. We are so proud of your fortitude.
Our hope and prayer for you as you continue to grow in adulthood is that you will adhere to the moral character you were raised in and took on as your own; that you will let nothing shake your Faith; and that you will continue to grow in Grace. You are a beautiful, talented, and wonderful woman, and you are well loved. Happy birthday, Nadja!
Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray . . .