A Special Day for Our Little Boy

Today is one of a couple special days for us. Today our baby boy turns 4!


Shepherd, we don’t know your personality yet. We don’t know your favorite icing, though we’re sure it would be anything sweet. We don’t know your favorite color. We’ve only seen your cute face in a photo that’s probably a couple months old. But, we do stare at that photo. We stare into it only guessing how your little personality will respond to the excitement of future birthdays. We stare into it hoping to see that big smile in person very soon! Now we’re sure all your toddlerness is quite evident at times and I’m sure you can throw some tantrums, but that will make us love you no less. We haven’t hugged you. We haven’t kissed you. We haven’t assured you of your worth as a human being created by a good God. But we want you to know that you’re already loved by us more than your little brain can comprehend. If we have anything to do with it, this will be your last birthday spent without a mom and dad who’ll undoubtedly wake your grumpy self for every future birthday at 5am and sing the most obnoxiously sounding Happy Birthday you’ve ever heard. Here’s to your last birthday as an orphan!

So, here’s what we’d like to do for you, Shepherd. Hundreds of people will read this today. Hundreds of people you don’t even know who’ve prayed for you and have helped us bring you and your sisters home are going to wish you a Happy Birthday!

So, to you our readers, our friends, our prayer warriors. Would you comment here and leave Shepherd a birthday wish?

Additionally, can you think of a better way today to wish Shepherd a Happy Birthday than registering for the run/walk 5k that is helping to fund bringing him home?

Perhaps you live hundreds of miles away but want to donate to help us get Shepherd, Emery, and Isabella home, you too can register for the 5k and we’ll give you a “ghost-runner.” We’ll make sure you finish the race! If you add an extra $5 to the amount, we’ll send you a t-shirt (to take care of postage).

Listen, we know how this might sound but we’re ok with that. Sometimes a child’s life is so important, particularly our children whom we’ve never met, that we’d do anything to rescue them.

Regardless, we hope you’ll join us in wishing Shepherd a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Son, we’re praying for you right now and promise we’ll fight to see that this is your last Birthday without a mami or papi.



33 responses to “A Special Day for Our Little Boy

  1. Happy Birthday Shepherd! I have watched your mom and dad prepare and pray for you, and I have been praying with them! I can’t wait till you are here in TN so you can be part of your forever family and our City Church family too! You are one loved little boy and I can’t wait for you to get to feel that from your parents and most especially your Heavenly Father!

  2. Happy Birthday Shepherd!!!! I’m so excited to meet you & hang with you!!! You’re one lucky kiddo, because you’re getting some awesome parents. Your Mommy & Daddy are going to love you so much. The best part is that they’re going to teach you about Jesus and tell you that his love is even better!!! Look for me at the airport, I’ll be the one crying crazy huge tears of joy and holding balloons!!!

    Lori Walker

  3. Hello from Nepal, Shepherd. Our family loves you and has been praying for you for several years now. You are precious and a true gift from the Lord. Our family can’t wait to meet you one day. My children are only 1 year older than you. I am sure you will have a lot of fun playing together. I truly hope you have a wonderful 4th birthday today. I know your Mommy and Daddy can’t wait to bring you home. I know they will shower you with love and grace and continually point you to the one who loves you more than anyone in this world ever could, Jesus, and that is the most important thing in the world. God has amazing plans for your life and I can’t wait to watch you grow up in the family He has made for you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a very special boy!

  4. Hey Shepherd. Can’t wait until you are here. As you learn English, don’t listen to whatever your Dad teaches you about figures of speech. He can never keep them straight. He is the only one who will ever “Bare his Eggs” to you. Other than that, listen to your parents.

  5. Happy birthday, Shepard! You are so loved already by your mom & dad, and we are so blessed to call them dear friends. We pray that this birthday is your last away from your mommy & daddy! You & your sisters are prayed for often, and our greatest prayer is that you grow to know The Lord as your savior & understand his gospel! We love you!!

    John & Lauren Dunahoo

  6. Tiffany Oettinger

    Hey Big Boy!!
    We can’t believe you are FOUR! We have been praying for you for so long and can’t wait to watch you grow up! Your mom and dad are SO great — you will love them, we promise!! We can’t wait to finally have a play date with you — and please excuse your mommy who will probably cry on that day. You have been completely worth the wait. We already love you so much!

    – Matt and Tiffany Oettinger

  7. happy birthday, shepherd! i can’t wait to meet you, little man. we are all so excited. know that you are very very loved, not only by your awesome parents, but by a lot of their friends who have been waiting for you to come home for a long time. can’t wait to have many birthday cakes with you and celebrate who you are!

    we love you and will see you soon! 🙂

    love your sister in Christ,

  8. Happy 4th Birthday to my wonderful grandson! I only have a picture of you as I look at it every day I grow to love you more and I can’t wait to spoil you.

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHEPHERD!!! You have a precious mama and daddy who love you (and your sisers) dearly! I’ve been praying for you and can’t wait to meet you and watch you grow in your new family. Your life is of inestimatible value to God, your parents, and all of us who love you.
    Look forward to a lifetime of happy birthdays knowing you’re home and loved!

  10. Happy birthday, Shepherd! I am looking forward to meeting you, sweet boy. Know you have two loving parents who have gone through everything to come get you and that god loves you so much! Can’t wait for you to have many more birthdays to celebrate with everyone who cares about you. Love you and your sisters! Have a wonderful day!!!

  11. Happy Birthday Shepherd! My little boy Blake turns 4 soon as well. I bet the two of you would have so much fun playing together. We both look forward to meeting you soon! – Shauna Yancey

  12. Happy Birthday Shepherd! Grandpa Leonard loves you.

  13. Happy birthday sweet Shepherd!! You are absolutely blessed to have Tori and Jeremy as your mom and dad and they are absolutely blessed to have you. I can’t wait to meet you! I love you already and haven’t even met you. Love, your Aunt T.

  14. Happy Birthday Shepherd! Looking forward to meeting you. Your parents are pretty cool and judging by how much they’ve anticipated you and your sisters’ arrival, they love you VERY much.

  15. Barb & Bob Sackmann

    Happy Birthday Shepherd! You are one very special lil guy who’s about to be part of an awesome family- a wonderful Mom and Dad and a terrific church family! 🙂 we’re so happy for you….and I think you should get Mom and Dad to make you a 1/2 birthday cake with your favorite icing…yummy!
    Can’t wait to meet you and your sisters soon on one of our trips out to TN.
    the Sackmann’s

  16. Happy Birthday ahijado! Your crazy padrino and madrina are so pumped to meet you soon! Next year, at this time, we will have asked your parents to spend a day with JUST YOU to celebrate your birthday. At this time we’ll buy you obnoxiously loud toys and feed you 10 lbs of sugar (WOOO) Maybe we’ll even go to the circus because your madrina LOVES the circus. (And they have the best cotton candy!) Then, after a very long day filled with pixie sticks, cake, and ice cream we’ll drop you off at home. We will leave, hiding a sweet treat in your pocket. Oh, and hey- all the sugary treats and jumping on couches, screaming at the top of our lungs… that will be our little secret! HOPE YOU’RE READY SHEPHERD. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!

  17. Happy birthday shepherd aunt Jamie can’t wait to see u and spoil u next year u will be blessed and have two great parents to share your day with u not only that but aunts and uncles and grandpa and papas we can’t wait to see you shepherd ….happy birthday I love u

  18. Happy Birthday Shepard!! 4 years old!! That is so awesome! WE can’t wait to meet you and your sisters on our next trip to TN! You have the greatest momma and daddy ever and I bet they can’t wait to eat birthday cake with you, even if it is a little late! We have prayed for you for a very long time!
    The Becks

  19. Happy Birthday Shepherd!!!!

  20. Happy Birthday Shepherd! I hope you have had a great day! Oh what fun you will be having on your next birthday! Your parents are already so in love with you! You are one special little boy that Jesus loves sooooo much!

  21. Kirsten McDaniel

    Happy Birthday, Shepherd! We are so excited to meet you and get to know you. Your mom and dad have been praying for you for a long time and all of us at City Church are praying, too! We can’t wait until God brings you home safely to Tennessee and you get to enjoy all the exciting sights and sounds of Murfreesboro 🙂

  22. Devin and Rachel Wallace (and Ellie too)

    Feliz Cumpleanos and Happy Birthday, Shepherd! Today we celebrate the blessing of your life and can’t wait to see what is in store for you in the coming year. Your Daddy and Mama have been holding you in their hearts for a long time as they wait patiently to hold you in their arms. We rejoice as we pray that day will be soon. Your Daddy’s birthday was only a couple days ago, and we know he will LOVE having you for a birthday month buddy! May God cover you in His love today and every day to come.
    Love from Michigan,
    Devin, Rachel and Ellie Wallace

  23. Happy Birthday Shepherd. I pray that God will bring you to your mom and dad quickly and look forward to meeting you and your sisters.
    Jeremy and Stephanie Lawson

  24. Happy Birthday Shepherd! We haven’t known your parents very long but we know they are very excited to be your mom and dad. We are very excited to meet you and your sisters. Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The Halls
    David, Kim, Lorelei, Ty, Tripp, Piper, and Judah

  25. I can’t wait to hug you Shephard! Happy Birthday!

  26. Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Shepherd! Happy birthday to you! Isn’t this such a cool idea that your parents had? They love you so much and pray for you all the time. And do you know what? I do too! Love, Shannon

  27. Happy birthday Shephard! Can’t wait to meet you and we are so excited for you to meet your parents and learn about Jesus! We are praying for a smooth transition and process to come home!

  28. kathy sigmon forbrs

    Happy Birthday Shepherd can’t wait to see you and your sisters.

  29. Happy Birthday Shephard, can’t wait to meet you and your sisters.

  30. Happy 4th birthday shepherd aunt Jamie loves you very much cant wait to spoil you and give you bunches of hugs and love

  31. Andrew and Jenn Brown

    Happy 4th Birthday Shepherd! We are praying for you and can’t wait to see pictures from your 5th birthday party next year! Much love, Andrew and Jenn Brown 🙂

  32. Hannah and Sam Rauschenberg

    Shep! Happy Birthday big boy!! Hope you know how much you are loved already by so many but especially your new mom and dad!! Keep growing those muscles and get ready to come home soon! Hudson needs a big boy to look up to and we CANNOT wait to meet you!! Run through some mud and eat a bug today. 🙂
    P.S. Your momma told me she loves bugs too.

  33. Happy Birthday! What a beautiful blessing to have all this love and support. God has big plans for you and your sisters. Jeremiah 29:11!

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