Dear Mason,

Hey there buddy. I figured I would put a little picture of you in this note. Its always helpful to see what you looked like when you were a kid. So here you are.

This is actually one of the rare images we have of you not sleeping! Like I wrote yesterday in the last note to you, you’ve been a little sick. We think that’s why you have been sleeping so much.

Mason Carlos HiestandWe went to the pool for most of the day today and not surprisingly you slept most of the time. You did wake up for a bit and you and mommy played in the pool for a bit. You really seemed to like it a lot and we can’t wait to go back tomorrow and swim some more. I got some video of it so we’ll let you watch that someday. I need to edit it a bit and then I’ll share it. The weather here has been beautiful and I would imagine you were quite comfortable as you napped.

I am not sure if you can see it or not in the picture, but you have a little bruise on the right side of your forehead. While you were sleeping in your stroller (your sleeping spot of choice) you jerked quickly and smacked your head on the side. You woke up all the sudden crying and in quite a fit. Right away we saw the little black and blue bump on your little forehead. We’re not too worried though, you seem to be recovering well.

We’re meeting a lot of neat people here who are also adopting. Tonight we ventured out of the hotel to a little authentic Guatemalan restaurant. When we got there one of our new friends had just sat down and they asked us to join them. We had a great time and we also had some great food.

Today was a fairly lazy day for you and we’re glad that you are getting your rest. We’re also glad you are eating too. Though, you could do a little better at that. I guess we’ll have to get you back to the United States and get some good old unhealthy and fattening American food in you. I am sure your big brother Cole will be happy to introduce you to chicken nuggets and French fries!

Todd and MasonI have thought a bit more about your birth mom and your foster mom. At our church we have recently been reading a chapter in the Bible called Romans 12 and we’ve been talking about the idea of sacrifice. Mason, these two women sacrificed in ways that you might never experience again. Your mommy and I pray that as you grow up you will understand how much love it took for them to do this. We pray that you understand that their sacrifice was motivated by love and nothing else. We also pray that as you grow up, you will also see your mommy and I sacrificing for you and for others too. While I am not sure we could ever match the way they sacrificed, I pray that you will something similar in the way we live as individuals and as a family.

I pray that as you and Cole grow up in our household, you would first and foremost see our love for Jesus and that along with us you would follow his radical call to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and that love your neighbor as yourselves. (As you grow up learning about God and church and Jesus and you are trying to figure out what it all means, please know that this is always a great place to come back to. Love God. Love Others. On some level its really that simple. On another level, its radical).

I pray, that by God’s grace, when you are old enough to read and understand this you will be able to say, “Yes, that verse describes family (at least most of the time).”

Love your daddy,

Todd

p.s. Tomorrow we are going to spend some time at the pool again and then go to the market in town. That should really be an interesting adventure.

p.s.s. that second picture is from the first time that we met. I told you that you couldn’t stop staring at me!  Also, if you click on that image, you’ll see some other pictures of you.  Most of them are of you sleeping though!