Dear Sophia Rose,
As I write this you are still growing in your Mother's womb. We are both waiting with great anticipation for your arrival. However, if you are reading this you are probably a teenager who is pissed at me because I wouldn’t let you leave the house wearing a sorry excuse for a dress to go hang out with some guy who is not good enough for you and I’ve given this to you as a reminder of my great love for you. Yes that is right, I loved you intensely the moment I discovered your existence in your mother’s womb. As Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”. Although those are God’s words and I can’t quite say that in the same way, I do know that I can share in those words in a smaller way. Before you came into this world I loved you! My life was forever changed the moment your mother told me she was pregnant. At first we weren’t sure that you were a Sophia. I thought maybe you could be a Dominic, however deep down inside we always knew you were going to be a beautiful little girl that will one day grow into an amazing young woman.
I don’t know what these next several years will hold for us. I sit in prayer and thought several times throughout the day wondering what life will bring. Will I cry tears of joy as I hold you in my arms for the first time? I imagine the first time I will see you smile or laugh and it brings a smile to my face. I imagine the pride I will feel as you take your first steps or speak your first words (which will definitely be papi by the way)! I imagine the way my heart will melt the first time you walk out of your room wearing a big girl dress. I imagine the first time my little girl will dance with me. I imagine the day you head off for your first day of school or go off for your first sleepover at a friend’s house and wanting to not let you go experience life without me. But I will have to let you and start to let go slowly. I imagine the day you start liking boys and getting the urge to not let you talk to them but having to resist that urge. I imagine the days I will have to still guide you and parent you while at the same time allow you to make mistakes and not be overprotective of my beautiful little girl. Will I walk you down the aisle and dance with my princess on her wedding day? Will I sit in a big Church as a beautiful habit is placed on you and you join a group of women to spend your life in service to others and prayer for the conversion of the world? Will you give me grandchildren or spend your days praying that your mom and I get to heaven? Who knows what life will bring but I know that every day will be a new adventure with you and my heart is full of joy and anticipation to experience life as your dad!
I can’t promise you your life will be perfect. I can’t promise you your life will be easy. I can’t promise you your life will be without suffering. But I can promise you that you will be loved unconditionally. No matter what I will always love you. My love for you is not dependant on what you do or who you become but simply on the fact that you are God’s precious gift to me and NOTHING can ever separate you from my love for you. You are beautifully and wonderfully made and you must remember that the only thing that defines you is that you are a beautiful girl that is precious to me and more importantly to God our Heavenly Father.
I can also promise you that I am your parent first and your friend second. I ultimately want what is best for you. There are going to be times in your life that you don’t like me and even times where you “hate” me and as much as it will hurt I won’t give in to you. I have been entrusted with your soul. My number one priority will be to get you to heaven and introduce you to Christ. You may someday reject this but none the less my job is to teach you the truth. This means there will be a lot of things your friends will be allowed to do that you will not, but I am asking you to trust me as your father. I desire your happiness and your holiness and I will always have these two things in mind when raising you.
I also promise you that I will pray for you every day. I started praying for you the moment your mother told me you were coming to us. I pray that you will meet Jesus and enter into a deep and abiding relationship with Him. I pray that He becomes your best friend. When you smile I will Thank God for your smile. When you laugh I will thank God for your laugh. When you do great things I will thank God for the amazing talents He has given you. When you make mistakes and fall into sin I will ask God through the intercession of Mary to put you back on the right path. When you are suffering or hurting I will ask God and Our Lady to comfort you. When you are unsure of what decisions to make I will ask God to give you wisdom and guide you and Mary to give you the grace to respond to His will as she did. The greatest gift I can give you is to offer everything you are to Mary our Mother and Her Son so that you may be given every grace you need to become a Saint.
This world is an amazing place but also a scary place. There will be a lot of things in this world that will distract you from what is important. You will be tempted to do things that go against the will of God and the way your mom and I will raise you. I want you to know that when you do make mistakes I will be here to help you. I want you to know that God’s mercy is infinite and no matter how many times you fall I will be there to help you back up and lead you back into the arms of our heavenly Father. There is no mistake or sin too big that will make me or God stop loving you. Remember is it not about how many times you fall, it is about how many times you get back up and keep fighting!
Lastly, I promise you my protection. I will protect you as a King defends his daughter the princess. That is exactly what you are; my princess and I will defend you until the day a worthy knight (be it a good holy man or Jesus) proves himself worthy of you to take my place as your protector. I will fight for you when you need to be fought for. I will stand in the way of things that seek to harm you. I will protect your heart and help you guard your purity. I will teach you to see and discover the beauty inside you. I will teach you to detect the wolves and dragons in disguise that try to trick you into giving your heart away when you should not. I will teach you to understand that your worth is in Christ and not in your body. I will take a bullet for you if I have to!
I love you so much! God has an incredible plan for you! I am humbled that God has picked me to be your father and help you discover that plan. You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are talented, and you are loved! Never forget that! I will make mistakes when raising you. I am not pretending to be perfect. I hope you will forgive me when I do make mistakes. Everything I will do will be to show you how beautiful and precious you are. As I said my goal is your sanctity and happiness. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms Sophia! I have a feeling you are going to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me!