Written by: Mitch Horner
A letter written to Kaiden before birth:
Dear Kaiden Kenneth Horner,
I’m your dad! I’m the crazy voice you hear… other than your mothers voice. I don’t know how I became so blessed as to call you my son. Your mother and I prayed for you before you were even conceived. Hope that doesn’t gross you out… I remember the struggles of negative pregnancy tests and the health scare where I almost lost the ability to have children.
But I’ll never forget the day I found out you were on your way. Sunday September 14th, I was watching the Detroit Lions game (a team that your Uncle Kyle will try and force you to cheer for…) they were playing the Carolina Panthers (sadly the lions lost… get used to that…) Your mom and I thinking about if should we go get another pregnancy test or not. After a year of trying, one of the hardest things to see was “not pregnant” on the test. After some talking I decided to go get a test. This time I had a good feeling, one that I hadn’t felt before. So I decided to not cheap out and buy one of the expensive ones.
As your mother took the test I remember being in bed continuing to watch the game. After a few moments I couldn’t contain my curiosity. So I headed towards the bathroom. The door opened and your mom came out crying. But this time it was with tears of joy. Your mom showed me the test and our lives changed forever. I remember jumping up and down yelling: “this is the greatest day of my life!”
I could hardly contain myself. I downloaded every baby app and book I could find. Your mother, wanting to be certain, did two or three more test just to be sure. She even saved them, not sure if this will embarrass you in years to come or not, sorry.
The next great enjoyment was telling the family about you. The video is on facebook, not sure if that will be around or not by the time you’re old enough to read this. Just incase I saved it to my computer. The great joy that came upon us all as I walked in the kitchen wearing a Detroit Tigers shirt that said “Dad” on the back is one I’m sure none of us will every forget.
From then on we played the waiting game, waiting to see if you were a boy or girl, dreaming of what you’d look like. Through the whole process remaining in prayer over your health, life, dreams, goals, and most importantly praying that you would follow the ways of the Lord.
Your name is one of great purpose; Kaiden means warrior, I don’t know if that will be on the football field or hockey rink. But I know it is of great calling and purpose to the Lord.
Though you are still in the womb, we pray for you, declare scripture over you, and can’t wait to see the mighty man of God that you are destined to be. You were not created by chance, but were skillfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14 “I will praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
A letter written to Kaiden after his birth:
You have touched my heart in a way that I never knew. Throughout the last 9 months I’ve counted down every day and moment waiting for your arrival. You took your time coming, which many have claimed to be an attribute from the Horner side, however I disagree. You clearly get your stubbornness from your mother. Ok, from both of us.
I remember the excitement of the final few hours before you came. Timing contractions, both duration and frequency, and putting all the family on standby. Throughout your mother’s pregnancy I didn’t miss one appointment, often arriving early because of the overwhelming excitement of getting to hear your heartbeat. I even recorded it on my phone, listening to it often throughout the day. And I certainly wasn’t going to miss a moment of the final stages.
A few weeks before your arrival the midwife asked if I would like to assist in the delivery. To me this seemed like a difficult task, seeing as I have fainted at the sight of blood a time or two. So I began to watch medical shows on TV and YouTube to help “prepare” myself for your delivery. I don’t know if it was the preparation or the excitement but I lasted and was even able to help pull you out.
At 1:56pm on Saturday May 30th 2015 I finally met you face to face. Once your head came out I was able to grab under your shoulders and place you on your mother’s chest. It was a feeling and experience I can’t explain in words. I had an intellectual understanding of you, believing that life begins at conception. Knowing that from that time on I was to be ministering to your mind, and soul. Mom took care of the whole “body” thing. To see your face and to hold you for the first time could not be helped but be met by emotions and cries of thanksgiving to the Lord.
I’ve covered your face in kisses, already changed your diapers more times than I ever thought, and have willingly given up the notion of sleep. But I love you more and more everyday. I know I’m not perfect, and I’m learning on the go. But I promise to love you, take care of you, provide for you, and to raise you up in the ways of the Lord.
There are many “things” that I can’t wait for you to do or achieve, but for right now, stay my little boy. Daddy loves you more than you’ll ever know. I love you, Kaiden.
Mitch Horner is a student ministries and worship pastor in Chatham Ontario. He is married to his lovely wife, Amanda. They just celebrated the birth of their first child, Kaiden, and have a cat named Leslie. Mitch isn’t a walk along the beach kind of guy, he prefers long walks in the bush to one of his hunting locations. An avid sportsmen and servant to Christ sums him up pretty well.