Saturday, June 4, 2011

An open letter to my daughter...

My sweet Carys,

Daddy and I are only a few short weeks (at the most) from meeting you now - we could not be more excited! We have so many questions about you - will you have Daddy's big, blue eyes, my almond shaped, green ones, or will you have eyes that are all your own? Will you have corn-silk colored hair like he did when he was a baby and will it curl in the back like mine did? Are you going to be laid-back or will you be feisty and strong willed? Will you be outgoing and social or shy and reserved?

It seems like only yesterday we were finding out that we would be welcoming you into the world - my little miracle. We weren't sure we would ever be able to be parents and we are infinitely grateful that we were proven wrong. When I was 20, doctors told me that as a result of some physical problems I was dealing with it would be 'unlikely' that I would be able to conceive. This didn't bother me as much then as it did when I met your father, got married and our thoughts turned to starting a family. Hopeful excitement turned to disappointment, which eventually turned to bitter longing. We prayed, pleaded and cried together as we waited for you. After a painful year of medical intervention and futile grasping at hope, we decided to stop trying for a while, to recover and try to heal. I didn't understand at the time why God seemed to be denying the desires of our hearts, the only thing I knew was that my empty arms ached to be filled. I watched people around me starting their own families and withdrew from them- it wasn't their fault that they were able to have what I so desperately wanted but it didn't make a difference to the pain I carried with me.

I needed something to pour my energy into that would distract me from the gaping emptiness in my heart - something that would help me to move on. Your daddy and I talked for a while about me joining the Navy and some of the things that it would offer us - to be truthful, although I was genuinely interested in the opportunities it offered, I was running. I felt like I needed to get away, to immerse myself totally in a world where I was not constantly confronted by what I perceived to be my personal failure. I was prepared to throw myself as wholeheartedly into my work as I did into the training I needed to be ready to join. Over the next several months I immersed myself in cardio (losing almost 40 pounds), took the college courses I needed to qualify, and convinced myself that perhaps I was just not meant to be a mother, that maybe I was meant to dedicate my life to the service of my country. I was two weeks away from the date I was supposed to be sent for my medical examinations in order to be able to enlist...

and then there was you.

There were not any glaring signs that you were present, just a lot of little things- I was tired, moody and my eating habits changed a little, but since I wasn't watching for your arrival I took these symptoms individually and determined that it was just that I was getting burnt out. I was working 2 full time jobs and still taking college courses so there was good reason for being tired! One night on a whim I took a pregnancy test, fully expecting it to be negative. I even joked with your dad about there being no chance of it being positive, yet a few minutes later I was standing in the bathroom staring in shocked awe at a digital display that said 'pregnant'.

I don't remember the walk downstairs to where he was fiddling with a video game console, just standing in the living room trembling from head to toe and blurting out, "Jeremy..." to which he replied absently, "What?"

And then I dropped the bomb. "I'm pregnant."

He immediately dropped what he was doing, slack jawed in amazement as I had been a few moments earlier and asked incredulously, "What did you just say?!" I managed to stammer "I think I'm pregnant! Come see." I'd left the test sitting on the bathroom counter and as we climbed the stairs together to look at it doubts whirled through my mind. Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Was there some malfunction in the test itself that would've given a false positive?

When we reached the bathroom we found ourselves staring at the truth in bold, black letters - 'pregnant'. I looked up into his eyes and watched them fill with joyful tears even as I felt my own begin to well up. From that moment, our entire lives changed. Just like David proclaims in Psalm 30:11, my mourning was turned into dancing!

Despite all the worry I've had about you, the last 9 months have been the most wonderful of my life and I know it will only get better. I would go through every month we spent waiting a hundred times over if it meant that you were the end result. I didn't understand at the time why God wasn't blessing us with a baby when we trying, but all of those other months, if we had been successful it wouldn't have been you. He knew you before He formed you and His actions (or inaction, as it seemed at the time) were deliberate because you are the daughter He wanted us to have. Although I couldn't see His intentions, He knew that one day He would give us the desire of our hearts.

I am so thankful for you, my love, and I can't imagine what it would've been like if it wasn't you. We are incredibly in love with you already, and we can't wait to start our lives together. I can't promise you that we'll always know exactly what to do, but I can promise we will always try to do the right thing. I can't promise I'll be a perfect mother, but I promise I'll be the best one I know how to be. I can't promise I'll have all the answers, but I promise that I'll raise you to know the One that does. I can't tell what the future holds for us, but I can say with absolute certainty- I loved you from the moment I knew you and I will never stop loving you.

I have been anxiously waiting for you to come for the last 9 months and now that I am on the cusp of meeting you I find myself hoping that things slow down. I know some day when you are grown I'll look back on this time and your babyhood and think about how quickly it passed - I want to treasure each moment with you. Take your time growing up, sweet girl. I know you won't be old enough to understand this for a long time yet - there's no rush getting there.

I love you more than you could possibly imagine.

-- Mom

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