We've known for ten years that you were waiting for us.
We thought we were welcoming you two and a half years ago, on a rainy day in February. Imagine our surprise when your sister greeted us instead!
Perhaps out of chivalry you agreed to let her go first.
In the time since then, we have eagerly waited and prayed for you to come to us. Maybe you couldn't wait any longer either - you were nearly three weeks early!
In the hospital that night, as the sun set outside our west-facing window, we wondered excitedly when we would see your beautiful face. What would you look like? Would you be healthy?
The hours passed slowly and painfully, each more humbling than the last. We waited and prayed and endured.
Finally, the moment of your birth approached. You entered this world with a healthy cry one minute past midnight. We like to say you chose your own birthdate.
There is something deeply sacred about that hour when the veil is parted, just for a moment, and one of God's children bravely begins his earthly journey.
In that hour, a mother's love is pure and complete as she places her life on the altar for another's sake.
There is sanctification in her pain, and perfection in her sacrifice.
In that hour, there is peace to conquer anxiety, hope to replace despair, innocence to make up for agony, and glory to overshadow affliction.
In that hour, a mother walks with God.
I believe that angels keep watch at the threshold where a precious child of God crosses into mortality. I like to think that someone held you close and kissed you goodbye just before I held you for the first time and kissed your tiny wet head.
A bridge of love from one existence to the next.
You were never alone.
I hope you can remember heaven, little one, if only for a while.
"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!"
-- William Wordsworth