Thursday, July 26, 2012

371 days

My beloved Kate Elisabeth,

Often so serious...taking in all the world around you by studying it carefully
It was just 371 days ago (almost forgot February 29th) that we joyously welcomed you to this world.  We had celebrated you and longed to meet you for the 9 months before that and for the years before that we waited and hoped in anticipation for another daughter.  I cried when you were born and was filled with brimming over thankfulness for such an amazing gift.  It's a girl.  Such sweet words filled the operating room that morning at 8:14a.m. Your dad and I rejoiced.  You will know your story well, and that is why I document it.  There is so much to remember, so much I'm not willing to forget, so much happiness, so much hurt.  It all must be remembered to see the beauty in its entirety.  And you, my precious girl, are entirely beautiful.  All this beauty despite a diagnosis that forever changed our family on August 17; despite little bits of bad news along the way...your life is beautiful.

A dolly from Mary Allison

Your watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberry, strawberry cake.  You loved it!

My mind swirls with the events of the past year and five days.  Where to begin to process everything?  I guess I can't compartmentalize it all neatly in my mind so that it all makes sense so I continue to walk in trust knowing that the plans planned for you long ago are good.  They are. 

You are walking (at almost 11 months), you are saying "Dadda" (your favorite word!), "Mommm", "Hi", "Bye", "Uh-oh", "Done", "Woah."  You are so loving and snuggly yet fiercely independent.  You like your space.  You will tell people when you want it.  You give loves by leaning your head on our legs, arms or whatever part is closest to you and say "Ohhhh..." in such a loving, sweet tone.  It's definitely an "Ohhhh" of love.  You have traveled to Portland five times and to Hawaii one time.  We'll pick the Hawaii destination any day, right?  You are incredibly adored by your four older brothers and sister.  How fortunate are you to have the love of so many within your own family? 

My heart is full of emotion for you, Kate, and I wonder and worry about your future.  I also bask in the goodness that God has shown us in the last year.  He has protected you on so many occasions when you should have been sick.  He has given you a family that will always fight for you and love you, protect you, and advocate for the best care for you. 

This journey ahead of you wasn't chosen but allowed, and I know that as we have learned so much in the last year we will continue to trust the Lord and what he has ahead for you. 

Enjoying a cantaloupe heart :)

My admonition to you, Kate:
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  James 1:12

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence ... I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:12, 16-19
What I know I must do for you and your brothers and sister:

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,  and I will declare your greatness.  Psalm 145:4-6

Kate, I never want to miss the opportunity to glorify our God through whatever life brings us.  Our life has been full, fun, and amazing, and you are part of our story and of a much larger story.  I said from the beginning...His faithfulness will be your story.  And it is.

Finishing your Birthday with a little "Peek-a-boo" with brother