But it just goes to show that what he shared with us was true. Our friend from church said, "We had been praying for L for so long that by the time we saw her picture for the first time, we were in love." Or something like that. Don't quote me or anything.
Another friend's daughter has been home for two years now, and she already knows what I am beginning to understand. "Some babies are born in their Mommy's tummies and some babies are born in their Mommy's hearts!!" she said. She really gets it.
It wasn't until I held God's answered prayer in my arms this past week that I started to see what they were talking about. How God can grow a love for someone through prayer that you have only just met. I held her as much as I could during the four days they spent with us. Often little things she did at a mere three months old would take me back to moments experienced with my own children. The sudden jerking movements of her appendages. Spontaneous smiles. Lint between little fingers. Memories that don't come to mind easily otherwise.
But the funny thing is snuggling this precious life didn't make me long for another infant of my own like it does for some. As I watched our dear friends bustle about the house getting baby gear together for a day's outing, it almost confirmed my desire not to return to those hectic days of diaper bags and strollers and front packs. Yes, JP, it gets easier.
Once again God used this angel baby to speak to my heart. Does she know what an instrument she has been in the building of my faith already?
I loved my talks on the couch, patio, car, and walking in the rain with my dear friend. "If God had told me five years ago that the journey would have taken this long, would it have helped?" she asked rhetorically. "I don't know." I'm not sure it would have. The waiting would have felt pointless. Yes, we would know the exact day and hour but I think we would all live differently (not relying on the Lord) if he showed us our individual big pictures in advance.
Yesterday morning (oh how it feels like longer), I took H out in the back yard while her parents were getting ready for the day and packing for their drive to the airport. The air was peaceful and the morning sun crisp. It was a precious time spent singing and talking to her as she sat nestled in my arms beginning to doze off to sleep. Praying for her life as I had been doing for years and knowing this little peanut was taking a bit of my heart with her back to California. Through prayer, God had given me a love for her that can't be explained.
We are in a new place in our family. A season that I hope to be able to write more about soon. One where you begin to wonder when the next rain is going to come and if the path we are on now will keep us wandering for longer than we would prefer.
But the waiting is not done in vain. It is not to make us suffer. And in fact, I praise him for withholding the big picture. I think I would be discouraged if he announced the exact day and hour and realized it is still years off. I might even go so far to say I welcome the wait. Not because of all the wonderful work he is doing in us in the meantime (which he is), but because I know he is writing the names of faceless little bundles that will one day call me Mama on my heart. So when I see them--when I hold them--the love will be so deep and overwhelming because we prayed. I can almost feel the heavenly pen pressed against beating flesh starting to write.
I can not begin to describe how joyful it was to see our friends as parents. They are still entrenched in middle-of-the-night feedings and burp cloths and drool marks. But it looks so beautiful on them.
Happy 1st Mother's Day JP! You are an amazing Mommy. I love you!