It is almost incomprehensible to me that there was a time when you weren't in our lives. I've tried to go back in my mind to the pre-Lily days, but it doesn't seem possible that you weren't always here, filling up the spaces in our hearts and charming us daily with your almond eyed smiles.
I've said it here before, but each day is like Christmas waking up next to you.
Of course life had its share of awe-filled mornings before you came, and certainly there was a true measure of happiness in each one. Nine babies before you each brought a new dimension of joy to our lives with their own arrivals, a unique layer of love added to an already overflowing cup.
And yet it seems that all my life I've been waiting for you.
When I first started writing my letters to you here, I was 5 months pregnant. I'd always kept pregnancy journals for all of my babies, but yours was the first one I kept online. The rest of my journals are recorded in cloth or leather-bound diaries, each one stored away to be read again some day. But none of those books needed titles... they were just compilations of letters written to each of your siblings, much like the letters I've written to you here.
For six out of nine of those other pregnancies, Daddy and I didn't know what the gender of our babies would be. But after finding out who your brothers and sisters were during my last 3 pregnancies, we decided we wanted to be surprised again.
It didn't take long to come up with a name for your blog...I'd lost a baby before you were conceived, and those early months were spent waiting to hear your tiny heartbeat...and then waiting for the next ultrasound...and the next...
..and thus Waiting for You was born.
Somewhere around the 6th month of my pregnancy I had to be hospitalized for kidney stones, and an ultrasound was ordered. At that point I was in so much pain that I asked Daddy if we could find out who you were...I desperately needed a silver lining in the midst of those storm clouds.
Dearest Lily, I'll never forget that magical moment when the doctor pronounced those beautiful words, "You have a little girl !"
And so your journal underwent another name change...and Waiting for Lily was our new state of mind as well.
I've written about it before, but all my life I felt I would have a child like you. I was so convinced during my last two pregnancies before you that I was going to be the mommy of a baby with Down syndrome, that I googled pictures of ultrasounds to compare to your brothers' pictures.
Even as a young girl, when your grammi was teaching children with special needs, I felt strongly that some day I would be teaching children like you as well.
So was it intuition?
I don't think so. I think God had a special plan for you and me, and all along He planted seeds in my heart and signs in my path to point the way to you.
And although it took me a little while to adjust to life as we know it now, I really do have an overwhelming feeling of having arrived.
In the hours after your birth, when your diagnosis was confirmed, I knew it was time to change the name of your journal. We were no longer waiting; our Lily had arrived safe and sound and exactly as God planned her to be.
A Perfect Lily came into our lives, beautiful and flawless, a gift beyond anything we could ask or think....
There was another time in my life when something was missing, dear Lily. Long before I had you, or any of your brothers and sisters, there was a void, a sense of lack that permeated everything I did and every corner of my being.
And just like life before you came, there was a certain measure of happiness. I'd be lying if I said I never knew joy before you, just as in my pre-God days I still had moments where I could truthfully say, "my cup runneth over."
But in the midst of it all, there was a sense of waiting, a longing for something more.
The wonderful thing about God is, He never leaves us alone in our searching, He is always faithful to point us to the true source of lasting joy. And when I met Him on that beautiful day 26 years ago, and asked Jesus to be my Savior and fill that void...the waiting was over.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
He took the lonely places of my heart, the longing of the soul for wholeness, and filled them in with purpose and meaning.
"I took a day to search for God, And found Him not; but as I trod, By rocky ledge, through woods untamed, Just where one scarlet lily flamed, I saw His footprint in the sod”
~William Bliss Carman
Loving you all the way to God,