Thursday, April 4, 2013

grace: unmerited favor (for her sixth birthday)

Every April 4th, as evening approaches, the memories consume me. They wash over my heart and flood my soul.

Six years ago, we were both statistics. But she was a miracle.

(first birthday)

She is my mini-me. My curly-headed, fair-skinned sweet girl. I watch her run and play, and I remember my young body feeling the way hers looks. When she draws pictures of houses, grass, sun and sky, they look exactly like mine did at her age. From the flowers sprouting from the grass to the smoke curling out of the chimney.

I know I've written this post before, but I just can't help it. I'm not one to focus much on what might have been, but this is one time I do.

I look at her freckled pixie face this night every year, and I am overwhelmed.

It was April 4, 2007. My due date. Contractions started. But I wasn't sure they were the real thing. Laying down sounded more appetizing than eating dinner. And with a painful contraction and a pinch, there was a pop and my water had broken, confirming this WAS indeed the real thing.

We didn't know if this precious babe growing in my belly would give Miss Rose a sister or a brother. It was all a big surprise. Night turned into day, and with the morning came complications and urgency. A distressed babe born in minutes, through a ruptured uterus that was no longer protecting her from the surrounding environment and fluids as it should have been. (details: part 1, part 2, part 3)

Many long seconds later, a lusty cry told me she lived. A surprise daughter, a surprise miracle.

Later, they told me what had occurred. A uterine rupture is potentially fatal to mother and child, but I firmly believe God's hand was on us, his plans for both of us were for life.

Gratitude overwhelms me. I could have lost my baby.

Her middle name is GRACE: elegance, beauty of form. In Scripture, grace is the unmerited favor of God shown towards man.

She is God's unmerited favor shown to me.

And so tomorrow, I will rejoice that I celebrate six years of mothering Maleah Grace. I will rejoice in God's plans for her life. I will rejoice in the miracle of her birth.

(Ireland, July 2007)

I will hug her and hold her, just a little extra.

Happy Birthday to my Gracie-girl. I thank God that he chose me to be your mother and I cannot wait to see all that he has in store for you in this life.

(first birthdaysecond birthdaythird birthday)