This past week you turned seven. I can't believe it was seven years ago, that your tiny little baby body was born, and we first met you and fell in love with you. You have such a sweet heart, and a sweet spirit. Just a few minutes ago, you ran out to tell me that you were in your room singing to "the Lord Jesus Christ!"
You love to read, especially the Little House books. You love your cuddlies (stuffed animals), and you treat them just like your own little children. You LOVE to swim!! You enjoy riding your bike, and your scooter, and hiking. Recently, at our women's gathering at church, you started "helping" in the 3 year old class, and you LOVE being a helper. You always want to help, whether it's making dinner, making cards, making someone smile, or keeping an eye on Ezra. You love hearing stories about... well, anything, but especially about when you were little, or mommy or daddy or grandma were little. So, here is a story that I will remember on every birthday, and many other times as well.
It was May 5th, 2003. Your daddy and I were anxiously awaiting your arrival. We had just less than three weeks until your due date. We had set up your room with a crib, and a dresser, with beautiful purple and green bedding. We had a cradle set up right near my side of the bed, and a chair in our room so that I could nurse you at night. My tummy was so big, and most of the rest of me was pretty big too!! During my pregnancy, I had already had two dreams that you were a girl, and that your name was Emma, so after the ultrasound told us that you were a girl, we knew we would name you Emma Faith.
That day, we had a doctor's appointment to check on how things were going. The doctor had said that you were very, very low inside of me, and that I was dilated about 2 cm. He wanted an ultrasound, to check on the level of amniotic fluid, to make sure I wasn't leaking fluid, and to see that you were still okay inside mommy's tummy. So, off we went over to the office where they did our ultrasounds. I was so excited to see you!! As we were watching the computer screen, I noticed that the Ultrasound Technician seemed to be shaking my belly, and his face looked very concerned. He asked us if we lived in Ventura, and we said that we lived in Ojai. He said that he would like us to head back over to the doctor's office, but would not tell us anymore. I remember very clearly going into the restroom, for a moment to myself. I remember holding my tummy and the tears came so quickly, and my heart hurt very badly. I hadn't met you yet, but I already loved you with all my heart. I wanted so badly to hold you in my arms, and to know that you were okay. But things didn't seem well. I knew that you weren't moving very much inside of me by the way the Ultrasound Technician had been shaking my stomach, trying to get you to move. That was the first moment that I ever thought, "What if something has happened to my baby girl?"
And yet, that was a defining moment in my life. God's grace was abundant, and tangible. I felt Him say clearly to my heart, that you didn't belong to me. You were a treasured gift, entrusted to me, but you forever belong to the God who knit you together inside of me. And in that moment, I was scared, but I knew that my God is good. You belong to Him, my dear, sweet, baby girl.
We headed back to the doctor's office, where they told us that we needed to head to the hospital, because we were going to have a baby sooner than we planned. You actually came the next morning, at 10:04 am, on May 6th, 2003. And, you were tiny, and precious, and amazing.
And so, every day that I have to be your mom is a treasured gift. I am just a vessel, entrusted with your care. You belong to the God who created everything, who sustains everything, and treasures you more fully than even I can understand. I love you, dear Emma Faith Hester. Every day with you is a gift.