My oldest daughter graduates from high school next week. It’s hard to believe. I won’t repeat the old cliché that it feels like only yesterday we brought her home from the hospital, because it doesn’t. Not that they’ve been a hard eighteen ½ years—just that I’ve enjoyed living every one of them.
It took us eight years to get pregnant with her—eight horrible years. We tried literally everything science had to offer. She was state-of-the-art. We lost a baby right before her, on Christmas Eve day. I was beyond shattered. That was the only time we had ever been pregnant in seven years, and it lasted less than a month. And on Christmas Eve? Really, God? I remember washing dishes that night. I was not at the end of my rope; I had tied a knot and was desperately trying to hang on. I actually felt God hold me in His hands. That’s the only time I’ve ever felt anything like that. And He said, “It’s going to be all right.”
I decided to try once more, then I would be done. We’d try adopting, which at the time my husband wasn’t too thrilled about. We tried again that spring and it worked. Emma was due in January. I don’t think I breathed until I was six months along. I didn’t unwrap any of the clothes until three weeks before she was due, just in case I had to take them back. That turned out to be the night before I went into labor. God delivered her to us on Christmas Eve day, exactly one year after one of the most devastating days of our lives. John says he heard Him say, “Now do you trust me?”
We named her Emma Noelle, and took her home on Christmas Day. Everybody asks her if she feels shortchanged being born so close to Christmas. She always answers, “No.” If they knew the story, they’d know why.