The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Carole Towriss Parenting 6 Comments

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.



She took this photo herself.

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.

Comments 6

  1. In a period filled with many tears the two days we cried the most were those two days one year apart. Bawled my eyes out on both days…one so full of questions and despair and another so clear with answers and uncontainable joy. Emma is a walking example of why we can say with such fervor that when it comes to this God we serve there is never a reason to have no hope… Love you Carole and so glad we went through this together…. jt

    1. Carol and John, Wow, still remember those days and walking them with you. Miss you guys and if you plan a trip to Chicago, let us know!

  2. Thank you for this touching blog post. It brought tears to my eyes. I remember meeting Emma when I was a young girl. She was such a delightful child to be around! I can’t believe how fast it’s been and how time has made us all grow up. Emma is beautiful. Congratulations on graduating high school Emma!

  3. Yes, How well I remember that Christmas morning when you brought her home from the hospital. Her uncle Zach and I had taken advantage of a Christmas day promotion by an airline. We flew from Indiana unbeknown to the family that we were coming to view this miracle child from heaven above. A freak snow storm (A rarity for Ga.) happened just as Zach and came walking up the walk to the full plate storm door. John thought he was seeing things as these two figures coming through the snow arrived at the door. Oh, what a day of joy laying my eyes on Baby Emma and holding that bundle of precious love and joy for the very first time. How thrilling that was, and now, I’ll relive every moment of happiness she has brought as I will be in attendance as she graduates from HS this coming week. Yes, Emma remains (And Always Will) Papa John’s
    ” Brown Eyed Georgia Peach!”

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