Archive for April, 2007

Mama: Wow, your new tooth is really sharp.
Ava: Yeah, it’s like a shark tooth
Mama: Oh no. Are you going to be a shark?
Ava: No, I’m just going to be Ava with one shark tooth.

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One of the sweetest things that I have ever seen is 15 little 3-year-olds twirling around in their tutus and slippers–and one of those darlings was my little babe. Sweet, sweet day!

We arrived quite a bit early for her special class (for more on that adventure, read early arrival), so I had quite a bit of time to snap some photos and take a short video. Enjoy!

P.S. Fun Name Fact: Of the 15 girls in Ava’s class 14 of them have names that were on my list of favorite girl’s names that I brought with me to the hospital when Ava was born. I thought it was my “special” list, but apparently every mom in Minneapolis was working from the same list! How does that happen??

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happy easter

We spent a very happy Easter with my family in Iowa. Ava’s highlight was hunting for the eggs that Nate and I filled nearly with raisins, craisins, and teddy grahams (seriously, who needs jelly beans). Her Papa hid them all around the house, since it was too cold outside. She also loved her bunny basket, which Meme filled with puzzles, games, books, hairclips, and other sugarless treats! My highlight was watching Nate and my brothers perform karaoke. “You’re Unbelievable!”

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april fool’s

April sent us a very cruel joke last week:

At least it had a happy ending:

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sweet sounds to my ear

Little girl at church: Mama, look that’s my friend. She’s my friend. Look, Mama, look, there’s my friend. Ava’s my friend. I like her. She’s nice and she’s my friend. Can she come over to my house for a play date? Ava! Ava, can you come over to my house for a play date?

(The mother was in a hurry, so I wasn’t able to meet her or her daughter. I do know that I like this little girl already!)

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Let Your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in You.
A few Thursdays ago…

Daddy: Ava, I have good news for you. Jesus heard your prayers and he has answered them.
Ava: Oh, yay!!! Oh, mama, there’s a baby in your belly. Oh, I love the baby. I’m so happy. I’m so happy there’s a baby in your belly. Can I kiss the baby? I wanna kiss the baby. I love the baby. I will take good care of the baby. Dear Jesus, please don’t let this baby die. Amen! Jesus will take care of the baby, Mama. I love the baby SO much!

The following Thursday…

Ava, I have to tell you something very sad. There is no baby in Mama’s belly.

I sit this evening as I have sat for the past week with my hand placed over my mouth. What seemed to be the balm to comfort our not-yet-forgotten sorrows and a beautiful answer to the earnest prayers of a child has seeped away.

This news brought more visits to the waiting room full of women round with promise. I took my place next to neatly stacked issues of Fit Pregnancy and stared hard at a flat stomach that feels more like a tomb than a home. I am hallowed out. The emptiness has begotten sorrow and in it I find that I am speechless.

My sorrow is less for my empty arms than it is for my daughter’s empty hand. “Sammy and Anna go together, don’t they, Mama,” she said to me this afternoon at her friends’ house. “And Michal too. They all go together, don’t they? And Ava. Ava doesn’t go with anybody.” Yesterday, she explained to me that Corrinne and Rachel were sisters, and wanted to know if she could be their sister too. A few weeks before that, after discussing the relationship between her friend Ruthie and her younger sister Lydia, Ava asked me if Lydia could go in my tummy and then become her little sister. How I long to give her what I am powerless to give. How can the Lord not want for her, what seems so good for her? The brokenness that pushes out from my chest does not come from seeing the curve of an expectant mother or feeling the soft fuzz of a newborn, but from the framed picture of the smiling brother embracing his sister, from the glimpse of a girl in a shopping cart lifting her sister’s braid to whisper a secret, from the sight of Ava ringing around the rosies–her hands outstretched and clasping the plastic hands of a dolly.

This past year I have daily heard the faithful prayers of my two-year-old beseeching Jesus to “put a new baby” in her mama’s belly. I have watched a sweet friend hover over an infant son, whose sad, little heart was cut open, pieced together with artificial walls, valves, and rhythmic mechanisms, left open for days, pumped full of medicines, and finally stitched up to salvage the “unique among the unique.” I have listened to a beloved cousin face the frightening implications of “genetic disorder.” I prayed along with hundreds others for a baby boy whose illness mystified medical professionals, and then watched in wonder as his parents surrendered him before the Lord. And I find myself quiet, very quiet. There are no good, satisfying answers here; there are not even questions. Be still and know that I am God. I stand awestruck and silent–the holiness of God is indeed fierce and terrifying.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope. That God is good. That He is true. That He is kind and loving, merciful and just. That He loves Ava and Nate and me. That, that is my hope. That is my only hope. Apart from that I have nothing. Yes, we have said goodbye to two babies in five months. And yes, there are far greater sufferings than these. Yet in these sufferings the Lord remains beautiful, mysteriously beautiful and wonderful, unfathomably wonderful.

So I hold my sadness in my hand, cover my mouth and behold His majesty: Blessed be Your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything. Blessed be Your glorious name.

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