Yesterday, my brother and sister-in-law gave me the incredible birthday present of a niece born on my actual birthday! It was an indescribable gift, and I loved every second of this birthday. This little baby girl, Jenson Kaye, is the reason I didn't fly out the very day school got out and get straight to my babies. Instead, I wanted to wait and meet Jenson before I left. I'm so glad we made this decision because waiting meant time with my family this summer that I would have missed out on otherwise, so all in all it was such a good thing.
In the 36 hours she's been alive, I have taken over 500 pictures of her. Now that may seem a bit excessive, but I was deemed the photographer for the big event, so it's a little excusable... But regardless, just about every 4 minutes of her life, on average, she's had her picture taken. Obviously, we couldn't miss all the key moments in her life thus far, like meeting her parents, her doctors, her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, her cousins, her parents' best friends, the nurses taking care of her, her first weigh-in, her first "bath", her in her first outfit, her in her second outfit, the change in bows, her sleeping, her yawning, and I could go on and on! Trust me, I've been appropriately made fun of for how much I'm documenting this blessed event.
I know part of the obsessive documentation is this desire to soak up every second of her and the rest of my family before I leave and don't see them again for 18 months. I want to remember that I was there and seeing them and touching them and holding them and living with them. They won't be there, but I'll have the visible proof that they're still mine, I still have them, even when I'm far away.
The other part is that it's just so miraculous for a baby to enter the world. I truly wonder how anyone who has had a child can NOT believe in God. Everything about a tiny baby is something to marvel at-- the perfection of noses and fingers and toes and hearts and eyes all perfectly formed within this child, only to arrive at just the time she's ready. It's simply amazing.
And it's even more amazing that these tiny, innocent creations of God are loved by Him even more than by us! He hasn't made even one by accident. And so that means that every single one of our 82 babies at the Havens is a life He intimately knows and cares about. They are treasures.
Rocking our new Jenson to sleep tonight, I couldn't help but think about how I'm leaving her soon to go back to our 82 babies, and I couldn't help but compare their lives. Our treasures won't have many pictures taken of them, and their lives will surely look different than my sweet nieces' and nephews' lives have. Watching the preparation and care that my brother and sister have put into her life already makes me mourn for the families that have to leave their little one. I know the mothers of our babies loved their babies, too, and prepared for them, too, and treasured them, too. God is sending me to help do what those mothers couldn't do. Their death means their treasure is in our hands, but each of those still deserves what their mother would have wanted for them. They need to be treasured, marveled at, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over. And it's a privilege to be one of the ones stepping into that role.
It's this God-given desire to be a mother to the motherless that can allow me to walk away from the greatest mother and father in the world, the greatest family ever put together, the sweetest nieces and nephews ever. By walking away from here, I get to walk right back into the other home God had created for me, the work He's called me to complete. I get to rock and love and ooh and ahh over all their milestones, all their firsts, all the cute things they say and do. God sees so much value in his children, and we do, too. They are far from accidents, and we believe that each life is here for a great purpose. God has blessed us with so many treaures!