Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Helen!

People inevitably want to know which baby is my favorite, and I usually respond with, "Oh, I love them all in their own ways!" And while that's the truth, we all still have ones that are special to us. Each and every auntie has a baby she calls "my baby", and I'm no different. The difference happens to be that "my baby" usually is a scrawny, sickly, dying one that I think we might lose, but that God heals, but by that point they're already stuck to me like glue. See my problem?!

I'm drawn to the weaklings, the frail, the ones that need a little extra loving to make it. It's also kind of my role here, to fight for the kids that need intervention medically or otherwise, so oftentimes I'm thrown into the fire with the sick and dying, and miraculously, some of those make it.

When I moved back here, the very first baby my heart was drawn to, excepting the ones I already knew, was Helen. In fact, when Kathi was introducing me to all the new babies that had come since I'd left, I took one look at Helen and told her, "Welp, that one's my baby I guess." She was all the things I listed above. Scrawny, sickly. 4 months old, 6 pounds, and just struggling to live.

We struggled together, and so many times I thought she was dying (all the while I was mentally kicking myself for my habit of growing attached to the ones I know may not make it). But little by little, day by day, a little baby girl emerged from that bag of skin and bones. She transformed before our eyes, until one day we were like, "Whoa! Look at Helen now! It's like she's not even sick!"

Today she turned one, a day we never  thought she'd see at certain points in her life. So we celebrated her life, like we do all of the lives God has given us for this season. She ate a brownie (loved it, by the way), she wore a special outfit, and she was cuddled a little extra by all those that love her so much.

The 11th born child, I wonder what her day would have been like today had her mother lived and any of her siblings could have kept her. I wonder if they remember that today's the day she was born. I mourn for them that they don't yet have any idea just how special she is.

So while I'll still hold to my claim that I love them all in their own ways, I sure do love this little one in a special way. And I'm beyond thrilled that she's still here with us today.
I know I said she wore a special outfit, but by this point it was late in the day, the outfit was dirty, she's cutting her second tooth and drooling like a fool, and she looks a little like a ragamuffin. But still.

Her aunties actually fighting over who got to hold her in the picture.
Georgina won.


  1. Happy Birthday Helen!!!!

  2. Georgina won. Of course she did.

  3. Wow what an incredible transformation!!!!