Baby Bea

Every time I look at her i can't help but call her angel. There is light about her and something about being in her presence that immediately increases your joy. and brings calm. She smiles with her whole face and if you let her, she'll grab your face and slobber all over your cheek or chin or whatever she can get a hold of. and you hardly care because you just wanna squeeze her. I'm speaking, of course, about my newest niece, Beatrice. 

I regret I have not updated more often about her because in a short six months she has faced more trials than most kids i know will in their lifetime. overcoming odds of strength, connection, and even a couple of holes in her heart. and really if you are around her or her mom, you hardly know what they have overcome because you mostly sense felicity. i don't want to undermine the concern for the lifetime of unknown that i think it still before them. my only goal is to mark to my memory and others the courage and resiliency of those two.

Since the day Bea was born I have only seen Amy's eyes full of delight when she looks at her. Where she may have wondered if her heart would stutter when meeting her, i think she is now convinced that her daughter was so perfectly knit and made for her. not because Amy is immune to every desire that the rest of the world is that you hope your kid is athletic, pretty, smart, and perfectly healthy (and so on and so forth to the less shallow list as well), but the thing is, God seems to balloon Amy's heart for her daughter so that she may do what we all hope to do as mother's to love, protect, and train our kids.

Truly, to me, Bea is remarkable. All 10 lbs of her came out of open heart surgery and battled for new life. She got an extra valve and patched up holes that seem to complete her.  She looks stronger, she eats more and her eyes are so eager to soak up the world around her. I can't decide if it is more rewarding to be the one holding her or across from her so you can stare into her face and catch the biggest grins you ever saw.

I love seeing Hannah and Sadie with her. Their love is so pure and untainted by any wordly ideas. Hannah feels so big when she holds her and loves to help feed her or change her diaper. And Sadie, while you may think she is lost in her own world of discovery always seems to be aware of her new sister and says her name in the sweetest tone.

I have a great deal left to learn and assume i will be learning from Amy and Beatrice well into the future. Sometimes I am scared to make mistakes and ask the wrong questions or assume the wrong thoughts (even in this post... sorry amy), but I get the feel from Amy and Aaron that they just want company in this journey of raising Beatrice. I get the feel that they would rather bad questions than no questions and that they too will be constantly learning. in fact it seems more questions are ahead than behind and it strikes me how much we take for granted when our kids are born. here we celebrate every tiny victory and we hope, sometimes against all odds, that she will surprise us with joy. with calm.

i was with Amy one morning when another woman who had children with special needs said to Amy, "when i look across the table at you holding Bea, i feel excited for your journey because of all the good ways she will bless your life." i swipe my tear to the side and replace it with my own grin. Why do we always think different is bad? i know for sure that in this case, while it may be full of trials it is most certainly good. I am so thankful for how well the little angel is doing and growing.