Birthday Girl

November 13, 2010

My Elizabeth,

Twenty-one years ago today you were born, and just like that, our hearts were broken. You weren’t due until March 4, and it was barely autumn. You came into the world 16 weeks early, with such a limited chance of survival that the doctors told us not to hold out any hope.

We were encouraged to baptize you in preparation for letting you go. We touched your forehead with water, traced your head with our hands, committed your face to memory. And gave you over to God.

And yet.

What we thought was the end turned out to be the beginning.

What was once the saddest day of our lives is now one of the most joyful. For God brought you through the fire of your first four months to a homecoming we never could have imagined. Through infancy, childhood, school days, and graduations to where you are today:  an independent adult who’s flown the nest.

You have grown into a lovely young woman, full of goodness and grace. We are abundantly grateful.

You’ve known for years that I kept a journal about your early birth. As we celebrate your birthday, I’ve placed the pages on this blog. You’ll experience your beginnings as we did. And even though you know the outcome, I hope these entries help you realize how blessed we have been and how deeply we love you.

Happy birthday, my love,


Read on, dear Elizabeth


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