To our little girl.

The leaves are brilliant shades of gold, crimson and orange, blowing through the streets in flurries of color. I make cozy soups and light a pumpkin-scented candle. I fold your impossibly tiny clothes and say another prayer for you. Your dad flies somewhere high overhead as you practice your own maneuvers in my belly. There are just days left now until we get to meet you, and I find more and more ways to pass the time so my heart doesn’t burst from anticipation–and impatience.

The world is always chaotic and confusing, but this year has been a special kind of crazy. A global pandemic has struck and because of it, our little universe will just be the three of us for a while. We sadly won’t have your grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins to be here when you arrive. But there is more love for you, baby girl, than you could possibly imagine. You’re going to be flooded with it. How we’ve wished for you. How we’ve dreamt of you these long months. There is a warm, bright spot of goodness to this sad, strange year.

It’s you.

I can’t wait to look into your sweet face for the first time. To hold your tiny frame against my chest, to see how small you’ll look in your dad’s strong arms. To hear your first cry and cherish that sound forever.

Until that incredible day, there are some things I want to write down before the sleepless nights arrive and I don’t have the energy.

This morning, your dad came to my side of the bed at a terribly early hour to say goodbye before his flight. I opened my bleary eyes. In the near-darkness and amidst my groggy confusion, I could hardly make out his figure. I reached for him and found his face, cradling his chin in my hand, brushing my thumb across his cheek. My first instinct was to find him. To feel his warmth for a precious few seconds before he left for the day.

You should know that we love you beyond measure. But I also need you to know that we love each other in a way I am always trying and failing to describe. Don’t get me wrong–we have our disagreements. Our weak moments of selfishness and frustration. He can be stubborn, and Lord knows I can too–a trait you’ll likely inherit. (Sorry in advance for that one.) But at the end of the day, despite our faults and missteps, our love isn’t shaken.

If there’s one thing I want you to count on when the uncertainty of life rears its head, it’s love.

The astounding, limitless love your Creator has for you. The love your parents have for you. And the love your parents have for each other.

Last week we were shopping for a Christmas donation drive, trying our best to find the right gifts for an 8-year-old girl. Your dad and I stood in the toy aisle, contemplating our choices. I spotted the stuffed animal section and proposed an option but quickly got distracted by something on an end cap, disappearing around the corner. When your dad found me, he was holding three stuffed animals.

I smiled. “Which one do you want to get for her?”

“All of them,” he said simply.

They say you’ll fall in love with your spouse many times over. It’s not a singular event. As your dad stood in that store with a stuffed elephant, tiger, and ballerina mouse in his arms, I was a fool for him all over again.

He’s got the biggest heart you’ll ever know, and you are one lucky girl to be his daughter. I’m certainly one lucky girl to be his wife.

I pray that your dad and I love each other so well, so resolutely that it overflows into you. That love will be your first language, as innate as breathing. That our home–wherever that may be–will be filled with it and your little heart will grow stronger with it every day.

Baby girl, you are our answered prayer. You are the shared dream of two people who adore each other. You are our gift from Heaven.

And I’m counting the days until your dad and I can hold our greatest treasure.

[Photos: By His Light Photography]

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