Welcome little one. Our precious daughter, our first child, our gift from God that we didn't even know to ask for and now receive with wild thanks. Daddy and I have fallen headlong into the stupor of the sleepless, but oh, what a grace-satiated daze. We drink deep, and our cup overflows still.
Anna Hope, you were born late on a Wednesday night. At 4 am that morning, we began to think that this contracting was the real deal, and 20 hours later, you squeezed into the world just before the calendar turned to September 5. It was hard to get you here, but the claims I've heard from other mothers are now my own too: all the pain was worth the first sight of your sweet face.
I look at your tiny round face with your dimpled lip and elf ears, and I want to give you the world in all its beauty and wonder. I want to lay down in front of every barreling truck of pain and take each hit for you. I want you to believe with all your heart that who God made you is exactly right, to be confident and free in His creation of you and His calling for you. I want the heart of your namesake to be yours too -- Anna who waited with patience in the temple and wrapped her life around a single hope of the Messiah to come.
You've split my heart wide open, dear daughter, and I would never go back to the days of a one-piece heart again.
I love you. I love you. I love you.