Did you happen to read this post by Kelle at enjoying the small things? So many of the things she writes about strike a chord with me. This post - about celebrating with friends as they welcome new life - has me smiling through tears. (Again! That happens a lot when I read her blog!)
My family is expectantly awaiting some new additions. My brother and his wife are due to have a daughter in June. It's a joyful time. We just can't wait to cover that little girl in kisses! But there is pain too. We are still grieving the loss of their first daughter, Maggie, last May and a miscarriage in July. My sister and her husband are expecting too. They are completing the process of becoming foster parents, with the intention of adopting the children who come into their home. More cause for excitement and happiness, but it is bittersweet too. I believe that God has a plan to bring just the right children into their family, but we know that these little ones will likely come from a past filled with pain and brokenness.
There will be heartache along with happiness.
There will be many more tears along the way for my brother and his wife, for my sister and her husband, and for all of us, as we support them on their journeys. Kelle's post reminded me of how important it is to be there. To be the village that helps raise a child and support the parents. Her post reminded me, above all, to celebrate. Because, although it is never easy, every little one is so very precious. She writes:
"Having a baby is a life-changing, soul-stretching, glorious occassion, and if there's one opportunity to deepen a friendship, it's rallying to celebrate the miracle of birth, the triumph of adoption, the undeniable fact that having your heart stretched with love for a new child is a very, very big deal.
Someday, several years from now, my friends and I will gather for coffee, and we'll talk about our kids' college applications. How much car insurance costs for teenagers. How we love our daughter's boyfriend (Oh God, I hope). But we'll remember that the depth of our cherished friendships began when we showed up long ago. When we held out our arms to hold eachothers' babies for the very first time. When we made mothering an infant seem a little less isolating because we stopped by, we brought meals, we rocked and kissed those newborns and we celebrated.
Because it takes a village."
Stephen, Joy, Vanessa, Grant - we love you and we already love your children, too.