It’s officially three minutes into our daughter’s due date and I’m flooded with emotions and thoughts that I want to capture before I fall asleep.  I actually just snuck out of bed to come write this post.  The last few weeks have been a blur of surreal excitement as we’ve made the final preparations for our girl.  There have been so many precious moments that I want to remember and jot down before I forget them all, but tonight I felt the need to share this while my sentiments are fresh.  I actually don’t know what to say or where to even begin.  I just know that my heart is full of overwhelming joy.

Just down the hall, my two oldest nieces are snuggled up sleeping in my guest room.  Ave, my ginger-haired and freckle faced teenager is wearing my t-shirt, and my AK with the cutest button nose and rosy cheeks asked to sleep in my warmest pair of socks.  I watched them a little closer today as they giggled and joked with each other.  It’s a lot harder these days, but I can still imagine them as young babies.  How did they get this big this fast?  I often wish that time would stand still or slow down just enough for me to remember every single detail of their smile.  Seriously, they capture my heart.

After I tucked them in tonight, I said a silent prayer hoping they know how much I will always love them.  I’m beginning to understand that the line drawn between being the fun Auntie that spoils them, and the responsible adult that wants what is best for them is delicate.  I’m thankful for so many years with them to “practice” being a parent.  I know everything will be different with my own, but they have taught me so much.  One thing that I hope I can teach them, and eventually our daughter one day, is that it’s okay if you aren’t always happy.  As much as we want to protect the sweet innocent ones in our life, they learn that all things aren’t fair.  We get hurt, there are difficult days, and things don’t always turn out the way that we want.  In fact, there will simply be times when we will be sad.  But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have joy.

There is a beautiful and glorious difference between happiness and joy.

Joy shines through the darkness.  Joy is fought for, gives hope, and fuels faith.

Tonight, I am filled with joy at the anticipation of Anderson Marie’s arrival.  I want her to know as soon as she can understand how thrilled we are for her to join our family.  I also want her to know that she has two amazing families that are forever joined through the miracle of adoption.  Charles, Ande’s birth grandfather has told me since the first time that we met that he gets his joy from seeing our joy.  He won’t let us forget that our excitement and gladness brings him comfort.  The Lord is taking an unfortunate situation and creating good.  He is turning our sadness into joy.

My heart may burst from all the joy that I can’t contain.  In these last few moments as we wait for the birth of our daughter, I’m going to soak up the time that I have left loving on my big girls.  They are helping the time pass quicker, and definitely keeping me busy!

Come quickly though, Ande, we are all ready to meet you!

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5