THE GIRL WHO TURNED ONE & MY THOUGHTS ON THE NEW YEAR

Dear Diary,

On December 30th 2015 my water broke in our living room around 9:00AM. I called my parents and promptly stated..."water broke, water broke...911!" That was their cue to hit the road (thankfully they are only 20 minutes away) and take over Soren duties while Jon and I drove to the hospital. 

The delivery was quick, she was here and we were in love. She laid on my chest for the first hour of her life. Getting checked, cleaned up and learning the warmth of her mama. That first hour we met and held each other was magic. I was awe-struck and could FEEL my heart growing inside of my chest. Aria Fox Wallace was here. 

After the doctors cleaned her up Jon scooped her in his arms. He paced the room with tear filled eyes and took in every detail and moment of her. All of me wanted my sweet baby back in my arms but I stopped myself and watched as the daddy/daughter bond was created in front of my eyes. She, the fourth in our family of four became the bright spot and the sweetness and the joy our family was looking for. For a year that brought us great concerns, challenges and tremendous growth, she was our constant smile. Watching our Soren become a brother made my heart swell. And while he pays her little attention, the attention that most often is given is filled with softs pats and delicate play.

Every month we watched her grow. She is the dictionary term for a "sucker baby"...you know, those babies that trick you into thinking all babies are this cute and well behaved and sweet and then you believe it, get pregnant again and realize all babies ARE DIFFERENT. ;) Btw, I will note that one of my goals for 2017 is NOT to be pregnant so I've resisted our sucker baby for now!

Being able to celebrate her first birthday at the end of December was a dream. I blinked I was standing in a room with all of our closest friends and family singing Happy Birthday to our second baby, already. The smell of her newborn head as we cuddled in the hospital was so clear in my mind and to be here now is honestly scary but SO incredible. 

I often think about her owl-like eyes, tiny lashes that curl out and give her the sweetest femininity. Her tiny and perfect lips, her soft fair skin, precious grasping hands...those toothy smiles! I can't get over them. I loved being able to celebrate her. Although Soren has his developmental struggles, we want both Soren and Aria to feel acceptance and unconditional love from us. We never want Aria to feel like she has to compete for our attention. Although we are desperately learning daily what it means to be parents, with complete confidence I know my children will know what it is to be loved. Jon and I love them undyingly...and so do the many many family members and adopted family members (our beloved friends and community). 

Let me tell you a little something about Aria's personality...she LOVED her party. I went all "winter one-derland" on every room on our main floor. I can now cut a pretty freaking fantastic snowflake. ;) She was in every moment. She loved having her favorite people there. She loved opening her gifts. She LOVED her cake. She loved being sung too. She the loved the attention. I can tell her heart for her people is filled. My little extrovert. 

And here we are finally in 2017. On a personal level 2016 was challenging on so many many levels BUT and I do want to highlight that it was still so good. The turmoils, the unknowns, the dark places...all of it grew us. It challenged us, it challenged our faith, our family, ourselves and it felt frightening and good to be stretched. I would not change anything that happened. I am thankful for it. I am thankful for the opportunity to see health flourish in my beloved ones. I am thankful we are all here, alive! I am thankful for a God that gives an ocean deep of hope. I have to rest in that daily, and that brings me joy.

2017 for me is intentionality and joy. 

I hope to share more of our story and more of my ideas and goals for 2017 soon. Until next time. xox