All in a name

Dear Liberty,

This is part two of your birth week story, the part that I wish I’d written for each of your siblings but I haven’t so I figure I can just start now.  It’s such a big responsibility, bestowing a name on a child.  We’ve given so much thought to each one and truly felt like we knew what each of our children were meant to be called once we saw their faces.  We had several baby girl names we loved but as we stared at you late into the night the evening you were born and woke up to your sweet face, there was one name that we knew was meant for you.

Liberty Grace

You have a rich heritage of brave ones who deeply valued freedom.  Both of your grandfathers served in the United States Marine Corps.  Your uncle served for many years in the United States Army.  Your Nana has stood for the right to life in many ways over the past couple of decades.  Your great-grandfather founded an organization that stands for freedom from compulsory unionism.  Many of your relatives served in various wars and defended the freedom we now enjoy.  Generations ago, your ancestors fled their European homeland to America in search of the freedom to worship God as their hearts desired.  The country you were born into was founded on many things but especially three unalienable rights:  Life, Liberty and Happiness.  In your lifetime, you will likely watch while some of those freedoms are taken away.

But there is a freedom that no one can take away.  Our hope for you is that you would know the freedom God gives, freedom from the bondage of sin and the legalism of law.  Liberty made possible through grace.  Galatians 5:1 says “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free”.  And in the same way, we pray that you would live a life marked by grace.  There are countless ways we’ve watched grace poured out over our life, we’ll share it all with you in the years to come.  The beautiful thing about grace is, the more you receive it the more you are able to give it if you choose.

I’ve spent hours just looking at you, willing my eyes open for one more minute because I know you will grow so fast and these days are but a blink.  I’ve ignored dirty floors and dirty dishes, slacked on providing fruit and veggies with every lunch, let your siblings watch more TV than normal and held you in my arms all night, every night just because I can.  Your sister Rylee has probably said “oh I just love her so much” at least a hundred times in the past week and a half and I can’t be annoyed at the repetition I can only smile and agree, for the umpteenth time.

Our life is better because you are here.

Love forever,

Mama

first morning wake up

there’s nothing like waking up to a warm, snugly little babe next to you

day 1 - getting to know her!
audrey holding sis

This is exactly how old Rylee was when Audrey was born 5 years ago – so fun to have another girl!

rylee and sis

her smile says it all!

kyler holding liberty

Kyler loves to hold you – takes you every chance he can get

caleb holding liberty

It took some time, but Caleb loved holding you

kyler holding liberty's hand

oh how I love this one…Kyler’s dirty-fingernail-boy-hand holding his 2 hours old sisters’ sweet pink hand!

1 week old

Welcoming Liberty Grace!

Dearest little girl,
To tell you how we’ve waited for you these nine months and to say that your arrival has been highly anticipated in our family is such a grand understatement.  Your sisters, knowing without doubt you were a girl (despite us not finding out) have thought of you and talked of you every day for so many months. With two miscarriages last year, we were even more aware, more grateful of your presence in our life as “the one we’d get to meet”.  Your next oldest brother Finn has asked for weeks if you were “done growing” and the rest of your siblings have spent many evenings poking at your tiny feet and other parts protruding from my growing belly.

We went to church last Sunday and headed home for a sunny afternoon at home.  I’d planned to make a grocery and gas trip just to be well stocked since your due date was now one week away.  As soon as I walked in the front door from church my water broke.  Grocery shopping was shelved, the Seahawks game was on the TV and Daddy quickly passed out lunch food to all your siblings lined up on the couch.  I remember glancing down the hall as I picked up in the kitchen and he was bursting with energy.  It looked like he was bouncing off the floor as he tossed food on their plates, watched the game excitedly and let the reality soak in that we were about to meet you.  As soon as the game ended he told the kids they needed to help pick up, they asked why and he told them because the midwife was coming.  They shrieked and got to work and asked a million questions.

The midwife and her team got here mid afternoon.  I had already been on a slow walk down the street with your brothers and sisters, soaking in the last moments before labor got harder.  We’d done a frenzied clean up of the house and were ready for whatever the day held.  I labored downstairs in the midst of the noise and energy that is our life every day.  Rylee and Audrey rarely left my side and the brothers played outside with Papa.  Once it got too hard to sit quietly and breath deep with your Daddy letting me squeeze his hand till it hurt, we went upstairs to my room.  Not much more than an hour later and you were here!  My eyes stayed squeezed shut until the moment you were on my belly.  When they opened, there you were and you were so beautiful.  You were quiet but so alert and so lovely.  I reached to support your little bum and realized right away you were a girl.  I asked them to make sure, and Daddy said yes and I looked up at your sisters who were right next to my head the whole time and I will never forget the look on their faces.  A sister.  The sister they’d waited for, prayed for, wanted so much to meet…was finally here.

You are born into a lot of love.  Love and noise and sometimes chaos but always love.  In the time it took me to write this “part 1” of your story you were held and snuggled for quite a while by your brother Kyler, your sister Audrey, your mama and your dad.  You aren’t an afterthought to our family despite being our number six.  You are a perfectly created gift, given to us by the God who gives all life.  We have waited for you and we are overjoyed that you are here.

All my love,

Mama

Here is the progression of your arrival in pictures:

taking a stroll
mama and girls
baby girl!
thrilled sisters!
meeting big brother Finn
Daddy weighing baby
all the girls!!!
Audrey big sis!
this is the one my sister took without me noticing that is one of my favorite pictures ever...
this is the one my sister took without me noticing that has to be one of my favorite pictures ever…
Rylee big sis!
the candid, un-posed one...
the candid, un-posed one…
and the posed, first family photo of everyone!
and the posed, first family photo of everyone!