Today is Valentine’s Day. For the first time in four years, I am not seeing anyone, but I still have a Valentine: you! In just 15 short weeks, I am going to meet you. The love I have for you already is so intense that I cannot imagine what it will be like when I hold you in my arms and look into your eyes. A year ago today, I had no idea you were coming. You were never an accident, but a wonderful unexpected surprise. You came from love and I will never let you forget that! A year ago, I was broken and hurting over the loss of your grandfather. Valentine’s Day was sad and I had a hard time enjoying it. I cannot believe what an amazing difference a year makes. Although I never planned on you and I never expected you, I am so grateful that God has blessed me with the most amazing gift of love.
Today, I woke up and looked down at my belly. It is officially lying beside me now. There you are, all protected by my organs and flesh as you grow a little more each day. My heart, once small and longing for you (before I even knew it), is enlarged and pumping 50% more blood than it did before you came along. However, my heart rate and blood pressure are actually lower now. Because of you, I no longer have to take heart medication. I can only assume that this is because my life changed when I learned about you and I am a calmer, happier person now. My life, though full and wonderful before you came along, is even more miraculous now and with a new purpose. It reminds me of the first time I got glasses. I put them on and the world was a clearer more beautiful place. With you, it has once again become new to me.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided what I will name you. Your name is important and I want you to know why I chose it. If the doctor was wrong and you turn out to be a boy, I will have to write you a new letter. For now, however, he says he is 80% sure you are a girl, so I am going with that. Your first name is Isabella. This means “promised to God.” Your existence is nothing less than a miracle and my promise to God is that I will thank Him by raising you in a way that honors Him. I was raised in the same way and am grateful for the lessons my parents taught me about how to treat others and live a life of love and service. Our lives are short and there is no time for judgment, hatred, greed, and disrespect. I will teach you to forgive, to love, to help others, and to be happy with the simple things in life.
Your middle name is Grace. Grace is something that God gives us that we not only don’t deserve, but that is above and beyond. Someone once told me that Grace would be if you are speeding down the highway and the cop pulls you over and not only doesn’t give you a ticket, but gives you the money that ticket would have cost. I have made so many mistakes in my life. Last year, I screwed up royally to a point where I thought I may be beyond forgiveness. I didn’t care about anyone but myself and I didn’t care about consequences. I lost myself. I hurt a lot of people and I hurt myself. Instead of punishment, I got you. A child is the best thing that could happen to a person and I will never deserve you, but here you are! When you experience Grace for the first time, I hope you tell me. It is so overwhelming and wonderful that it can only come from something greater than us. You are the embodiment of Grace and I will get to feel this way for the rest of my life. I hope that every time you write your name, you will remember that.
I love you, Isabella Grace. I will always love you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 14, 2013