Late-night birthday cake.
Twelve years ago, October 3rd, I awoke to the sight of a tiny human laying peacefully in a bassinet next to my hospital bed.
That tiny human was the fulfillment of 5 years of hoping and praying and wondering...and waiting.
Finally, after an extra 10 days (because she decided to take a pass on her due date), and another day (because the first induction failed to motivate her arrival), and then another day, and then two and a half very looooong hours...she arrived. 10:28 p.m., October 2, 2008.
I remember very little of October 2nd. Which is why, of course, our firstborn has a younger sister.
But the morning of October 3rd, I have never forgotten. Through the lens of five years of hope [and fear and loss] and anticipation, I watched in absolute awe as she slept beside me.
At that moment; in that bassinet, lay THE most important person in the entire world to me.
I remember the moment with all the vividness of a photograph; even though I don't have a photograph - because no one else was in the room.
As I watched her, soaking her in, my heart flooded with thankfulness. I thought of so many friends and family who had shared our journey - waiting and hoping and praying alongside us; so eagerly awaiting the arrival of this child. I couldn't wait to tell them she was finally here.
Suddenly, what seemed like an audible voice...but wasn’t. Just the thought: “Every child deserves to come into the world with this much anticipation.”
The idea took my breath away. Images of babies born into poverty-stricken situations; born to terrified mothers for whom providing their baby with simple nourishment would feel like an impossible burden. Fear and hopelessness instead of rejoicing and awe.
I confess it took me some time to process: while the swaddled baby lying next to me was THE most important person in the world to me...she was no more important than any other baby.
Fast forward a few years and one more birth-day later, my husband and I started hearing accounts of children being sold into slavery for lack of resource and opportunity.
Turns out that idea of “those kids” being just-as-important-as-my-own had taken root somewhere deep. Mama-bear-like anger rose up on its hind legs inside my spirit and said, “No way! Not on my watch.”
And that is why, long after my family is asleep, and the birthday cake has been put away (minus one extra slice), and I’ve taken a moment to scroll through the photos of that birth-day, I find myself curled up with a laptop, clicking away, compelled to process this experience into words.
I write because my daughter’s birth and the long wait marked by crushing disappointments, lead to a moment that has changed the course of my life, my family’s life, and I hope, the lives of thousands of more families through this crazy endeavour we call Author.
I write, late into the night, for the kids who weren't welcomed into the world with excitement and celebration
I write because Author most likely wouldn’t exist if this moment hadn’t happened.
I write for anyone who may need to hear a twelve-years-later perspective on how the most painful, confusing chapter of your story may turn out to be the most significant.
What about your story? Are there chapters of your story that have redefined the idea of "perfect timing"?
How did becoming a parent change the way you see the world?
Lee-Ann dos Santos co-founded AUTHOR with her husband and with the help and encouragement of their 2 daughters; newly 9 and 12 at the time of writing. They work and learn and play together on beautiful Vancouver Island.
For the love of childhood...Author transforms children's clothing purchases into poverty-fighting weapons.
What a beautiful story of hope restored! It’s been such an honour to come alongside the past several westcoast years & witness God’s hand & favour in your lives! Happy Birthday to your sweet A, I wish I could’ve known your girls as babies!
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