Today is Ella's 2nd birthday. Just like all of the girls' birthdays, we looked through her many pictures, her baby book and talked about the day she was born. We will probably watch the two home videos we have of her as well. One is of Nadia and Ivy meeting her for the first time and one that we took while she was home with us. It is still hard to believe that it has been two whole years since she was here with us.
Yesterday I was reflecting on her life with us while I gathered my things for Crouse. We are going to meet with them on Monday, exactly two years since we were there last. Bittersweet. I could not have planned it so perfectly. I am waiting anxiously for our meeting, going over things repeatedly in my head. Wondering if the mixing of the fall air and city streets are going to make it all seem surreal, or make me nauseous with heartache. Not wanting to forget anything, I have notes on notes. And most importantly I have some framed pictures of Ella that I will be bringing to set out on the table in front of us. Above all, I want them to be reintroduced to her, our daughter, who was a person, had a name, had sisters and family that loved and adored her. Her time with us may have been brief, but the big picture of Ella's life has barely started to unfold. It reminds me of the scripture For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future, Jeremiah 29:11. God has BIG plans for Ella's life, and because He is so GRAND, His plan and purpose will be fulfilled outside of her time on this earth. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, Romans 8:28. It is very important to see that all things "work together for good," not to be mistaken with only good things happen to those that love God. During Ella's life we were blessed with a miracle child that this world deemed "incompatible with life." We seen Satan himself face to face, dressed in a white coat, trying to convince us to "terminate and walk away." We watched Ella meet milestones they promised she never would. We fought for her, enjoyed her and loved her for 3 whole weeks. She completed our family and brought us much joy. Through Smiletrain we have been able to give many children a second chance at life. With the help of friends we have sewn hundreds of tiny diapers and fragile baby wraps and donated them, 50 sets of which we will be dropping off to Crouse while we are there. And last but not least, sharing her story and our experiences on Monday will only further her mission and purpose in life.
I never thought this was how her 2nd birthday would be spent, without cameras flashing, cake, or friends and family. However we will continue to celebrate the fact that she was a gift to us, and has made our lives abundantly richer. I cannot rewrite the textbooks, but I can share Ella's life with anyone who will listen, and she is proof that God is faithful and good ALL the time!
Happy Birthday Baby Ella!