A Valentine From Heaven

Her due date was February 19th. But in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2002 my water broke. Darrin and I woke Jodi, our Cru staff friend who was staying with us at the time, and let her know the time had come. We gathered our stuff and tiptoed (okay, I full-on waddled) out into the cold and darkness full of excitement. We would be welcoming our Valentine from heaven today!

I had talked about our “someday Julia” ever since we were pregnant with our first. We had a housewarming party when we moved into our current home. Michael, our second son, was still crawling. Our guests celebrated with us by dividing up and praying through each room in the house. Our friend, Julie, wrote in our guest book, “I hope you don’t mind. I prayed in the room at the end of the hall upstairs that it would be your someday Julia’s room.” All of our friends and family knew even before the ultrasound confirmed she was a girl, our “someday Julia” was on her way when we learned I was pregnant.

At the hospital everything ran smoothly. We watched the winter Olympics on TV while we waited for the contractions to build. Yeah for the epidural! Darrin was attentive, helpful, and the strong, steady man I had come to lean on through thick and thin. At one point he looked over at me and said, “I’m glad she’s on her way. I just feel sorry for her someday husband.” Valentine’s and a birthday on the same day. I’m confident that my someday son-in-law will be able to handle it just fine.

Actually it seems absolutely perfect to me that her birthday would fall on Valentines Day. Of course every balloon, flower and pink and red heart is set out to declare “Happy birthday, Julia! You are LOVED!” And loved describes her well.

I still remember the first time we visited the church we now attend. I was explaining to her how she would be going to a new Sunday School class, but she would probably recognize some of the kids from her brother’s basketball games. At the age of three, she confidently hopped out of her car seat after I unclicked the buckle, jumped out onto the asphalt and said, “They’re just gonna love me.”

Today is Julia’s 10th birthday. A decade just flew by. I love everything about Julia. Having her in our lives has been an absolute delight.

The picture here was taken this past weekend when we were visiting my parents. We took a gondola ride and a handsome Italian man serenaded her and sang “Happy Birthday” in Italian.