Today you moved to your new home, and the void you’ve left behind is cavernous. The last few weeks we’ve been preparing to hand you gently off to your next family, and, if I'm being honest, I’ve let it distract me from this day. The day you’re gone and all the preparations are done and your crib is empty and you won’t wear those clothes anymore.
You filled a perfect little hole in our family, and we adored having you here. In the most secret places of my heart, I prayed you would stay in that place forever. But God decided to move you on, and we’re choosing to trust in the goodness and rightness of His plan. Now, instead of your little person filling that space in our home, it’s brimming over with memories and joy and the honor of being the first ones to care for you.
And what an honor it was.
There is some grief here, but I would do these last 5 months over again in a heartbeat. I am humbled to my knees that mine was the hand that soothed you for the first 5 months of your precious little life. I got to pack you up in the hospital, dressing you in your first outfit, and bring you into my home. I got to be the one to wake with you in the wee hours and feed you and rock you when you were only days old. I held you when you cried during your first rounds of shots. I sat in the ER with you when you couldn’t breathe. I know what toys you like and where you like to sit. I know your laugh and what your cries mean. My hand has stroked your head and subdued your tears. Mine is the voice you've turned to in expectation of affection. My mama heart will never stop loving you.
What an incredible, undeserved privilege.
But there is a new mama who has been waiting for you, and she is so excited. She can’t wait to wake with you in the wee hours (although I’m guessing she’s glad you don’t wake up much at night anymore). She can’t wait to know your laugh and what your cries mean. She can’t wait to stroke your head and subdue your tears. She can’t wait for her voice to be the one you turn to in expectation of affection. She will love you so well, Little Turtle. She has waited and prayed and prepared, and she will be such a good mama to you.
And there are little people who have anxiously awaited your arrival too.
Big brother is not much bigger than you, and he’ll probably be jealous for a while. He’ll steal your pacifier and demand attention from your new mama when she’s feeding you. He’ll want to share your new play mat, and he’ll probably try to crawl into your crib. But once he gets used to you, you will be such great friends. Hopefully the best of friends as you face whatever life throws at you. Together.
And big sister has been so anxious for this day. She is overjoyed that she finally gets to share a home with you after all these long months. I can already see her curious, big eyes peeking through the slats of your crib, watching in wonder as you breathe slow slumber. She will help take wonderful care of you. She'll speak sweetly to you and hold you close when you cry. She'll light up when you let go your raspy laughter. She will show you all her artwork and all her pretty dresses. She deserves to watch you grow up, and now she gets to. I'm so glad for you both.
This new home is where you should be, Turtle. As much as we loved you here, your place is there. It’s the best place for you. We will miss you so much. But don’t worry. We will be ok, because we know that you are exactly where you need to be. And any grief we might feel is brilliantly eclipsed by the joy we feel for you and your siblings and your new mama and daddy.
So, thank you, Turtle. Thank you for sharing our home. Thank you for invading and changing our hearts. Thank you for the opportunity to love and serve you. Thank you for growing our faith and trust in our mighty Father. You are already a world-changer, even at 5 months old.
You are forever imprinted on our hearts and we will love you for always. Be brave, little bear. This crazy, beautiful life is just beginning.