I named you before you were even conceived: Isabelle, God's promise, a derivative of Elizabeth, my mother's name and my middle name. And Ruth, friend, the middle name of my longtime faithful friend, Karen.
Even when month after month passed, leading to years, and my pessimism threatened to rule the day, a small part of my heart remained open, hoping, and soft, waiting for you, sure that you were still to come.
Friends and family knew too. They encouraged me with their hope, their visions and dreams, and not once did they tell me it was time to move on. When I told your Babi that you were on your way, she simply said, "I knew it. I was expecting the call any day now."
Thank you for coming. Thank you for completing us. There was a restless spirit in all of us that has been calmed by your arrival. Kaiya's not afraid of things anymore. She knows that she now has a lifetime companion, a sister. Your dad keeps bragging about his two beautiful daughters. And I've just been sinking. Sinking in to babyhood, so thankful for this second chance to do it all over again.
But thank you, also, for not coming for as long as you did. Because in the space of time between Kaiya's arrival and your conception, this mama did some serious growing up. The kind of growing up that can only happen in the vacuum of longing, questioning, despairing, and hoping I was in.
About a year ago, Karen had her second baby. Karen and I know each other's journeys well. In my congratulations to her, I wrote: "This sweet, sweet song has been in my head ever since I heard of the arrival of your baby boy. And I want to share it here. I have been storing this song in my heart for some time now, but we are not sure anymore whether that second time will come. So I want to pass it on to you, my friend. The first verse makes a beautiful lullaby, don't you think?"
(take a listen)
You are one of my favourite things
You are like a fairytale world that's come to real life
You can see through me like some sort of transparent material
How could it be
That in such a short time you've become one of my favourite things?
It turns out I wrote and sent that email on January 28th, 2012. Exactly one year before your arrival, Isabelle. Life never ceases to surprise me. Your timing couldn't have been better.