Dave and I were walking up (I was basically skipping because I was so excited) the stairs to our good friends Jon and Lydia's apartment with the great anticipation of finally getting to meet baby girl, and I could hear Jon say, "Who is that?" in that sing-songy daddy to daughter way. I thought he was just saying that as he was passing baby girl in her crib or something. All of a sudden, the little tiny door that lets them see who's outside opens, and we caught our first glimpse of the sweetest little face ever peek through: It was Charlotte! I lost it--a weeping, blubbery (not blueberry) mess. Shoot, I'm losing it again now. I could barely get myself inside. For those of you who must think I'm insane to have lost my marbles like I did, here's why:
I remember the day that Lydia texted me with the news that she and Jon were pregnant. I had told her years before that I had to be one of the first people she told, or else she'd cause me some serious heartbreak (no pressure, right? :)). In any case, she kept her word. It was unquestionably the only exciting and welcomed 7AM text I had ever gotten. The only person I could tell was Dave, and it was such a hard secret to keep (but mind you--I did)! Auntie Liz was already thinking of what she could get for baby girl and called dibs on getting to teach her how to curl her her once she got old enough.
Fast forward two weeks after Dave and I got married, Lyd sent us a very different kind of text--one of those ones that brings everything to a standstill. Our hearts dropped when she let us know that doctors had discovered that baby girl had a very serious heart defect--one that would require open heart surgery very soon after delivery assuming baby girl would make it to full term. I still remember exactly where Dave and I were--in bed. We were crushed: I just wept while Dave started to pray. Aside from having the Lord as their strength and comfort and an undoubtedly amazing community surrounding them and lifting them up during this time, I could only imagine what they were going through. Throughout this time, I could sense the incredible strength and fervency in the prayers being offered up for Charlotte. Through all of the heartache, the prayer and the uncertainty, it seemed that day by day, more and more good news seemed to come to the surface. Baby girl was going to make it to term (praise Jesus!!), and she was healthy enough to have her surgery the day after her birthday. She is home now--nothing short of a miracle. (For more on the Little Miss' journey, go here)
Jon and Lydia, you two are amazing. Thank you for your transparency throughout your journey. Thank you for being real. You are living proof of His strength being perfected in weakness. We praise God for your testimony. We loved seeing what a great team you guys are with Charlotte. She is quite the blessed little babe.
Charlotte Grace Rosene, you are a miracle, and the Father's fingerprints are all over you and your mommy and daddy. From the time you were in the womb until now, your story has already affected so many people--advancing His Kingdom. You are such a reflection of his love, his healing, his power, and his strength. We have no doubt that you will be a powerful daughter of the King--bringing his power with you wherever you go. When you see your scar, we pray that you are reminded of His faithfulness and His breath of life in you. You are healed and whole, sweet girl. His blessing and favor are over you. I apologize in advance for being one of those people in your life that's always going to have a camera around when we get to spend time together. We love you.
Dave and I were so honored to get to take their first family pictures. We had about a solid 10 minutes before Charlie Bear went back to her baby duties of making sure her tear ducts work and strengthening her lungs and vocal chords, so this was quite the speedy shoot. Thanks again for letting us take these. We loved getting to spend time with you and see you as mom and dad--what a blessing.
Here are some shots that Dave got on my iPhone of the sweet little fam bam:
It's obvious why baby girl is so cute, right? Apple doesn't fall far from the good looking trees.