The Story Of Your First Year

Before I met your dad, I sketched your name on notebook pages. I didn’t know what I’d name a girl, but I knew I’d name you Izaak. For “laughter,” that everything-is-alright feeling I treasure of my girlhood memories. For the sake of being different. I guess it is the English major in me who needs the Old English spelling of things. “Izaak” was a name of imagery, like the mountains of home.

Before you, there was another. A brief moment in time. An “oh gosh, are we really ready?” kind of moment. I lost that pregnancy as quickly as I’d had it. I recall the way it felt to lose something so close and yet so distant. I kept it secret. I felt guilty for not mourning any more than I did that afternoon. But I knew in the unshakable place of my being that there was more on the horizon. Hope got me out of bed and dreaming once more of what could be.

Then there was you. A flutter of hope, a positive test just one month later. I held on to the promise of you cautiously, all too aware I could lose everything in an instant.

You see, you are what they call a Rainbow Baby – a baby born after a loss – a reminder of God’s promises. But God’s promises do not exempt us from peril. Hope in what God has for us does not protect us utterly from fear. No, fear must be battled by faith and grace daily, and that’s what I did as you grew. Out of faith and by God’s grace I learned to trust Him as I awaited your arrival.

You came in the season of a heat wave on a day of uninhibited sunlight. In the early morning quiet of your birthday, I took in the most beautiful sunrise. You came at lunch time. “My lunchtime baby,” the doctor had said. You were easy. I used the same playlist I had needed the night your sister was born, and when “Ever Be” played, I knew you were on your way. “It’s Abigail’s song,” I told Zach. The first song your sister ever heard. The first you ever heard, too.

My season of “waiting expectantly” came to a close when you breathed your first breath. You are my new season of Christlike laughter, which is my way of characterizing the sound of joy, my way of saying your name.

Izaak Christiano. For carefree laughter. For the hope that one day you’ll follow Christ, too. A nod to your heritage on each side. A testimony to God’s faithfulness and the promises He keeps.

Happy Birthday, sweet baby. We love you.

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