Tomorrow my baby girl leaves for Italy. For four months.
She’s a junior in college, but she lives only forty minutes away and comes home three or four times a week, so she hasn’t really “gone” to college. This will be the first time she’ll be away for so long.
It took us a long time to get pregnant—eight horrible years. We tried literally everything science had to offer. She was state-of-the-art. We lost a baby right before her, on Christmas Eve day. I was beyond shattered. That was the only time we had ever been pregnant in seven years, and it lasted less than a month.
I decided to try once more, then I would be done. We’d try adopting, which at the time my husband wasn’t too thrilled about. We tried again that spring and it worked. Emma was due in January. I don’t think I breathed until I was six months along. I didn’t unwrap any of the clothes until three weeks before she was due, just in case I had to take them back. That turned out to be the night before I went into labor. God delivered her to us on Christmas Eve day, exactly one year after one of the most devastating days of our lives. John says he heard God say, “Now do you trust me?”
We named her Emma Noelle, and took her home on Christmas Day. Everybody asks her if she feels shortchanged being born so close to Christmas. She always answers, “No.” If they knew the story, they’d know why.
Emma is changing from my daughter into one of my best friends. I love spending time with her. I will always be her mother, of course. She still calls to ask my advice on everything from friendships to cooking. But more and more often, she’s got a solution in mind, and she’s just wants to see if it’s the right one instead of having absolutely no idea what to do.
Letting go is hard, but it’s what we’re meant to do as parents. It’s our job to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord, and then send them out into the world to tell others about Him. Even though they take a part of our heart with them.
Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation. (Joel 1:3 HCSB)