Dearest Olly Bolly,

I wish I could hold you all day. What a sweet and tender baby you are. You have the best tiny nose and an awesome sad face. We don’t see your sad face much because you are a content and laid back boy. You sleep from 7p to 7a and eat every 3 hours during the day. While awake, you are showered with drive by kisses from your older brothers and mommy through out the day. I love the squishy part of your cheeks, right at the corners of your mouth. Daddy swaddles you tight after your last feeding of the night and cuddles a bit before bedtime. Then I see you again at 7a for your first feeding and early morning kisses. It’s the best way to start the day.

You are a miracle to us. Your daddy and I (and our small army of prayer warriors) prayed earnestly for your life in utero with great angst. At 18 weeks in the belly we discovered 2 things. First that you were an Oliver! What joy to envision our family of boys! And then three days later our world shattered. I know you heard it from inside of me. The pain was soul-deep. Cysts were discovered in your brain; potential markers for a disease, that if you had, would kill you. From February 23rd through June 8th we waited. Waited for an ultrasound at 34 weeks that would reveal if the cysts had dissolved and been merely a phenomenon along your path of growth in utero, or if you had trisomy 18. I cried and vomited through out the morning of June 8th. In that hot, tiny ultrasound room, the Lord provided a gentle and kind ultrasound tech. One who, though she wasn’t supposed to, revealed that she could not find the cysts we were praying to be gone. Hours later the radiologist called our midwife directly to comfirm a healthy and strong pregnancy. Our hearts, once flooded with pain, could begin to envision you as a newborn, in our arms. I had longed for months to let my mind go there.

The day you were born was the best day of our lives. To hold you, screaming and kicking, alive. I can’t think about that moment without praising God again. I learned how to pray because of you. Uncovered were the vast array of false resting spots I took refuge during times of fear. God showed up and I am changed because of it. Yes, you have changed us more than you know little man.

The day after you were born we found out our house had sold and we’d be moving in 2.5 weeks. I was determined to not miss a second of your fleeting newborn days. When daddy was at the rental house painting for long nights, it was just you and me buddy. Every time you cried out in the night, I got up with joy. To hear your cry and be able to comfort you was a reminder of God’s sweet blessing of your life. You started sleeping through the night at about 4 weeks old and I still miss those early morning hours with you. Cherished memories with you Oliver.

We had a crazy, whirlwind move from your first house (the one you were born in) to your second house, the rental. You and I packed up the house in an evening and a bunch of big guys came over the next day–accended like a swarm of bees–and had our entire house moved in a matter of hours. It was a sight to be seen. While your brother’s spent that weekend in Vero Beach with Bebe, you were often in the sling with me or sleeping in Brooks and Reese’s crib down the street to avoid all the dust. We missed your brother’s the first night in the new place–it didn’t quite feel like home. But daddy woke up early the next morning to go pick them up and they were eager to see you again and shower their wet kisses all over your head. You are well adored by both Tee and Catcher.

Determined to not live among boxes and to create a home quickly for our boys, we pulled the house together in a week. Your sweet cradle has a spot in our room right next to the wonderful oversized nursery chair from Aunt Becky. While selling our house, we had to put a lot in storage, including the nursery chair. Your big brother Tee was coaxed to sleep many nights in that chair and it’s so fun to have it back for you. So you have a nursery corner. Once Catcher is ready to move into a big boy bed, you’ll take over your spot in the big boys room. We are anticipating a lot of late nights telling all 3 of you boys to hush and go to sleep in there. Can’t wait for you to join the brother-bonding time.

At 2 months old you enchant us with your smile! Anytime you flash those gums, the whole family stops to make silly faces with silly voices amazed that you are responding to us. We’re not sure how much you weigh right now, but you’ve moved out of your newborn cloth dipes and into size small Fuzzi Bunz. Your size and build remind us a lot of Tee and you’re already in size 3-6 months clothes–since you and Tee have summer birthdays, many of the outfits you’re in today remind me of your big brother when he would wear them. Your face is uniquely yours with a great mix of Tee and Catcher. We’re not sure about your eye color yet–for now they are deep navy. And beautiful.

You do something to my heart little boy. I missed much of the joy of you kicking inside of me. I would describe the better part of your pregnancy as agony. But now you are in our arms. I see in your eyes the many hours of prayer, camping out by the cross. I am deeply thankful for you life, your huge addition to our family and for the hope you embody. So when I close my eyes and smell your fuzzy head, I praise God for that tangible smell, that flutter in my heart that has turned from fear of having to say goodbye to you into awe of God’s good gift.

Thank you for showing us Christ, Oliver. You’re 2 months old and your life has permanently marked our souls already.

I love you,