Betsy Claire decided to be born on a Friday. The day before my sister Bridget told me she felt different, that she thought the baby would come early. Bridget was just shy of 36 weeks pregnant, so she thought early meant in a couple of weeks. I got a text in the middle of the night: her water had broken. I awoke that morning after a fitful sleep at 5 a.m. and saw the text. I called Bridget, prayed with her and spent the day waiting to hear Betsy had arrived.
Our family prayed and hoped that all would be well, that her tiny lungs would be ready, that she wouldn’t need any time in the NICU. Babies who decide to come early sometimes need a bit of help.
Not Betsy. She arrived ready to go. Bridget’s labor was relatively easy. Betsy was all-together lovely, a pretty little baby with a gorgeous disposition. Everyone who meets her falls in love the minute the see her fluffy red hair and huge blue eyes. She’s calm and laid back and much loved by her mom and dad and brother and by all the aunties and uncles she inherited by birthright.
Our family needed a baby, I think. Jakey, my youngest brother just turned twelve, and all us Blinn kids grew up with a deep rooted affection for babies. It’s not that we all long for a baker’s dozen of kids like our mom had. It’s just that we see all the grace and beauty and hope of what could be when we stare at a newborn face. Few things bring greater wonder than cradling brand new life. Our hearts collectively cry “yes,” an affirmation that we see evidence of good in a world proclaimed to be just that from the beginning.
This is something I love about my family, our open arms towards the littlest of humanity. We tend to be rough around the edges and opinionated, but every last one of us softens around a baby.
I get to hold babies and photograph them day in and day out when I go to work, and I marvel at every last one of them, breathing prayers of thanks to a God who knew that new life beckons tenderness and gentleness, awe and warmth. I get to witness miracles in the expansion of love that engulfs a family when they add a little one.
The miracle named Betsy Claire who joined our family brought a brand new tiny miracle into our family, and I think about her and find myself celebrating life. It is good to see her. Life is a gift, and here she is, amazing and alive. Here she is, ours.