I wrote a letter to Jude & Sloane once a month during their first year. I look back at those letters and want to hug the tired mom who tried to capture every single detail. I remember thinking if I got it all down I would never forget anything. I now realize a novel would barely scratch the surface, but I do love the snippets I have of each.
The anticipation for Holland's arrival continues to grow. I'm so anxious to meet her. But, if I'm being honest, I'm also terrified. I've had almost 4.5 years of Jude & Sloane. 4.5 years to learn their passions, their struggles, their fears, and their strengths. In six weeks my doctor is going to put this sweet baby girl in my arms and I'm not going to have a clue who she is. She might have Sloane's nose or Jude's hair, but now that I understand the incredible bond between a mother and child, I'm scared of starting all over and knowing absolutely nothing about my newest daughter. I guess that's what makes it exciting as well.
So Holland, this is my very first letter to you. Because while I don't know you yet, I want to fill you in on two of the most incredible people I've ever met... your big brother and sister.
Precious girl, it has been a crazy eight months with you in my belly. From the very beginning you have been a fighter and made your presence known. I felt pretty rough the entire first trimester but knew the result of my sickness was a flourishing baby. When your dad and I found out you were a little girl, I was in total shock. I just knew you were a boy. Now I can't imagine anything else but you, Holland Claire.
I want to tell you about your siblings. I want you to understand how important they are to our family and how excited they are to meet you. You aren't even here yet and they argue over who gets to sit closest to you. They both place their hands on my stomach to feel you kick. They talk to you and sing to you and ask me what you're up to in there. Do you have toys? What are you wearing? Are you asleep or awake?
I want to tell you about Jude. He is almost indescribable because he is so many different things all at once. He is so strong. I'm slightly terrified at how strong he is because I know you are going to be so tiny. And yet, he is so gentle. He is the first child in the room to look up when a baby cries. I have no doubt he will be your protector and want to make sure you are always ok.
He is animated. When he tells stories he uses his whole body and you better watch out because he will use you as a prop if it makes sense with the plot. He has to touch everything - he has always been curious about the effect to every cause. This often gets him into trouble, but it's also what makes him unique. It's impossible for people to talk about Jude without a smile on their face. He is extraordinary.
I have more great news for you. He adores his sister. He would do absolutely anything for her and I know that will be the case for you as well. My biggest fear is he would sacrifice everything to make sure his sisters are happy.
My prayer is you two will find some similarities that Jude & Sloane don't share. That you will realize what a privilege it is to have an older brother who cares so much about you, sweet girl.
I want to tell you about Sloane. She is a firecracker and one of the funniest people I know. She has started making up her own songs and every single one of them is about you. At least once a day she tells me she's going to be the best big sister and then she hugs you and whispers it again.
Your big sister is kind. She notices and remembers things that many look past. She is at times empathetic and other times reserved... and you never know which way she's going until she's arrived.
She has told absolutely everyone about you. Holland, she is so proud of you already. She can't wait to teach you how to do all the things she has learned in her four years. And when you watch her I hope you see magic, because that is what I see when I look at her.
My prayer is you two will have a bond similar to what Sloane and I have now. That when times get tough and you don't feel comfortable sharing your feelings with your mom, you will always share them with your sister.
I want to tell you one more thing. Holland Claire, you are about to join a family that's far from perfect but filled with so much love. With all the unknowns, please know this: The four of us are your biggest fans. We cannot wait for you to join us and learn all of the intricacies of our family. Be prepared for a lot of laughs and hugs because that's what we do best.
Your dad and I were blessed with two very special gifts four years ago and for some reason God decided to bless us once more. We are humbled, we are grateful, we are ecstatic. And baby girl, we cannot wait to meet you.