Bare With Me
It has been such a long, quiet day around our little yellow house. Sweet Ashley Kate has been asleep since eleven last night. Her WBC was .4 this morning and she has no energy to stay awake. On days like this I find myself missing her. I continually check her as she sleeps. Looking for the rise and fall of her chest is a habit I developed early on in Ash's life. She seems so tiny to me today. Just frail and weak. I have picked her up to cuddle her a couple of times and realized how little she still is.
While Ash has slept I have been going through and organizing things. I stumbled upon a tote I brought home from Omaha and as I peeked inside of it I was captivated by all that I found. I must have spent 2 hours if not more reading all of the cards and letters that we have received from all of you over the last couple of years. My heart smiled and my eyes poured buckets of tears as I became overwhelmed by the love, prayers, and support that has been given to this tiny baby girl whom I am allowed to love. In the middle of the pile of cards and letters I found this photo and letter that I wanted to share with my Ashley inside of her journal. So this is why I ask you to please bare with me as I spend some time sharing words that I had written to a tiny 2lb12oz bundle of baby girl just days after we had met. I remember taping it to the outside of her incubator so that when she opened her eyes she might see her mommy's arms wrapped around her and so that she would know we how much she was loved.
To my sweet girl,
Little one, you are SO loved by your Mommy and Daddy. We have prayed for this day to come for several , several years. Now that we have met, you should know that you have stolen our hearts. Sweet little Ashley, you are a gift given and created by our Heavenly Father. There are so many things I want to share with you, and I know that we will have many, many long talks in the days to come. For now all you need to know is YOU ARE LOVED. You are loved with a love so unconditional that I struggle for words to explain it to you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE PERFECT. YOU ARE SO WANTED. My heart has ached on the days that we have not been here with you, but now that we are here it bursts with pride and admiration as I hold you. Ashley, you ARE strong, and you have something wonderful to continue fighting for. You have a mommy, a daddy, a big brother, and a big sister who love you. We are here with you and we are right along side of you fighting for you. We are praying for you every day. I KNOW God has big plans for you my sweet girl. Please keep fighting and come home to us very, very soon little girl. Your mommy loves you.
This letter would stay next to her as she slept for the next 6 months. The day I took it down was the day that she came home to us for the very first time. Silly me, I thought that period of time was the struggle and the journey God had laid out for us. I really thought He was finished molding us into the parents He wanted for Ashley and that now we would take her home and raise her. Unlike the Father, I could not see the bigger picture and the larger plan He had in store for her and for us. As I read the beautiful stories and words and encouragements that have been shared with us over the last 22 months I can honestly say that I am thankful He did have more in store. None of it has been easy, but it has been beautiful and it continues to bring glory to Him and beauty to our lives. He is a much bigger God than I could see the day that I wrote these words to my baby girl.
I know I say thank you over and over again to those of you who are still with us, but tonight bare with me and allow me to say it again. THANK YOU for praying. She is here today because He hears your prayers for her and the time you have spent loving her has forever changed our lives. You have blessed us more than you will ever know. Trish