Ten years ago today, I was in a hospital room with my very scared but brave 17 year old sister sitting on the bed beside her right in her face having her blow on my finger so she wouldn't push. I was across from her 18 year old boyfriend, born a crack baby to his own teenage mother, and praying all the while for them all. About 30 minutes later, my neice was born with a full head of hair, chubby thighs and a personality too big for her little body. My sister had a child long before any of us thought she would, long before the ideal time in her life that's for sure and I don't recommend it but Chiara Amelia I believe saved her. (a post all it's own)Chiara Amelia has brought so much joy to all of our lives and I cannot imagine it any other way.
I won't ever forget when my baby sister came to me and told me she was pregnant not long after her 17th birthday. I had just had my own daughter and had a wonderful husband and I knew full well how hard it is. Here I was looking at this young kid with her punk boyfriend standing next to her thinking how in the world will they make it! But thankfully, the Holy Spirit took over and I although I don't remember the specifics of what I said, I remembering hugging them both and saying we would get through it and they had a lot to learn in the next 9 months and that Trevor and I would be there each step of the way. We spent the next 9 months teaching all kinds of things, even to Chiara's dad how to hold a newborn and change their diaper, how to treat a diaper rash or ideas on how to soothe a fussy baby with a tummy ache. We mainly just tried to emulate for them what it looked like to be a healthy family. I remember instantly thinking that this little baby wasn't choosing how she was going to enter the world and that she deserved for us to be excited to meet her and to love her as much as the much anticipated and first child born into our family that I held in my arms had enjoyed. The two of them couldn't be more different but have been inseperable ever since.
It was with that spirit that we welcomed Chiara into the world this day 10 years ago. She came fast, so fast that I will never forget the look on my sister's face when they said there would be no time for an epidural. It was the first birth, other than my own by c-section, that I had seen. It was a miracle. She was a miracle and she still is.
Chiara is one of those rare kids with a sense of humor that seems older than her years. She is knee slapping funny. She is talented and loves to dance and can 'whip her hair back and forth' with the best of them. She is loving and gentle and stubborn and intuitive. She is a sweet girl with a heart that wants to know more about Jesus. She is curious and creative and smart. She is beautiful. She is our Chi and I love her so very much.
I used to worry if she would become a statistic with the beginning she had. I used to worry what that would mean for her life and although she hasn't had it easy....I know who she is and believe 100% in this kid. She can be absolutely anything she wants to be. Her mom and her have grown together and her momma has done an unconventional but fabulous job. They both are blessings to me. Yes, she was born to a teenage mom and dad with struggles of their own but that is only a part of her story. She is also a child of God. A God of redemption and Grace. An heir to the throne of the most High. And it is that I pray she believes and cherishes to the core of her soul. I pray she feels just how special she is to us all. I pray she feels the love we all have for her from the tips of her curls to the bottoms of her pink feet. You are amazing, Chi. I love you, girl, and it has been so fun to watch you grow into this little person Jesus chose you to be. I am honored to be your Godmother and Uncle T and I (and the whole gang) are here for you always. Happiest of Birthdays to you sweet girl. May you feel the joy in your heart this year that you bring to others.