I love you!
I'm so grateful I had the privilege of caring for you the last seven months. You came almost when I did, you know. You arrived four days after me - so I've known you almost as long as I've been in South Africa.
I've watched you grow up from a little baby to a great big girl who is scooting all over the living room.
I've stayed up with you many nights when you were grumpy or crabby or just didn't feel like sleeping.
You were (fairly) patient with me while I learned how to wear babies African style.
Many nights when I fed you, you lay sleeping in my arms while I prayed for all the babies who didn't come to our baby home, who went somewhere worse.
We loved to dress you and your "sister" in matching jammies.
You love to play with your elephant that I made you.
You are naughty and like to snatch toys, sit on your siblings, and pull on the curtains.
You LOVE going upside down and if we start the game, you keep pulling back so we will do it again and again.
You make goofy faces and silly donkey noises.
You are loud! When you were little, your cry sounded kind of like a squeegee!
Recently, you were the only one with hair long enough to braid...
and somehow I managed to get you to let me do it...
You love your Mama Jeanne.
(Your Mama Megan loves you too!)
Two weeks ago, we got wonderful news! We hung a picture on the wall of a beautiful couple. I took you into the room and pointed to the picture. "Mama. Daddy." You reached out and patted their faces.
Two nights ago was your very last night in a baby home. We dressed you in warm jammies and I took you in your cozy, dark room to give you your bottle. I snuggled you in the dark, thinking about how your life was going to change in the next 24 hours. You had no idea.
They will be there when you learn to walk. They will hear your first words. They will get up with you in the middle of the night when you're fussy. (Ha ha!) They'll be there on your first day of kindergarten, your last day of matric, every milestone. You'll have a Daddy to walk you down the aisle. They will always be there for you and they already love you. I hope and pray they will teach you about how Jesus loves you, too.
I love you, baby girl!