Happy Birthday Ella! You have been in heaven celebrating for four years. Grace and Graham were asking about you the other day and wondering if God gives birthday parties in heaven. I bet every day is a party right? :)
This has been a good year for us. We added Gage to our family! He is so sweet and having three boys is going to keep us on our toes. I kind of like that Grace is my only girl here. That makes it extra special that you are her sister in heaven. And Gage has my straight hair which makes your curls all the more special too!
A few weeks ago, I gave away all of the baby girl clothes I had been keeping to a dear friend who had her first girl. I am sad you didn't fill those clothes Ella, but I am so thankful to be able to share them with someone and I know her sweet girl will look so cute in them just as you would have. It also felt good to be able to let them go. Kind of freeing. I don't need those clothes to remember Grace or even you. And if we can bless someone even have as much as we have been blessed then I will do it.
We have always spent your birthday as a family, quietly celebrating you. I have so enjoyed that little tradition we started. But this year we had an extra special opportunity. We are going to spend your birthday week serving as a family at Royal Family Kids Camp. The kids that will be there have not had the greatest family situations and they get to come and spend a week being treated like royalty and learning that they ARE royalty in God's kingdom. And we will get to have a birthday party! Our friends and family have helped us give these kids a fantastic birthday party in memory of YOU! Don't be mistaken Ella. I wish that we could be planning your party this week. But that isn't how it happened and so we will make the best of this situation and we will honor you by helping 24 little boys and girls have the greatest day ever. I think that is pretty awesome.
Sometimes we talk about the pain and sadness of those first few weeks after we found out about your diagnosis and then after we had you. It was so crushing. It feels almost like it happened to someone else in a way. I remember it so clearly yet here I am today. Laughing and smiling with your sister and brothers and living life. There are times when the emotion and pain slip in and hurt so much that I just have to stop and be sad. I try to find your daddy and get a good cry in and then I keep going. I know that's how God wants it to be. You will always be here with me. I will always think of you my sweet girl. And I am so grateful that I am not in that dark place right now. I am grateful that I have the assurance of your place in heaven and that we will someday celebrate your birthday together.
I love you Ella. So very much.
Happy fourth birthday.