Dear Hazel Grace
This place that you woke up to this morning, this humble setting where you tried to get your bearings and figure things out when your tiny eyes opened on a totally new landscape, this house
is your home.
Those voices you hear? That crying, fighting, cheering, laughing cacophony of noise that you hear coming from the downstairs
those are your siblings.
This feeling that you feel, that warmth starting from your full tummy and spreading all the way out to your swaddled toes
This is family.
We are not the best of families, and we are not a perfect family, we have our times of hurt and misunderstanding,
but we are your family.
And as we gather around your bassinet and peer in at you, in all your bundled glory, we join hands in a protective circle around you
we raise a prayer of thanksgiving for you
and we stand together on the solid ground of one unshakable truth;
You are a gift from God to this family.
Just as each of your siblings was a gift in their turn as they added to our numbers, and even as they are still gifts that give in love and grace each day,
you, too, are a gift.
And we promise this now:
We will love you unconditionally.
It doesn't matter what you do or don't do
It doesn't matter who you are or who you aren't
It doesn't matter what you become or what you choose not to become,
We love you.
We will always do our best by you. We will always remember where you came from and who you are
not because it defines or limits you,
but the very opposite.
What you have made it through, all that you have had to endure just to get this far proves to us that you refuse to be defined and refuse to be limited.
And who can help but to admire that?
So, little girl, tiny one sleeping peacefully in the crib,