Dear Ella Brooks,
You may never read this. Or if you do, it may be years from now and you may have heard the same story over and over again throughout your life. How much you were wanted, prayed for, and loved, long before you were even conceived. The journey your parents went through to get them to you. The herds of friends and family members who prayed alongside your mom & dad, sharing tears of sorrow, and then of joy when we finally learned of you. It might bring a smile to your face as you recite it by memory as a child, and it might be cliche to hear in your teenage years, and it might bring tears to your eyes as an adult, if and when you are blessed with a child of your own. But there's more to it, that your mom will never tell you. So I'll say it now, and I'll probably say it a million times again as you're growing up - your mom is awesome.
Your mom is a lot of things to a lot of people. She's called "best friend" by quite a few. But I feel like I'm a bit of an authority on the matter, since I've known her for more than half my life at this point. We've been through A LOT (you don't get to ask questions) and it has strengthened our friendship in so many ways. As teenagers, we spent hours together, finding fun in the most mundane tasks. As college students and young adults, we drank way too much and soaked up every second of the time we were able to spend together. As 20-somethings, we stood by each other as we got married and the visits got further between but all the more meaningful (and we probably still drank too much). All the while, your mom has been the one to tell it like it is. She has always been real with me, even when it was hard for me to hear. She can talk me down or build me up. She will snap me back to reality while never letting me lose hope. She keeps me accountable in my walk with Christ, in my marriage, in my friendships and my relationships with family. She was a voice of experience when I was a naive 15 year old, many years ago when we met, and now she's a voice of reason when I need her most.
Your mom has stood by me through every step of my motherhood journey. She was the first person to find out I was pregnant. She was the only non-family member I called to say I was in labor, and she was at the hospital (4 hours away!) within a few hours of London Claire's birth. She was an obvious choice for Godmother, and I knew she would be an incredible mother someday. I didn't know what that journey would look like for her, or how long it would take, or how many bumps in the road there would be. I wouldn't wish all that on my worst enemy, but I know she and your dad have found a way to use those trials and tribulations to make themselves, and their marriage, and their faith in God even stronger.
Motherhood is the one thing we have not yet been able to truly share, and while I cannot wait for your arrival for so many reasons, I cannot wait for your mom to really experience all that it has to offer. She is going to handle this transition as beautifully and as seamlessly as she has all the others she's been faced with in her 32 years. She is going to rise with grace and courage, and hopefully I'll be there to pick her up when she's feeling less than perfect. Go easy on her, because I promise you one day you'll realize just how awesome your mom is, and you'll thank God that He chose her for you. I know she thanks Him every day that He picked you for her.
I cannot wait to meet you Ella Brooks, and I cannot wait to see my best friend as your mom.