One. That's how old you would be today, had you come on your due date. You'd be messy and confused, wondering what in the world that weird mushy hunk of sweet food is that we plopped in
front of you. You'd wonder why a room full of people were staring at you, phones in hand, obsessively snapping pictures. You'd be having your first experience with that wretched off-key birthday song.

Do they smash cakes and sing "Happy Birthday" in Heaven? I have to imagine a choir of angels is a much prettier sound than our earthly attempts.

You'd be a boy and a girl on the move, making the transition from snuggly babies to tiny toddlers exploring the world around you. You'd probably both have a tooth or two by now, but you never know. Some kids get them later than others.

The two of you, well, you'd be the guinea pigs of our parenting adventure. Your poor little sister is stuck with that duty now, but she doesn't seem to mind too much. She's a pretty happy little camper most of the time.

Speaking of your sister, isn't it strange to think that if you were here, she would still be a frozen little embryo waiting for Mommy and Daddy to decide we were ready to grow our family by one more? Life is weird like that.

I sat in church yesterday listening to the pastor talk about grief and the fact that it doesn't ever really go away. He's right. There's healing and there's happiness, but there's also the missing pieces. I think that's the part that many struggle to understand. You made me a mom. You're irreplaceable.

You were wanted, prayed for, longed for, loved. I'll always wonder who you would have been.

I don't obsess. I'm not angry. I'm not crippled by the sadness anymore. I've found healing. But I still miss you.

The story of your lives has impacted some people, you know. It's helped other families to know they're not alone. It's opened the doors to new friendships, given me a heart for other loss mamas, and given me a chance to educate those who (thankfully) have never had to experience this. I once heard it said that God never wastes a hurt. It's true. He's used the hole in my heart in so many ways.

So this November 19, I choose think of you with thanksgiving. I choose to remember the joy I felt when I knew you were growing. I choose to look forward to the day when I will know you.

Thank you, my sweet babies, for making me a mommy for the first time.

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