We counted down the days until David’s birth and waited with anticipation to meet our new son. I could already imagine his bright blue eyes and chubby cheeks. I couldn’t wait to hear him say, “mama’. I pictured him on his daddy’s shoulders as we played at the beach and throwing his arms around me when I picked him up from Sunday school. But the day he was born, all of those dreams fell away and we were left with questions instead of answers. I hadn’t realized I had put so many expectations on this tiny baby.

When David was born, my dreams were shattered. It seemed everything I had hoped for was gone. And in my arms I held a tiny baby, who had only two fingers on his left hand, a major heart defect and a lot of other health issues we hadn’t yet uncovered.

I hadn’t realized I had pinned my hopes on this little boy. And when he was born, unable to meet my expectations, I felt cheated. I was heartbroken. That wasn’t his fault, it was mine.

One of my first steps in grieving was to set aside my own hopes and dreams, and love this little boy. This precious, amazing, little boy who desperately wanted to be held and loved and cherished. And as I forced myself to hold him and kiss him and touch his little hand, I felt a spark ignite. A new hope began.

I began to hope that this little boy would know how truly and deeply loved he is.

I began to hope that he would grow and thrive and find joy in living.

I began to hope that I could be the mom David needed me to be.

I began to hope for peace even in the midst of a heartbreaking situation.

For me, life is a daily journey of letting go of unmet expectations, embracing the imperfect, and learning to hope in a new way. Sometimes it’s raw, often times it’s broken, but I can tell you honestly, it’s so much more beautiful than I expected.

Thank you, David, for helping me find a new, more pure and more lovely hope. You are so loved.