To my Bella,
You, sweet girl, turn 5 today.
As eyes burn with welling tears, all I can do is PRAISE THE LORD for giving you to me. You are truly a gift from heaven and I am grateful to Him who sent you for more reasons than I can explain. You are the reason I came "home". Home to Him and home to Hawaii.
I love you, precious child.
On April 30th, 2006, I arrived, with your Noni, at Memorial Regional Hospital, in Mechanicsville, Virginia to be induced because the doctor thought you would be a big baby. And at 38 weeks, you were 8lbs, 9 ozs, so maybe, had I waited, you could have given your brother (9 lbs, 12 ozs) a run for his money.
The next morning, before 7am, my waters were broken and the nurses administered pitocin to bring on labor. Because the contractions were TOO strong, I also had an epidural. After a few hours of this nonsense, you decided you were ready to join the world on the outside of the womb. At about 2 o'clock, with Noni by my side, I began to push. You were an easy baby to deliver. After just a few short pushes, you were born at 2:22pm, purple and screaming. You were MAD!!! And you were perfect. They laid you on my belly and my heartstrings were tied immediately and forever, to yours. From that moment I forever would wear my heart outside my body. You changed my life in so many ways, little one.
And you continue to. You are a beautiful shining light, my Annabella. You are vivacious and tenacious and a force to be reckoned with. Frankly, child, you remind me of....me. As much as I like to imagine that I am (one of) your teachers, it is with a happy heart that I fully admit: you teach me.
You are a dreamer, a free-spirited tiny dancer, a whisperer of silly secrets.
My supergirl, my late-sleeper, my explainer of "destructions."
A precious first-baby, and awesome BIG sister, a beautiful daughter, and a precious granddaughter. I wouldn't - couldn't - trade any of this (you) for anything in the world. You are loved, my grace-and-beauty baby. Forever.