Dear Baby Janzen,
You are not here yet but we are so full of anticipation waiting for you to arrive. When I was a young mother I was always amazed at how much love could fit into one heart. When I met your Grampa, I thought my heart was full. Then your uncle Jason came along and lo and behold there was room enough in my heart for two and I thought it was full. Then aunty Christine entered our world and lo and behold, there was room for three. Surely now my heart was full. A few years later I learned that I was having your mom and your aunty Carrie. They weren't yet here but already they were in my heart and then when they arrived I knew for sure my heart was full. I was wrong.
As our family grew and grew there were so many moments that kept squeezing themselves into my already overflowing heart. Little things, big things, it didn't matter. They kept finding a way into those empty spaces I didn't know existed. When Lizzie and Kai and Austen arrived I began to wonder if my heart would be able to still fit inside of my body. So far it has. Good thing because as I sit here thinking about you and your mom and dad I know that already you have found a way into my heart, making room for all of the wonderful and amazing moments that have already happened and for those we are, for now, dreaming about. I can't wait to meet you.
Well Ava, Gramma's been away from home for a few days and since that time you made your grand debut. You and your mom and dad worked hard to get you into this world and we are so excited you are here. While I was driving into the city to meet youI noticed two things. First, I noticed the sun shining down on my face along the drive. It seemed like it was you shining down on me warming me up my heart and telling us all that you were going be sprinkling sunshine into all of our worlds. As the sun set and stars started to come out I noticed it was a clear and sparkly night. The big dipper pointed me in your direction while all of the other stars cheered me on, twinkling and blinking the whole way.
Your journey took 27 hours and I will never forget how strong and determined your mom was the night you were born. Some time in the future, when you are a little older, you can get her to tell you the story of how she thought she might drive home from Chilliwack, at 3:00 in the morning, by herself, with very little gas. Good thing Grampa and I were around to talk some sense into her. As it turned out, you didn't show up until the next evening, fashionably late I must say :)
Your mom and dad chose a beautiful name for you Ava. To me, Ava sounds strong and serene and beautiful and it seems just right for you. It brought tears to our eyes as your mom and dad told us your middle name. You will get to meet your great Nanny within a few weeks, the strong and amazing woman you were named after. We feel blessed to have her in our lives and we know she will feel blessed to have you in hers. It also seems just right that you have a unique first name and a name connected to the past for your middle name. It reflects everything your mom believes in; individuality and family.
The first thing we all noticed about you Ava was your beautiful hair. So much hair for such a little girl. I dreamed of you a week or so before you were born and in that dream you were sitting on the dock at Papa's cabin, your feet dangling over the wharf, your fishing line bobbing in the lake and your beautiful hair hanging down your back in french braids. I love to do french braids and your mom still, to this day, likes to sit down on the floor in front of me, hand me a brush and two elastics and flash that smile of hers at me as she asks me to braid her hair. I can see you with the same mischievious smiling face.
As we spent a little time getting to know you that first night we were all amazed at how peaceful you are. You did stay awake a bit that first night and gazed around, taking in this whole new world and all of the people who came to welcome you. Your mommy and daddy are already calling you, "Princess" and we all agree with them.
You are born into a big loving family, Ava. We will all cheer you on in all you take on in life. We will all be there to help you through whatever comes your way. We will all love you unconditionally. We are bursting with pride at how beautiful and serene you are and we are all gazing down in wonder at you. We know your mommy and daddy will make sure you have a life full of love, travel and adventure. We know that the outdoors will be special for you and we know that family is important to both your mom and dad. We love you Ava with everything we have. Welcome to our world wee one!