8/23/01 — How incredibly many times I’ve written that date on medical forms, insurance forms, therapy forms, so many times that it just becomes a jumble of numerals, not a remembrance of an amazing day for our family. Truly, the day everything changed.

I went to a 3:20pm OB appointment two days before her due date, thinking I was in labor, but agreeing with the doctor that the baby probably would wait for the appointed day. Three hours later, before the doctor could get to the room, Abigail Faith blazed into our lives, painting them pink (and purple!) So blessedly shocked to receive a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter (the one and only on my side.) Our world was rosy without the glasses.

5/3/04 — The date that sometimes eclipses the joy of our August surprise. Recalling the tears when we first held her, the utter disbelief at the pink pom-pom on her cap, often leads to a creeping dread because we “know how it all turned out.” We didn’t get to keep our little spitfire, not the way we had hoped. But looking back now, still without the glasses, the changes in Abbie’s life don’t steal the joy she brings, the rosy hue she spreads, and the abiding gratitude we have for the gift God gave us in her.

Today we celebrated her birth and her life quietly at home. I realized that trying to make her birthday seem “normal” by having a typical seventh birthday to-do would simply overwhelm her. Instead we chose to just have two girls who know Abbie well come over for a Girl’s Day. I may be the girl who had the most fun!! We created paper flowers for a mobile for Abbie’s room, and made bracelets.

Before she even started on her own, Keiko said, “I’m going to make Abbie’s first!” What a tender heart… She spelled out Abbie’s name and added her trademark, the ladybug.

Abbie was enjoying it all, but tired towards the end of the projects. As she drifted toward a nap I said, “Abbie, it’s a good plan to sleep now and rest up for opening presents.” “YES!!” came the voice from her switch, and her eyes flew wide open at hearing the P-word.

She actually provided a lot of laughs through her strategic switch usage, particularly as I was reading the titles of books she’d received as presents. I came to “Is Your Mama a Llama?” Immediately, “YES!!” rang out again.

As I said, there were no tears this day, but I came dangerously close when I opened this card.

This verse on this card was an Abbie verse before I knew she was an Abbie. You see, I was perfectly happy being the mother of four sons, and didn’t have a deep longing for a daughter…until we decided we were probably done having children. Then a pink stake was driven deep into my heart, and we began researching adoption, figuring that we weren’t any good at making girls. As those of you who’ve adopted know, it is not a simple process. It was stressful, exciting, scary, and sometimes led to tense discussions when I would push and Ray would not move as quickly as I wanted. In the midst of this a verse came that basically told me to chill out and get my priorities straight. The next month I was pregnant, so I knew this baby, whoever he or she would be, was an answer to Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Our friends didn’t know this story when they picked out the card, so it was just another wink from God reminding me that He, too, remembers our journey together.

I wanted to get a cake Abbie could enjoy, so I was planning on picking up an ice cream cake this morning. Then, her nurse, Rae, arrived toting a beautiful, absolutely perfect cake she’d made for Abbie. What an angel!! Layers of moist Devil’s Food cake, chocolate pudding and whipped cream made Abbie’s lips smack (and mine, too!) I am never able to adequately explain how overwhelmed I am by the kindess of those around us, with this being yet another example.

Upon opening presents a theme appeared: Abbie the Schoolgirl.

She got lots of art supplies and many books, along with a DVD learn-to-read program. I’m excited for her, and must also admit how nice it is to give her something beyond toddler manipulatives and light-up toys. Every time I challenge her, she exceeds my expectations. Last night I wanted to “teach” her the numbers one through five. A few minutes of work with her switch made it clear I am once again lagging behind, as she knows them cold. So, we are going to be fingerpainting and flashcarding our way through first grade this year!

The boys were insistent that Abbie needed to wear all the princess regalia, so we added her new sunglasses for the finishing touch. Here she is as the Queen of Accessories:

The pink pom-pom has been replaced by a tiara, and she no longer fits in the crook of Daddy’s arm, but our little girl remains the joy of her family and a light in the world. We pray that God would bless her mightily in this coming year, and thank him profoundly for Miss Abigail Faith.

5 thoughts on “Seven!

  1. Happy Birthday to Abbie and thank you Tiffany for your wonderful words, expressing so eloguently, the sweet gift of children from God. Samantha was born on my birthday and from the moment they put her in my arms, I’ve never received anything more wonderful. My husband was able to stop giving me diamonds…..they just didn’t compare! She truly was the greatest gift of my life. One of her friends, while she was teetering between life and death in those first days following her accident, said to me “Don’t worry Mrs. Palumbo God doesn’t take back presents.” Those words brought a smile to my face then but couldn’t erase the fear of losing her. But in retrospect, God might have put those words in Matt’s heart to give me a little peace and I just couldn’t hear it then. I’m so glad you all “celebrated” the day of her birth. Great flower mobile too!

  2. Happy, happy birthday, dear Abbie!! We love you & think you are a very pretty princess!!
    love, Katrina & Christa xoxoxooox

    Happy, blessed 7th Bday, to my beautiful Bday buddy!!! May your 7th year ahead be your very best ever as God leads you every step of the way!!! all our luv to you, precious Abbie-girl!! JESUS luvs you soooo much & we do, too!!
    xoxooxo, Auntie K & crew ; )
    Psalm 118:24, 139:13-16

  3. Happy Birthday to Abbie! She looks beautiful in all her Princess attire! Thank you for sharing such beautiful thoughts and events of Abbie’s life as part of your family. I love Psalm 37:4 and try to hold fast to it in my life! You’re such an inspiration and I love to read your posts! Keep up the great work, Abbie!
    In His Love and Blessings,

  4. I have been following you and Abby for quite some time. My son suffered an anoxic brain injury in 2003. You have been such a blessing and inspiration to me. Your faith in God has pulled me through when mine has been weak. Isn’t it amazing what He does over and over again? God is truly all He says He is. I just couldn’t let Abbie’s birthday go by without wishing her a wonderful year full of God’s presence and blessings. The last thing I will pray for tonight as my head hits my pillow will be for Abbie and for her mom.The pictures of her today are precious beyond words. God bless you as you love and enjoy your little girl.Cheri Galloway

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