I love rejoicing, I love Gaudete Sunday, and I love pink (having girls, one cannot help but enjoy that color)! Today we attended a beautiful, joyful mass, and then had lunch afterwards with a devout Norbertine priest from St. Michael's Abbey, who is also an old friend of ours. Madeleine fell asleep in the car during our drive from the abbey to our lunch spot, so I offered to stay behind and let her finish her nap while the others began lunch. I figured if she woke up I would join them sometime in the middle of the meal. What a blessing this was.
As I sat gazing at my sleeping baby, I soaked in the great joy of mothering her and her older sister. I remembered the first day I became a mother, to Gianna in 2003, and the day I became Madeleine's mother in 2005. For the six years of marriage previous to Gianna's birth, not having been able to conceive was probably the greatest suffering I have endured in my life. And I still have not been able to conceive. But today I rejoice for that very thing which was once a great hardship, yet has become the cause of my greatest joys, my daughters. (Notice, that a "greatest suffering" becomes the cause of a "greatest joy". Sound familiar?) Had I been as fertile as I once desired, had I given birth to as many children as all my dear Catholic friends who had three and four children by the time I had one, I would never have met my own two girls. The mere thought of it brings on the tears. My daughters were both infants when we adopted them. We have known and loved them their whole lives. To think it is possible that we could have bore children "naturally" and not known these two miracles makes me shudder. And it reminds me that God always has a better plan for us than what we think we may desire for ourselves.
Awakening from her sweet slumber, Madeleine opened her eyes, and having found her mama staring at her in awe, smiled with that boundless love and admiration only a baby can give. I quickly removed her from her carseat and held her tight, kissed her sweet baby head, and looked to heaven with joy and gladness!