Thirteen years ago, a little boy was born. He was a miracle, as all babies are, but even more so. You see, his parents had been told that they’d never have children.

Well, just goes to show that doctors dont know everything.

I remember that cold January morning like it was yesterday. I remember the waiting, waiting, waiting. But most of all, I remember those eyes. Those innocent eyes looking at me for the first time.

I had held babies before. Lots of them. But this was my first nephew. My parents’ first grandchild. And my sister’s firstborn.

Joshua. Josh. The Josher. A “baby man” as my dad called him.

He was beautiful. And as he grew, he stretched all of our hearts and brought a sunshine we had never known to our lives. You’d never meet a more pleasant, easy going kid.

And he awakened in me a maternal side I never knew I had. I felt protective, defensive, and partially responsible for this little life. I had never known these feelings before. In fact, I felt it highly unlikely that I would ever be a mom myself – I just didnt feel like I was….worthy.

Children are a gift. I know this from how Josh blessed my life in even the first few minutes of his life. I know it even more fully now as I have my own daughter. Watching children grow up, learning from them even more than teaching them, and getting to see the world through innocent eyes again is all a part of this wonderful journey of parenthood, aunthood, grandparenthood.

I love the interactions of Josh and Reagan as I reminisce so sweetly of my time growing up with my cousins and how they were and are more like siblings than cousins. Brothers and sisters by another mother and father. It’s precious and lovely and I am so thankful for the boy who wasn’t supposed to be……..but instead, quieted the naysayers and brought joy, hope, and a new kind of love into all of our lives.

You are so loved, Joshua. I’m so thankful for and proud of you.