We called her Seven, in the incredulous days and weeks following the positive pregnancy test. Years of longing unfulfilled had helped us realize that pregnancy is no promise that a baby will fill your arms. We rejoiced in every day but held that delight loosely, with open hands, as if God deciding to take this one, too, would somehow hurt less that way.
We rounded the homestretch of adopting not one, but two beautiful boys. We longed to bring home our Nepali daughter. We had three healthy, growing biological children. All together, our hearts were overflowing with six blessings. And this one, should he or she be ours this side of heaven?
The number seven, in the Bible, represents completion. The Hebrew word for “oath” comes from its root; literally, to swear means “to come under the influence of seven things.”
We waited, we prayed. In the end, she was ours. Here. Nine pounds and five ounces of miracle, bundled in pink.
We went to the hospital undecided on a name, and wrestled with options. When we finally signed the birth certificate, though, one thing stayed. Seven. Her legal middle name; a sign of our joy in the promise fulfilled.
From the first moment, she was a ray of sunshine. I had heard of rainbow babies. She was a rainbow unto herself– always joyful, always smiling, always bringing spunk and charisma and happiness wherever she went. To this day, she is the first to break into song, the first to find the silver lining, the first to offer a hug. We call her Birdie now. And she is exactly what the name implies: a sweet, chirping, beautiful creature whose existence points to God.
This past Sunday, I rejoiced with a family welcoming their own rainbow baby. After a storm of loss, their arms are full again. Watching the Daddy nestle his new son to his neck, seeing the Momma lose herself in that peaceful, quiet glow of staring at her boy… it took me back to the swirling emotions of holding God’s yes after a season of wait that I had finally surrendered to hearing as no.
Back to the day when we met Seven. Five years ago today.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.