My water broke and my husband was an hour's drive from home. It was 10a.m. and the elation I felt was indescribable. After I alerted him, I called my midwife. 12 1/2 hours of natural labour, excruciating pain, fear, physical trauma and nearly breaking Terry's neck, she, whom we thought was a boy, entered our world. The privacy of a newly married couple, the dreaming, the oblivious thoughts of what lay outside of themselves could not have been more interrupted--nor more graced that day. From that moment, Meghan Grace, our firstborn, birthed from our mingled love, has forever changed who we were. Could we possibly remain "Terry and Heather" when this tiny being forced us to lie awake listening to her breathe? When she stole our hearts with that first smile or unknowingly demanded we stay home from events just so we could let her nap? This one who caused us to proudly draw the attention of countless unsuspecting strangers to photos of her? Terry and I often asked each other in those first few weeks where her real parents were. Wasn't someone supposed to come pick up their baby, the one we were looking after for them? We were truly astounded she was really ours. At twenty-three months, this gentle, contented girl began her journey to independence and took us for a wild ride. She taught us how to be parents and in doing so, she paved the way for her siblings. She grew and surprised us. She exhibited so many obvious traits that were inherited and yet, amazed us with unique qualities we wish we had. She matured in wisdom and keeping up with her endless questions and fervour for life has been a challenge--a fantastic one. Today she turned eleven. That small package that the nurse allowed us to take home in our car that day sleeps tonight with long legs peeking out from under her quilt. She's traded soothers and bottles for nail polish and an mp3. I still stare at her and listen to her breathing from time to time, but I've learned to trust that God will sustain her without my sleepless vigil. Eleven years has taken us from an inexperienced young couple to parents who, through many trials and joys, still must daily reassess their course. Life would not be the same without Meghan, for her very presence commands attention. Her spirited, goofy (not sure where that comes from!) personality, love for her family and for Jesus are things I ponder in my heart daily. That the Lord gifted her to my care, overwhelms me still. Happy Birthday, Meggie-Mouse. May God bless your year abundantly and may you grow in wisdom and faith this year.