Back in the fall of 1982, I was 9 months pregnant and very anxious to meet our 5th child. Also excited were his or her siblings: Nelson, Lars, Linnea, and Klaus, 3 boys and 1 girl. Logic told us another girl would be nice.
I prepped her for that possibility, though, by saying, “God is the one who chooses boy or girl, so we’re going to be happy with whoever he sends to us.” But that didn’t dissuade Linnea from continuing to think pink.
The day Hans was born, Nate and I were thrilled with a boy-partner for his brother Klaus, who was just 16 months older. But we knew we’d have to choose our words carefully when we announced the news of yet another brother to our little girl.
As expected, she didn’t take it well. “Did you do that on purpose, Mommy?” she asked, looking sideways at me with her pudgy hand on her hip.
In recent weeks, the tables have turned, and our 5th-born (Hans) has been anticipating his own 5th-born. With 3 sons and 1 daughter, it was déjà vu as he and Katy found themselves preparing little Evelyn, also 5 years old, for the possibility of a 4th brother.
One thing Katy did was set up a mother-daughter “date” during which she cleverly told Evelyn a story: “Once there was a family with 3 boys and 1 little girl. The mummy was going to have another baby, and the little girl really wanted a sister…”
The conclusion of her story was, “The new baby turned out to be a little boy, and they named him Hans – and guess what. He grew up to be your daddy!”
Katy described to Evelyn how different life would be for them if Hans had been a girl. Katy wouldn’t have him as her husband, and Evelyn wouldn’t have him as the daddy she loves. Evelyn understood, but that didn’t stop her from continuing to think pink.
Elizabeth Anne Nyman, born at home, weighed in at 7 pounds 4 ounces. And I am grateful for the conversation I got to have with both parents today while the thrill of the birth experience was still fresh in their voices. God has done his wondrous work yet again, creating a brand new, unique person with a soul that will live forever.
Elizabeth means my God is bountiful. Anne means graced with God’s favor.
Dear Lord, please cause Elizabeth Anne to “come to know your ways. Teach her your paths. Lead her in your truth and teach her, for you are the God of her salvation.” (Psalm 25:4-5) We are overwhelmed by your goodness, Father, and the gift of this precious child! With all our hearts we thank you. Amen