Today you will go into a room full of doctors and nurses, and you will come out changed. I am so happy for all that will be possible for you after this, but I am scared, too. I wish you didn't have to go at all, and at the very least I wish I could go with you. But I know that you will be surrounded by the same ones who surrounded you and brought you to our family just in time, who nurtured you and sustained you though they remained unseen, a host of saints and angels who ushered you into this world and into our arms, then home to where help lay waiting for us.
Your life is a miracle, Elvie. In a country where 94% of births are at home, without a trained attendant, you were born in a hospital, and not by privilege of class or status quo. Someone led your mother there, paved a way for her to get prenatal care and deliver in a safer place, and this gave you your life. I am forever indebted to the healthcare workers that encouraged your family to allow you to be born in a hospital, and to your parents for agreeing that this was the best way for you to enter the world.
Your first name, Elroyi, means "I saw God, who sees me," and there is something about you that makes me believe that your name tells the truth about you. I saw that in your eyes in the first photo I looked at, that spark that said, "I know things." Your middle name, Aveline, given to you by Ababi and me, means wished for, longed for, wanted. It is important to me that you know that I wanted you before you existed, sensed that you would arrive, that at the time your particular shape took place in the womb of your mother, I felt the pain that would cause you, and I loved you, and I wanted you exactly as you were becoming.
I want you to know that I think that you are absolutely perfect just the way you are, that I have fallen in love with all of you, and you need no correction to be beloved and admired. You are just right, Elvie. I would change nothing about you if it weren't necessary for you to live a full and happy life. I love you exactly the way you are, and I always have. I wish that I could take this day away from you and make into something more pleasant, or that I could feel the pain instead of you. As it is, I will be there when you wake up to help you bear it, to look you in the eyes and remind you that I am near, and you do not need to be afraid.
We love you immensely, Elvie. So many do, but Ababi, Zinashi, and I get to be your family every day, to love you in person all of the time, and we feel so lucky to be yours. You are made of butterflies and rainbows, of all things happy, with a little bit of naughtiness thrown in for good measure. Watching you grow and become fully who you are has been the joy of all three of our lives, and we are so glad you are in our family. We are thankful every day for you.
These next days will be hard, but Ababi or I will be there with you all the time. Be strong, brave girl. Everyone here is on your side. You are going to do fine. You are going to do better than fine. Remember that my heart goes with you where the rest of me cannot. I will be right there, holding your hand.