She's Having A....
GIRL!!!! After 5 years and 4 boys, my dear friend Traci is finally having a girl!!!! I am so excited. Beyond belief actually. And yet God's timing seems so perfect.
Let me tell you a little bit about her story. Traci was the administrative assistant at Cincinnati Bible College when I attended there from 1999-2003. She left in 2002 to open a coffee house called Reality Tuesday Cafe with her husband. After I graduated, I spent a lot of time hanging out at the coffee house, forming a wonderful friendship with Traci. She has more energy and spunk than any person you have ever met, and she works harder than anyone I know. She is a friendly, familiar face, and a household name to her regular customers. Their cafe is a place where "everyone knows your name."
So in the summer of 2003, Traci and I made some great memories and shared many meaningful conversations. She was 35 with no kids, and I was 22, excited to be out "on my own," but wondering if or when I would ever get married. I remember one conversation from that summer particularly well. We were taking a walk in a neighborhood near the cafe, looking at the new houses that were being built. At the time, she and her husband lived in a tiny apartment, and had talked about being more than ready to start a family and move into that world. They had tried several times before, even using fertility treatments, but had never been successful. I will never forget what Traci told me that night. She said she thought she would never have kids. She just couldn't see it happening after all these years. Essentially, she was ready to give up. I remember feeling so much compassion and heartbreak for her, as I knew how desperately she wanted to be a mom. So we talked about God and prayer, and the possibility of more than we could ever ask or imagine. Fast forward to a year later, and that's exactly what happened.
In the summer of 2004, Traci and her husband decided to try one last time. They still had 3 frozen eggs at the infertility doctor, and she felt like the right thing to do was finish what she started. So they implanted all three. And the doctor said there was only a 3% chance that she would get pregnant. Well, the whole cafe community and everyone who knew them started praying like crazy. I have journal after journal entry of prayers devoted to God, asking Him to give them a baby. And that he did. I will never forget when she called me and said it worked. And when I ask how many took she said, "All three!"
That began the journey of the brazen and beautiful boys we refer to as the triplets. We spent nine months dreaming and preparing, throwing showers, buying clothes, getting excited and thanking God for His faithfulness. I was so blessed to have such a flexible schedule that I could help her when she was on bed rest, and I spent many hours visiting in the hospital while she spent her last month of pregnancy there.
I remember very vividly being in the room when she and her husband had the ultra sound to find out what they were having. We had named all the "girls" we were sure she was carrying, and we had no doubt that's what they'd be. The nurse said, "The first one is a...boy!" And we were excited. Then she said, "The second one is a...boy!" And we said, a little more nervously, "Yay!" Finally she said, "And the last one is a....boy!" And we were shocked. No one really knew what to say. Who would have expected it? But it was by design, and of course we were grateful for their little lives. The boys made it all the way to 34 weeks, being born one day after Traci's 37th birthday.
Okay, fast forward two more years to the birth of their fourth child, an attempt at a girl, who turned out to be another beautiful baby boy, who it's now impossible to imagine life without. While Traci adores her precious and wonderful little guys, she has always had a place in her heart for a daughter. She is the epitomy of a crazy-fun drama queen, and she has been like a sister to me. She even got me to get in good enough shape to try out for the Ben-gal cheerleaders one year. Talk about inspiration. Now Traci gets to have a cheerleader of her own. And I am so very happy for her. Bring on the pink.
So thank you dear God for showing favor to this family and blessing them with 5 healthy children. Thank you for being so faithful in answering prayers, even if your timing has been unpredictable yet perfect. Thank you for dear friends that can be as close as family. You are so very good, and we love you.