Then it became three two years ago.
365 days earlier, it became four.
To date, there are now two times two huggable little ones calling me Tita Isa (and I love how it sounds!).
Ang bilis ng panahon, grabe.
As I look upon these little bundles of joy in our growing family, I can't help but praise and thank God for all that He has been doing in our midst. These kids are literally miracle babies. Some of you have been with us throughout the months when my sister was bedridden and was having threatened abortion. It was a really difficult pregnancy, and when the twins finally came out, they were premature and needed a lot of medical attention. It was really a tough time, and one that is faith-stretching too. But God saw us throughout those moments. He is faithful, indeed!
The same case happened to my sister-in-law Charisse, the mother of Enrique Miguel and Ella Monique. Throughout her two pregnancies (and bouts with hypothyroidism at that!), Charisse would occasionally be ordered by her doctors to take months of complete bed rest for fear that she would lose each of her babies. In time, she gave birth to healthy, bubbly children, although doctors told her that she may no longer bear more kids after her second child.
I don't have favorites among them, but Ella Monique is really special for me. A little over a year ago, even before ate Charisse got pregnant with her, I prayed that God would give us this time a baby girl as we already have three boys. I shared this with my family and pretty soon, we all started praying for a baby girl.
A few weeks later, the answer came.
You can just imagine my reaction. And by the way, Ella Monique looks exactly like my brother Eric (her father) and my dad!
This is my sixth year as a tita, and I praise and thank God for what He has done and what He continues to do to me, to my immediate family, and now, to these kids. And as our family celebrates Ella Monique's 1st birthday cum dedication, I know that there'll be more stories of God's faithfulness, goodness and grace in the years to come. :)
This Wednesday, April 9, 2008, we will be dedicating to the Lord my only niece and the latest addition to our family, Ella Monique S. Sanchez. We call it a dedication because at her age, Monique does not know yet what is happening around her, and she still isn't capable of deciding on matters about the faith we hope that she would one day embrace and choose for herself. So, baptism would have to wait until she is old enough to understand what this symbolism means.
Usually during dedications, family members and witnesses are requested to say a prayer for the child being dedicated. Here's mine:
I pray that when the right time comes, she would accept Jesus Christ as her only Lord and Savior. I pray that she would grow up to be a child with a deep love and reverence for the God of the Bible. I pray that even at an early age, my niece would develop an intimate relationship with God. I sincerely wish that she would walk in the ways of the Lord, make it the priority of her life to please Him in every way, and to live a life that reflects Christlike qualities. I pray that my niece would grow up to be a critical thinker, doing the things she believes in because she finds them to be Biblical, and knowing the fact that hers is a proven and not a blind faith. I hope that even now as she is being raised in a world that regards relativism as the norm, she would make a stand for Christ and learn to sift through all the essential and non-essential matters many Christians are fighting over. I pray that my niece would bring much joy and blessing to her parents by being an obedient daughter. And, yes, though it may be too soon, I pray that she would find a godly partner for life ---- one who loves the Lord more than he loves anybody else. But most of all, I pray that we, the adults in our family, would walk with God faithfully, and be able to pass onto them the things that we ourselves have learned from our personal relationship with the Lord.
Happy, happy birthday, Ella Monique. Always know that we will love you unconditionally.
Ay, ang sentimental ko!