56 and 61. That's the number of days these warrior girls fought in the NICU. 10. The combined number of days machines breathed for my tiny girls hooked up to ventilators. 6. The total number of holes they had in their hearts. 5. The number of blood transfusions between them. 6. How many days old they were before I ever was able to hold them. 5. The number of minutes each I was able to hold them. 5. The number of pounds they weighed...together. 3. The number of cysts in Sophi's brain presumably from an inutero brainbleed. 4. The number of days they were when I had to leave them in the hospital and began visiting my babies. 1. The nasty staph infection that turned Sophi's frail body septic. 6. The number of days old they were when their doctor told us they wouldn't survive through the night. 100+ The number of Dominican and Haitian brothers and sisters praying during a 24-hour prayer vigil at the church in Hoya del Caimito that same night. 9. The number of years old they both are today.
We experienced the most outrageous sunset tonight while cutting birthday cake outside. The kind where God just shows off. What started with hues of oranges and blues turned to pinks and blues. Taking your breathe away. Making you reach for a camera to record the moment. But the camera couldn't record such beauty. Sophi looked up and assuredly proclaimed, "God is saying Happy Birthday to us". With a smile, Raena said, "He's already answering my wish". When asked to explain, she looked at the white cloud with orange rays bursting behind it's curves and said, "Jesus is coming back to renew all things."
And this momma, this momma who gets impatient with these curly-haired beauties, who doesn't spend nearly enough time gazing into those big brown eyes to discuss what's important to a 9-year-old these days, who occassionaly yells to get them to stop bickering (I somehow manage to defend myself because they're deaf and our house is always loud, it's a ridiculously poor excuse), who nearly threw the pancakes across the room when one, not mentioning any names, ungratefully said she doesn't eat pancakes with syrup on them after I made three rounds of pancakes because the first had bugs in it, then another round because the syrup was infested with hundreds of ants, and finally because I flung them on the floor. Oh, sweet grace, and beautiful sunsets, reminding us from the mouth of this miracle, purposed, wonderfully designed child that all will be renewed. That renewal and rejoicing is not only on the horizon, but is here today. With her words, all three girls began worshipping and making up songs to their God. Because what else do you do when you see His masterpiece across the sky?