Emotions overwhelmed me tonight as I gazed at Olivia………snuggled and warm.

Embracing her last 20 minutes of the first decade of her life.

Where has the time gone since Tim flew to India and brought home our 19-month old little girl?

Tim told me earlier this evening that at the end of Olivia’s indoor soccer practice tonight the girls on the team sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

Then on the way home, Olivia was talking about her birthday and said, “What time was I….” then hesitated and said, “Nevermind.”

Tim replied by saying, “Were you wondering what time you were born?”

And Olivia said, “Yes, but you wouldn’t know.”

Then he said, “Well, what time would you like to have been born?” She answered, “I guess sometime in the morning. Maybe 2:32.” Tim said, “Okay.” Then she quickly changed her mind and said, “No. 3:23.” And Tim said, “Alright then. 3:23 a.m. is what time you were born.”

He said he felt sad for Olivia for a minute, but then he also felt thankful for how blessed she has been as well as what a blessing she has been to our family.

I crawled out of bed tonight because I couldn’t sleep.

As I sit here and look at the clock, I am “struck” by the fact that it is 2:00 a.m……………

I try to imagine 11 years ago when an Indian woman in a small village was preparing to give birth to a child she knew she cannot afford to keep.

I think of her sister who just hours later would take Olivia and literally drop her off of a bridge.

I think of the policeman who would find Olivia and take her to a hospital where she would have to stay for 6 weeks and who would give her the name, “Pallavi” which means “new leaves.”

And then I think of the orphanage workers who cared for Olivia Faith-Pallavi (her name now) for a year and a half while we were in America praying about whether or not to adopt a child.

Oh, God, You amaze me.

Your tapestry so often appears tangled and frayed when we examine tiny pieces one at a time……..

Yet when we are privileged to stand back and examine Your Work in bigger pieces, we are taken to our knees in awe!

Olivia is so excited because she is turning 11 on the 7th! For those of you who don’t know, Nick was 7 when he had his first brain tumor and 11 when we found out about the second one. Within minutes of hearing the news, Nick said that he wanted his nickname to be 7-11. And since that day, those numbers and that time on a clock have been so powerful in bringing smiles and encouragement to us just when we need them!

I feel certain that somehow God had His hand in even this tiny aspect of tomorrow for Olivia.

She feels connected to Nick on this birthday in a very special way.

Monday was hard for me. Everyone went back to school. The house was so empty.

Today was a bit easier.

Tonight I feel thankful.

Thankful for the promise that God truly does “work for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28)

This I know:

I love God more than anyone else in this world. If I believe His Words are true, then I must believe that in spite of my sorrow God is working for good!

So, tomorrow we will celebrate Olivia being 11 on the 7th! And now we know that she was born at 3:23 a.m.!!! (in our hearts, anyway)

And so I must sleep. But before I could, I had to write. It is more effective than Tylenol PM any day!

With love and thanks for a God who works for good!