My sister is having a baby.

No, I mean, like right now, as I write this, she’s checking into a hospital to to bring a teeny, tiny baby girl into this world. My niece.

My heart is a floppy rag of emotions.

I am overjoyed, ecstatic, elated at the thought of the child who will be taking her very first breath in a matter of hours, the one who will be stretching her limbs for the first time, and looking into faces, and finally hearing the unmuffled voices of the family that welcomes her today, her birthday.

My little niece. It makes me smile just to think of it.

And then my eyes fill with tears and my heart breaks with the reminder that I will be meeting her for the first time through photos. I will watch her grow up in a series of still shots and 40 second clips. I won’t be there tomorrow to hold her warm little body in my arms, to press my lips against her silky forehead, to marvel at her perfect little baby feet.

These are the moments that hit me hard. These are the times that make me crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head and say to God that being a missionary sucks balls.

And I feel comforted because I know that God knows, far better than I, what it’s like to be separated from the ones you love, and to long for them with all your heart.

Welcome to Life, baby girl. I long to be close you...


  1. Congratulations. You're going to be a fantastic aunt. Even from a distance, aunts are special.

  2. I know being away is hard. I feel it too. My grandson learned how to read while I have been gone, and my grand daughter starting talking in full sentences, after we left Sacto. And I was not there.

    I can only keep my heart from breaking each time I hear their echoed laughs on the phone by believing that God put Diane and I here for reason, and it must be a damn good one, (to put my heart through this).

    We are learning lessons, both Diane, my daughter and I. We will be better, stronger, more mature and loving children of God after this experience.

    You are there as an employee of the CEO of heaven and earth. Documenting to us what you see, do and feel. It is truly priceless. Remember that.

    Dan O

  3. I know exactly what you're feeling. I felt the same way last summer when my sister had her baby. I did cry at not being able to sniff new baby's neck. By the time I finally see her, she will be 2.

    Be gentle with yourself. You're allowed to cry.

    Chin up, Auntie.

    Welcome to the world, Baby Girl!

  4. I think my nephews don't know what to do with me whenever I fly back to the states and the face that they talk to over skype has an entire body and another dimension in person. Kinda freaks em out for a sec. Oh man, but when I get the chance to smell them, hug them, cry and slobber over them in person, life is good!

  5. Congrats! Not that this is exactly the same, but my Sister moved to Atlanta (we live near Pittsburgh) and only gets to see my son 1 or 2 times a year. Its always in a week burst, so he hangs out with her for 7 straight days and then she is gone and he wants to play with Aunt Hope.

    I will watch her grow up in a series of still shots and 40 second clips.

    Just imagine there was no internet. As much bad stuff that happens on the internet, connections like this make it all worth it!

  6. My little Charlotte was born in the middle of the night, so now I'm just DYING for pics!!! With the time difference, and because I'm sure my sister is exhausted, I'm pretty sure I'll have to wait. :( But I'm happy she's made her entrance!

    Thanks, guys, for understanding!!! I did cry myself to sleep last night, but I'm feeling much more grown up this morning, haha. :)

  7. Oh, for real Zac!! The internet makes being a missionary possible for me - I honestly don't think I could do this without staying connected!!

  8. Jamie, You don't know me (though we share the coolest friend, Erin) but I read your blog and today I really hurt with you. Im sorry that you didnt get to be there to meet your new girl in person. For what it's worth, I will pray that God gives you a little extra somethin to bring a smile.

    To me, missionaries are sorta like the ARMY. You go and sacrifice where others wouldn't dare. These types of things, missing those you treasure most, makes me feel a debt to you for showing me what it looks like to put feet to your faith. Sounds wicked corny but I really truly mean it. :)

  9. Hi Mindy! First of all, you're right, Erin is the coolest! and secondly, Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. I honestly cried myself to sleep the night my niece was born. The fact that you recognize the sacrifice made me smile!! I LOVE it when people "get it" - you are clearly one of those people. :)


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