The Sweetest Sound I've Ever Heard

I'll never forget that sound - the sound of Jenna's cry after 9 months of waiting and 20 hours of labor.  Lying there on that cold operating table, Chris crouched at my head trying to stay calm.  I can still feel the eerie silence as the doctor worked quickly to get our precious baby out in time.  Then there it was - the sweetest sound I've ever heard.  I remember the overwhelming feelings of joy, relief and exhaustion that poured over me at that moment.  I couldn't imagine anything that could ever rival that experience.

Lately, our evenings around here have been tumultuous to say the least.  By 6pm I'm exhausted, Chris is spent after a long day at work, the kids are tired and whiny, and we get to have the epic battle over fluids that Emi REFUSES to take.  The same thing.  Every night.  And then we start the hour-long bedtime process of books, prayers, teeth-brushing and tucking-in.  Whew!  I'm tired just typing it!  But putting Emi to bed is a piece of cake.  Any time, any place - lay her on her belly and she will fall asleep without any resistance.  From the moment we left the orphanage, I couldn't believe what a good sleeper she was - the easiest baby we'd ever had (in the sleep department, at least)!  But then I started thinking about why she never resisted bedtime.  And why she never cried.  Was it because she had learned it wouldn't matter if she did?  Did her fruitless cries for a mother's touch in the middle of the night condition her to feel nothing?  The 'blessing' of an easy bedtime turned into more pain and disappointment.  It was just a reminder that I was still nothing more than a babysitter to her.  Just another person that wouldn't come when she cried.

Tonight had all the makings of the typical night in the Wiest house.  The same battles and the same sweet moments in prayer with our kids.  We cuddled, I kissed Emi on the cheek, told her I loved her and laid her down on her belly.  As I turned to walk away, I heard the ONE thing that could ever rival Jenna's birth - the cry of a baby that knew someone was listening - an expectant scream that believed someone would come. The (super-close second) sweetest sound I've ever heard.