"Welcome to the visible world, Louis Rooster Hutchins!" is the message your great grandmother put on our family chat under a photo of you, wrapped snug as a bug, in a just-born state. You existed in the non-visible world, in the mind and heart of God, for all of eternity but now are here for us to admire, visible, as Grandma Suzy put it. Ta-da! You have made your entrance.
Your older brother sits next to you, patting the top of your head gently as his parents have instructed. I remember your aunt and uncle doing the exact thing to your father's head. They were not yet four and two but somehow grasped the miracle of a little brother laying across their laps. When they looked up, we clicked a photo, sealing that moment of joyous wonder. I watch the video of your brother patting your head over and over, having no place to file the joy, pain, awe, and trepidation filling my heart. I want to capture the essence of the moment I knew you were ours, but how can a photo or even words truly encapsulate the feeling of welcoming a child into the world?
It is easy to say you are precious because you are ours, but that is not the whole truth. On the day of your birth, a photo of strollers lined up at a Polish train station was in the news. Polish mothers left them for Ukrainian babies arriving from a war zone in the arms of their weary parents. The caption said, "There is no such thing as other people's children." You, Louis, belong first to God and then to your parents and, by extension, our large, boisterous family, but you also belong to the world.
You belong to a world that is fucked up. You also belong to an incredibly beautiful world. You belong to a world with war zones and a world where there is no such thing as other people's children. Where will you fit into this world, Little Louie? Your parents are overwhelmed with the minute-by-minute care and feeding of an infant, but your grandmother (that would be me) has time to ponder the place of a baby born into a world with 7.9 billion people.
I wonder if you will discover your power and your insignificance at the same time? Will that knowledge crush you or bring you to your knees in humility? Will you rise above your soul's brokenness or be bound by it? Will you embrace the flawed people God brings into your life or be their judge? Will you see the world for its beauty or condemn it for its ugliness? Will you use your gifts to bring light to darkness or horde them for your glory?
I imagine the answer to all these questions is somewhere in the middle, Louis. At least that is true for most of us. We are a mixture of humanity and divinity, struggling to be the best version of who we were created to be. Brand new, pure in the flesh, little people like you give us fresh motivation to get it right. You remind us how loved we are by our creator, that we are loved just because we are, no other reason.
Welcome to our world, Louis Rooster Hutchins. We are so delighted you are here. We vow to stand by your side as you grow, hold your hand when you stumble, wrap you in hugs on the good days and the bad. We vow to celebrate you just because you are. We thank God for giving us the gift that is you.