Looks like I may have missed a few months of updates! Six months ago today, we saw Zachary's face for the first time. It genuinely feels like he's always been with us. I look at pictures the orphanage sent us of his life before becoming a Vandewater and I have a hard time believing it's true...that he had another life for almost 2 1/2 years. This week I have been thinking a lot about how we mark the time. Six months since I touched my baby for the first time...yesterday my dad would have had his 59th birthday...on Monday Justin and I will celebrate 13 years of marriage...Joah is starting kindergarten...five years since we started going to our church, The Crossing, and God turned my heart to Him in a deeper way. All these things are big markers in my life. There is one marking of time that has been the most pressing on my heart lately. Next week, on the 21st of August, it will be one month since some very special people in our lives suddenly lost their 4-month-old baby girl, Quinn Noel. Quinn's story is not mine to tell, but even writing her name makes my heart tighten into knots and my eyes fill with tears. I have been unable to keep her and her sweet parents out of my mind. They are the kind of people who you notice...at first because they are outwardly beautiful. They shine. Ali lights up every room she enters and Tim is so good at loving people. A moment after you notice their outward beauty, their inner beauty outshines it. We call them both family and friends. Every time they have been to our house Ali blesses me by tackling the dishes and Tim sneaks away from the adult conversation to love on my kids. They adore Tim and Ali just as much as we do. Quinn is a miracle we all prayed for. I believe that when you pray for someone for a long time, your heart is tied to them in a beautiful way. I was excited to get special time with her when her mom started teaching again and I would babysit her. I would watch Asher and Zachary when they were around babies, curious how they would treat Baby Quinn at our house each day. I had decided the girls' room was the best place for her to take her naps and I wondered how she would do at library storytime each week with the boys. I selfishly hoped we would have a special bond and I also looked forward to getting to see her mom or dad every morning and afternoon when one of them dropped her off and picked her up. Losing all these things I "planned" and even "dreamed" about for my upcoming schoolyear with Asher, Zac, and Quinn are just the slightest brushstroke of heartache when compared to what Tim and Ali are feeling and experiencing each moment of every day. Everyone who hasn't experienced this kind of loss says, "I can't imagine." I can't imagine. This is the thing I love most about Tim and Ali, though. You know when I talked about how Ali lights up every room she enters and Tim is so good at loving people? That Light comes from the Light of the World and that Love comes from the One who IS Love. Even through their pain and mourning, weeping and brokeness I still see that Light in Ali's eyes and that Love in Tim's. It is something that does not change because the Holy Spirit is inside them and He does not change. It is that Spirit that gave Ali the peace that passes all understanding...the peace I could actually feel when I held her one week after she endured the most horrible night of her life. I could feel it. I believe Jesus is real...He is Love...He is Light...He is Peace. I love you Tim, Ali, and Quinn.