We have welcomed another precious daughter, Lilyana (Lily) Grace, to our family. Our sweet Lily arrived early Easter morning, confirming that the name we had chosen was perfect for her and giving us one more amazing life to celebrate on Resurrection Day! She was a healthy 7lbs 12oz and 20.9 inches with a head full of dark hair and long eyelashes.
Lily was 11 days “late” but arrived in her, or rather God’s, perfect time. Mom was able to labor and deliver naturally as desired with the help of a fabulous midwife in a hospital setting. We were able to do a water birth and these pictures were taken moments after Lily was pulled out of the water to take her first breaths. It was an amazing experience!
It was wonderful to be in the States where the midwife and hospital staff spoke perfect English which made for a much easier birth experience than with Lily’s older sister who was born in Italy. Dad was also able to be so much more involved in the first hours and days of Lily’s life than he was with big sister. He was able to stay all night and help with her first bath, footprints, check-ups and all the diaper changes and feedings in between.
A “Lily” has been known to be a symbol of purity, devotion, and beauty. Lilies are also special to us because as Erika’s favorite they were the featured flower in our wedding almost 11 years ago. Her name reminds of the devotion and beauty of love.
“Ana” means full of grace and mercy. We have chosen it in honor of her Abuelita (grandma), Ana Maria Tello, who is a woman that exemplifies both grace and mercy. We hope Lilyana will grow to be as gracious and kind as her Abuelita.
Together, “Lilyana” means, “God is my oath” and is a name that is easily pronounced in English, Italian, and Spanish (a prerequisite for naming our girls which is slightly challenging).
We chose “Grace” because this season of our life has been a time when we have realized grace, a gift of God that frees us from bondage in sin to His unfailing love and abundant provision, in new and profound ways during this season. Lily’s birth at this time is also a picture to us of God’s grace. Not only is she an undeserved gift but the circumstances of her birth, being Stateside near family and with the comforts of being in our “home country” (unlike the birth of her older sister Arianna), is something we treasure.
Her Big Sister
Speaking of Arianna, she waited about 8 months for this day (since we told her about the pregnancy right away) when she finally got to meet her new little sister! She was timid at first, but beamed when we put Lily in her arms. She has been sweet and nurturing from the start even “shhh-ing” and patting her little sister, without prompting, whenever she starts to fuss. We pray they are the best of friends for a lifetime!
Another huge perk of giving birth in the States, besides the English speakers and comforts of “home,” is that lots of family could visit our baby girl in those first days and weeks! What a blessing to have the love and support of extended family so close!
We are so grateful for the gift that our little Lilyana is to our family. Thanks for being part of this journey with us – now a family of four!