Cousins Three

If you have been following our blog lately, it might seem like all we do any more is post birth announcements.  Ah yes.  Well, to that end, here's another, the last for awhile we think (at least a few months).  On April 15, Ellis Rose Durham, our 3rd niece, was born in the Vanderbilt Hospital L&D triage.  That's Sami's story to tell, but we were excited that after a fast and furious labor, a healthy little girl emerged at 6 lbs 11oz.  Things that make this birth special and perfect:

Liam, Ellis's big brother, was born 5 days after Ben.  Now Ellis was born 14 days after Tobias.  Sami and I are on the same family expansion plan these days. :)

Ellis was born literally 2 weeks after Tobias, almost to the hour.

Eric's other sister Jena's baby Lily was born on March 15 (Ides of March), Toby was born April 1 (April Fool's), and Ellis was born on April 15 (Tax Day).  Isn't that great symmetry?

And so in the end, despite each of us three ladies probably feeling like our baby was never going to come, now that it's done it seems preordained and well orchestrated.  There's only one thing that makes this un-perfect, and that is the fact that we live on separate continents, and will until 2015.  Nothing in our missionary life is harder than this, I think, especially when we see pictures of Lily and Ellis together.  What a great reunion it will be when they are all two.  But for now, despite the bittersweetness, we rejoice again at God's provision, protection, and blessing.


Tobias Timothée McLaughlin

Over four months ago, Rachel told me that the ideal date for our baby to be born would be April 1.  She didn't want another March birthday (she and Ben are in March), but she didn't want to wait any longer than necessary, and that way, true to McCropder tradition, the baby could share a birthday with Sarah.

Never mind that it was 8 days prior to her due date, and thus 15 days prior to her French due date (they use 41 weeks for some reason).

Yet, lo and behold, months later, more or less during Sarah's birthday celebration, the contractions kicked up in earnest.  Several hours later, Tobias Timothée McLaughlin was born at the Albertville hospital.  All has been well.  Rachel will provide her take on being a patient in the French system later on.

It may be remembered that Ben has two middle names:  "Kenneth Kipruto", the first being Rachel's dad's name, and the second being his Kenyan name, meaning "boy born while traveling".  Timothée (pronounced Teem-o-tay) is in fact the French spelling of my father's name, thus keeping the same pattern, but combining both elements into one.

Questions from the peanut gallery:
  • Was he a chunker like the others?  8lbs 9oz, in between the others
  • Does Tobias has a really cool-looking French birth certificate?  No, it is in fact the most underwhelming legal document I have ever seen.
  • Is he eligible for French citizenship?  No, you must have a French parent to be eligible for citizenship.
  • Could he be president of the United States?  This was actually the first question he asked me after being born.  It's funny how the answer to this doesn't seem to be straightforward, but the most reliable answer I've been given is that, since he acquires citizenship at birth (by virtue of being born to American citizens), that he could be president.
Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us.  Please continue.

Psalm 126:3 - "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."