Youngest Daughter turned sixteen this morning at 8:05.  She was born after my shortest, easiest and most tension free labor.  She was our biggest baby, weighing in at 10 pounds, 6 1/2 ounces. 
       Dr. Han looked down at her on my tummy, all new-born and laughed out loud.  “Look at that fat baby!” He exclaimed.  I cradled my arms around her and thanked God for this precious gift.
       We all thought that she was beautiful.  Her big brothers and sisters all competed for her attention, and the older children at church would tote her around.  She seemed to belong to everyone.  She would dance with J.R. and he would ask her how her hair looked.  “Gor -jus!” she would prattle, to his delight. (While it stuck up in a hundred directions.)  Her big brother’s friend, Matt, called her “Blueberry eyes”  and the name stuck.  (That’s her Xanga name.)  Her future brother in law, then only 12, would carry her around and show her the world.  We were so thankful for this baby girl.  Sixteen months earlier, our family had lost a baby when I had a ruptured appendix and Rachel was much prayed for, and greatly welcomed.
       She didn’t like to smile when we wanted her to.  This is a picture of the five of them, taken when she was around ten months old, I think.
Family picture
She was a pretty somber girlie this particular day.

There were no school pictures during those days, because we were homeschooling.  So when I would run into Wal-mart for picture days, we’d take our little one along and get pictures of her, too

Rachel  2

And then there was the year when we got our family Christmas pictures taken at Olan Mills — I have to laugh at our children and their fresh, young faces.
Family picture 2

And she kept growing, getting more and more talkative and beautiful

Rachel  1
These two pictures come from one of my favorite pictures shoots.  Probably from Wal-mart, but maybe from the old Roses Store in Milford.  I love these two picturesRachel  3

And now she is so grown up.  I love the person she is becoming, even while realizing that she needs guidance for some time yet.  This picture was taken this past summer when she and Middle Daughter made their trek to New York City for an expedition. 

Rachel  4

A few weeks ago, she passed her Driver’s Ed course, and so we are about to embark on the world of our last child driving!  I feel older already. 

My Rachel-Girl, I am so glad that you belong to us.  I don’t know what God is going to have for you to do, but I do know that this world needs more hearts like yours, more strong and healthy young women who aren’t afraid of hard work or getting dirty if the need is there.  I pray that you will be able to trace God’s finger in your life through the good days, yes, but also through the dark and uncertain times when it feels like the world isn’t a friendly place.  You know what?  It isn’t.  But you have chosen to trust your Heavenly Father, and He will never leave you nor forsake you.  I know this to be true, and I will always love you, and “as long as His mercy permits me to live, I shall never cease praying for you!”


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13 responses to “

  1. Isn’t it amazing how fast the years go? Yesterday was Jennifer’s 19th birthday, and I feel so old! I hope Rachel has a wonderful day!

  2. Mom, It brought tears to my eyes reading this tribute to her. She certainly has been a special gift to our family. Our “baby” is growing up.~Christina

  3. Those pictures that include the rest of us are kinda………. embarrasing maybe? weird looking? Look at our glasses.LOL~Christina

  4. I’ve been thinking of your girlie today, too.  I can hardly believe she’s so grown up!!!  She was 5 eleven years ago and so hoping our baby would be born on her birthday … and we rather thought “it” would be.  But we all had to “settle for” the day after.

  5. the years have gone by so fast! when i think of rachel, often that is how i remember her- all little with those big blue eyes. :]

  6. Wow, how very, very special to read about the gift of Rachel to your family. It made me do some reminiscing. In the winter of 89-90, we had just said tearful good-byes to two young foster children and my heart was ACHING for a baby. I had it all figured out that I would get pregnant in Feb, we would have a baby in November, and it would be a little girl and we would name her Laura Elizabeth. That was not to be, but it was so real to me that I have kept track of that little girl’s age ever since. She would be turning 16 in November. I know I sound like a complete nut-case. God has given me many children to take her place, but I still wonder what she would look like.

  7. Ah, yes.  Do I remember the dancin’ days?!  What a gor-jus young woman she is becoming, too.

  8. You have a lovely family.  What a beautiful tribute to your daughter.  I really enjoyed your pictures!

  9. Anonymous

    Hi. How are you?? Im doing good…..graudating nxt year

  10. Sweet sixteen!  That is a milestone for a girl.  Such a wonderful family!

  11. What a meaningful, beautiful birthday tribute ! Blessings to all !

  12. I don’t know your youngest, Mrs. Yutzy, but I’m glad that you posted some little kid pictures of Raph and Lem! They’re both good guys and good friends of mine, and I figure they’re due in large part to you, so great job!

  13. Children are cool, aren’t they?

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