And Then We Were Six

Sep 19, 2012


She was born on September 12 at 4:46 in the morning – two weeks before we expected her but not a moment too soon.

Here are the things I will never forget:

In a new home with no family or friends nearby, we were not alone. Not unprovided for. At eleven p.m. I admitted I might be in labor. The kids were all asleep (the three-year-old only just), and we called the one person we knew best in this new place: our realtor.

I wasn’t sure that this was really “it,” but I didn’t want to bother her at 3 a.m., so we called. She came.  We worried some – what if the three-year-old woke up, and we were gone? What if he found a stranger in our room?

But what point is there in worry?

Jonathan said he had been reading the Bible that evening. These words from Psalm 121: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

We knew then that he was with us. All night, he would be with us. And so we let go of worry and walked.

Too soon for the hospital, I thought, so we walked, up and down the drive, the milkyway just visible between the branches of so many old, old maple trees. We walked, I decided that yes, maybe this was real. Maybe it wasn’t too soon, and, at one a.m., we left for the hospital.

I felt foolish as we checked in. It’s still early! I’m just fine! And worry sometimes crept back in: will she be able to feed the kids breakfast? We have notes posted everywhere about our son’s allergies, but it’s complicated. What if? And will she be able to get them on the bus? And the three-year-old, will he panic? Cry for Dad to be there, making pancakes, as always?

But, we let it go again, and things moved fast and faster. The nurse said, “Just rest. Let me know if you need me.” Barely ten minutes later rest sounded ridiculous, and I yelled, “She’s coming!”

And she came. And she was beautiful. And we were stunned.  

Jonathan left us an hour later, left us tucked into our room together, and he was home before anyone in the house woke up. Yes, he was there, making breakfast, when everyone came in, rubbing their eyes, to hear that they had a sister. That her name was Elsa Spring.


“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come.”

Song of Songs 2:10-12





  1. Aimee

    So happy to hear these pieces of the story that I’d been wondering about, trusting that God had provided in some way…and to hear how he did is a gift now not just to you but to those who read and hear, as well. Thank you God!

    • Christie Purifoy

      Thank you, Aimee. It’s a gift to have this story to share. Miss you! Can’t wait until Miss Ella and Miss Elsa can meet. 🙂

  2. Susan

    Good news! A night you’ll always remember. Praise God.

    • Christie Purifoy

      Thank you, Susan! By the way, I’ve been appreciating your writing so much lately. Keep it up! You have a gift.

  3. Jessica

    Love this post, Christie and already love Elsa. I am moved to tears by the tenderness of the story and of God’s presence. Love all 6 of you!

    • Christie Purifoy

      Love to you, too, Jessica! I’ve thought of you often these past days – wishing you could sit at the end of my bed and hear these stories in person. But then I’m grateful to have this space in which to share them. And grateful to have your friendship no matter how many miles (and years!) we travel.

  4. Mark

    So heartwarming to read these words and to look again at the pictures of this beautiful young girl, Elsa.

  5. Kristin

    Absolutely beautiful…and a great story! Many blessings to you and your family as you have become six.

  6. Lisa Ulrich

    BEAUTIFUL story and Beautiful baby girl!!!!
    Can’t wait to meet little Elsa Spring!

  7. Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

    Oh man. What a thing. Looking forward to talking more about it in person.

  8. KTG

    Beautiful name! God Bless Elsa Spring.



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