Letters to Norah // 20 Months

Letters to Norah, Our StoryJoanna Zuidema2 Comments

Hello, Norah.

20 months.
Somehow, you’re only 4 months away from being two years old. 

It doesn’t even seem possible.

As the dust begins to settle after these wild weeks of moving in, we’re letting our to-do lists slow and are relaxing into new routines. 

But we’re finding that this slower pace is revealing more of the empty spaces, more of where you should be – but aren’t. 

Your daddy and I have started trying to put together your sister’s nursery but, to be honest, we haven’t gotten very far.

It should be straightforward – just unpack the boxes and put everything right back into the same dresser it came out of before we moved. But in seeing all of these tangible remnants of your life fitting into just a handful of boxes the emptiness and silence of this space becomes deafening.


The hand-me-downs to your sister aren’t well-worn and tired with life; your clothes still carry the faint smell of baby laundry detergent from the few loads we did while praying for you to come home. Tags are still attached to your toys and the pages of your books are still crisp and unopened. 

We took the sheets off of your crib mattress, but only to wash away the dust. 

This seemingly mundane task has placed a blinding spotlight on the question sitting heavily on our hearts – are we doing all of this just to have another nursery sit quiet and untouched?


For us, looking ahead to what’s next is a lot like traveling down a familiar path on a foggy day – we have an idea of what’s to come and are just on the edge of seeing it, but there’s no way to know for sure. We go slowly and intentionally, allowing our vision to adjust as we move through the settled cloud. The fog gives us a new appreciation for the next step, the closest tree, all the things we would normally look past that become uniquely highlighted when the background is obscured.

Norah, thank you for teaching your daddy and I how to love fiercely while staring directly into the face of fear. 

Thank you for showing us that having hope can sometimes mean simply surrendering everything to God.

Thank you for teaching us how to keep moving forward, even if it’s foggy.

Miss you forever and love you for always.