Our youngest daughter came to us at just four days old, on Valentine’s Day.

The day she was born, we were adopting our toddler twin sons. While we stood in the courtroom with them, amazed at the beautiful little people we had been blessed with, another was coming into the world.

Our agency called us and asked if we would put out names in to be considered. I had already taken two calls that day for infants, and had sadly said no. It’s so hard to say no. At the time I thought that I was saying no because of the timing, which would have made perfect sense to anyone. Our sons were barely adopted, and we also had an 11-month-old girl. It would be crazy to add a baby, right?

And yet.

When they called a third time, when they called about our girl, I was shocked to hear the words come out of my own mouth. “Yes,” I said. “Tell the caseworker yes.”

Our previous experiences told me that we had time. Saying yes didn’t mean she was coming home with us; the caseworker would need to go through the other files of families who asked to be considered, probably call with some follow-up questions. She would need time to decide. So when I called my husband at work to let him know that I had placed us on a list for a newborn, I wasn’t worried when he was in a meeting. Why would I be? There was plenty of time.

We probably wouldn’t even be chosen.

No need to worry.

And 15 minutes later, the case worker called us directly to say she would be at our house in a couple of hours with our newborn baby.

The circumstances surrounding my girl as she entered the world were alarming. Terrifying. Her pediatrician said later, “This baby really should not have made it. It’s amazing that this baby made it.”

We thought so, too. But now that we know her, it’s not so surprising.

She weighed barely four pounds. When the case worker pulled the receiving blanket off of the carrier, I was stunned by her size. Truth be told, I was afraid to pick her up. The harness buckle in the carseat was wider than her entire body.

Thankfully, only my own mother noticed my eyes go wide for that moment before I gathered myself and scooped my tiny babe up.

This little miracle babe. Our miracle baby.

We were told she was likely deaf. Initial tests showed a loss of hearing that mimicked that of other biological family members. She had not been given a name, so at appointments I checked her in as “Baby Girl.” Her case was the stuff of administrative nightmares; lost documents, unfiled papers, balls dropped again and again. Anxiety seemed to be woven into her—she would scream and cry, trembling in fear, for reasons we were unable to see or understand.

It was over two years before we were able to adopt our girl. 756 days.

For her adoption, she wore a dress made by my mother from my own wedding dress. My brother put together a video of her life to show at the party. My dad told the judge, “Thank you for making me a grandpa. Again.”

Incredibly, she can hear. She has a beautiful name. She is filled with fire and laughter and sass.

Sometimes, our girl is still afraid. Water, tags on clothes, people she has known her whole life. Sometimes it’s still too much.

But more and more, only I see it. Only I see that split-second fear, watch her eyes go wide, searching for strength. And in that small moment, I send her all that I can, mother to daughter.

And then, somehow, I am the person who gets to see her grow stronger, grow bolder, gather herself. I get to watch as she performs miracles.

This little miracle babe. Our miracle baby.

Now that we know her, though, it’s not so surprising.