Dear April the Giraffe,
I know you are loved my millions at this point in your life. You have been watched by my family for 34 days now. You may not be physically here but we all treat you like family. You are on the computer screen 24 hours a day. You are on my phone 24 hours a day; which has created its own issue of needing to be plugged in about 23 hours a day. You are on our television when we are in the living room. You are always with us, even when we are not home.
Each morning when the two youngest get up, they are in my room to see how you are doing and if the baby is here. Each day before I let them out of the car for school, I have to show them my phone so they can see you, say good-bye and wish you good luck. Each afternoon when they get home, they run to find you and see how you and Oliver are doing. Each night before going to bed they kiss you goodnight, wish you good luck and head to bed.
We have learned where you like to sleep. We have learned your moods. We know patterns in which you walk. We love when you get the hay in the shared feeder with Oliver. Your hay baths are the best and it is as if you just know that it bothers him and is so enjoyable for us to watch. We also see you giving yourself a hay bath over in the right hand corner where you regular feeder is, but because of the position of the camera we don’t get to enjoy that as much. We love the relationship you have with Alissa, the bond is so amazing to watch. We wave goodnight to your caretaker each night as they wave to the camera, because you know they can see us! The kiddos have even learned the difference in your tail and leg position for pooping, potty and now when you are contracting and pushing.
You have blessed this family! We have learned so much about the giraffe population in the wild over the past month! We had no idea that there are less giraffes in the wild than elephants! How can that be? You have given us so much knowledge and been such an encouragement to learn even more about giraffes in general.
Now here is the deal, we have been watching you and Oliver for over a month! I get that YOU are the one who is pregnant. I understand that you have been dealing with the contractions. I understand this has been going on for 15 months now. I have seen the kicks on the screen, they make me cringe. How in the world your insides are not dying from those baby hooves amazes me. Here it is, we are so ready to meet this little one! We have been waiting and watching and guessing days and we are so wrong, over and over.
I think you are going to wait until April 1, 2017 at this point! It is just a big ol’ joke on us. I mean we can see on the video and in the photos that your body is changing. We can see that the baby is growing and moving. So why not let her come out and play?
I watch you each time you work on laying down. It was so painful to watch in the very beginning. Now it is even worse. It takes you so long to get your body down to the ground so you can rest for such a short amount of time. I know you are being careful and yet I still worry about you each time you go to lay down. Seeing that beautiful, big and tall body trying to get down on the ground without crashing, it is just painful to watch.
We know that you are well taken care of. We know that this baby will come when she is good and ready. We have been watching. We have been waiting. We will continue to watch. We will continue to wait!
As a family who has fallen in love with you, with Oliver, with the staff who cares about you at Animal Adventure Park, we are praying for you and your little one. We are praying for an easy birth when it is time. We are praying for minimal pain and discomfort. We are praying for zero complications. We have you all lifted up in prayer.
You, April, have captured the worlds heart in the past 34 days. It doesn’t matter who you talk to, everyone seems to know about you! Even if they don’t actively watch you, they know who you are! I know that none of the people at the park knew where one simple camera pointed at a April was going to lead. Still here one little park is changing the world, changing what we know and knew about Giraffes, changing the actions of people.
God is pretty darn amazing in how He works! For that I am thankful. April we are waiting!
The Buitendyk Family
PS: We went to an expo the other day. Jack David saw two handmade rugs, both were made up of safari animal skins. We both agreed there was no way we would ever be able to buy either of them. They both had giraffe skin used in them.