Through the past 10 years, I have watched Shane and Dylan with their baby sister. From the moment she was placed in their arms, they were in love with her. Those boys wouldn't put her down, I was afraid that she wouldn't learn to walk (no worries with that, at 10 months she was up and hasn't stopped since). They still carry her on their backs when she asks. They have played dollies, had their hair put in pony tails, sat for tea parties, gone to dance recitals and horse shows, all for the love of their sister. They draw the line at allowing her to practice her make up skills though. They have gotten just a little taste of the love that they will some day have for a child of their own. She makes them want to do better and be better.
During the last 10 years, Jim has come to embrace the color pink, know more about about Disney princesses than he ever wanted to know, and has been wrapped around his little girls' finger from the start. I watch the two of them together and am overwhelmed. They created a bedtime routine of Pirate Daddy that I couldn't even begin to explain, but makes my heart happy. Last night, they attended a Daddy Daughter Dance. Their eyes were shining when they came home and their joy was radiating from them. There is a special bond between a father and a daughter...and it is a strong bond with Jim and Delainey. She might make him crazy sometimes (probably because she is so much like me), but you can see the love that is always there.
During my tough times, it has often been Delainey that has motivated me. With our move to Salem, I followed her lead and put myself out there to meet people. I have become friends with the parents of her friends that she has made through school and other activities. I watch this child, this young lady, handle things with so much grace, and she gives me courage to do the same. She isn't afraid to stand up for herself and her friends. I watched with amazement as she stood up in front of her classmates and their parents to sing an a cappella solo at a school concert...she had no fear at the microphone. She did the same at church during Advent when we were asked to share a reading with the congregation. She faces her fears and teaches us to do the same.
Delainey was baptised when she was 4. There was a moment in the service when our family, friends, and members of our church all came up and laid hands upon Delainey while our pastor prayed. I felt the Holy Spirit that day filling the church and blessing Delainey. She told me once that Jesus was her best friend and lives in her heart all the time. I know that the seeds were planted at her baptism (she was old enough to remember), for I see His hands at work in her life all the time. Our family has been blessed for the past decade with Delainey and I look forward to seeing what the next decade brings.
"For I know that plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."