This past weekend we celebrated Aili's 12th birthday.
It's wild and wonderful thing to see your little girl begin to become a woman.
So much has changed, but...
I still see that same little face that used to ask me to rub her back every night at bedtime by pleading "wubby?"
I still see that impish little grin as she does her best to make us laugh.
I still see the same blue eyes that looked up at me, wide open, as I held her for the first time.
I vividly remember looking down and saying
"hello, I'm your mummy"
It was a fearful, and incredible experience to hold my living, breathing, healthy, wriggling full of life child.
A little part of me, a little part of her daddy.
I can't quite figure out where the years went.
Part woman, part little girl.
A fascinating combination.
Old enough for a budding friendship, and long late evening conversations with Mom...
and yet not too old to build forts, play house, and play play-doh with her siblings.
I'm so thankful for this beautiful young lady.
She is such a good helper. I honestly don't know how I'd keep all the daily tasks done with out her.
I've heard the sentiment that fostering, adoption, or large families in general, aren't fair to older children. They "have to" learn to serve others, to share what they have, and to be responsible long before our culture says they should. Far from being a detriment it has helped to forge the character of this young lady.
Aili is the first one to suggest we adopt again, and ask for more siblings. Although I'm sure she would love more undivided attention from Mom and Dad, I know she doesn't resent having four younger siblings...in fact it appears that she quite enjoys it. She day dreams (outloud) about all the places she's going to go, the work she's going to do, and the people she's going to serve. I really can't wait to see what God's got planned for this one.
At 12 she can make meals, bake various goodies, and is neater at folding laundry than I am. This girl is amazing at organizing the Little's into activities, games, and doing crafts with them. She even enjoys "teaching preschool" lessons to them. This experience has led to regular babysitting jobs, and her being a "mothers helper" one day a week for a neighbour who has three preschool boys. It's been fun to watch her develop from a scatterbrained adolescent into a responsible young woman who can keep track of her money, and show up at a job. She is quite the little entrepreneur.
She is creative, ambitious, and full of big ideas and dreams. She loves to write, and has recently taken up sewing. She keeps her Barbies outfitted with original custom designs.
12 years ago a bright eyed, pink faced, fuzzy haired baby girl was born. She made her parents, who had waited so long, and been through so much heart break, the happiest people on earth.
These parents were also confused because people told them to "sleep when the baby sleeps", and this baby just did not sleep. She was convinced if she closed her eyes she would miss something important.
12 years later this beautiful girl still lives life with her heart and her eyes wide open.
Aili, you are a delight.
I am so proud of you, and thankful for you.
You are a gift to us, and a gift to the world that you are going to set on fire.
You are lovely, and beautiful.
Happy Birthday Aili girl.
Soli Deo Gloria,