My dear birthday girl,
Five years ago today you were born: a tiny, “failure-to-thrive” girl. I am tearful today as I think of you then: so fragile and alone and vulnerable and yet: held by God. He had plans for you. Plans to prosper you and to give you hope and a future. Somehow He saw fit to add your daddy and me into His plans for your life, and for that we are so grateful. We see you today, proudly five- and oh-so thriving, and we cannot help but give thanks to God for your life, and for God’s great love for you and His generosity to let us witness how He’ll grow you and unfold His plan for you.
Happy day, our Adelia Hope. You are such a blessing to us. You are SO MUCH FUN. You are exuberant and expressive and active and noisy and curious and funny and tenacious and smart and busy and stubborn and talkative and playful and fearless and outgoing and generous.
You love helping mommy in the kitchen- especially washing dishes and using the hand mixer. You crack me up with that mixer in hand-- zipping it around the bowl furiously and completely capable. :)
You still like to be snuggly in the mornings when you get up: especially if you can curl up with daddy and have him all to yourself.
You love books. You love to be read to and you love to pull a stack of books onto the couch with you and read yourself.
You love to ride your bike. You are our earliest bike-rider. You wanted to ride bikes like the “big kids”, so- at age four- you got on your bike every.single.day and tried. You’d fall down and get right back on your bike and try again. Daddy and mommy helped a bit, initially: pushing you through the yard and trying to help you not wobble so much. And then Isaac took over. He patiently assisted you and encouraged you and before we knew it, you were proudly riding around all by yourself.
You love music. Often you’ll go into your room, put on a CD at a VERY high volume, and sing and dance. And often, on your quiet time: you’ll stand on the bed and sing at the top of your lungs. (Which isn’t really so quiet and sometimes it isn’t so delightful but I love that part of you that is happy and boisterous.)
You love watching videos. It’s one of your favorite things.
You want to be big and grown up and you correct me every time I refer to you and Audra as the "little girls", because you are NOT little, you are BIG.
You love to play games and it’s so much fun that you’re able to play more games now. :) You like Old Maid, Sequence, Apples to Apples and UNO.
You love to make us laugh. You are so happy when you say something funny and your siblings giggle. :)
You love swimming, and talk often about when it’s going to be summer so that you can swim. You’d wear your swimsuit every day if I let you. (And you did wear it every single day until mommy hid it in my closet because it is winter and it’s not really cold-weather apparel.)
You love “cappuccinos”- and by that you actually mean “Cheetos”. You love most chips and crackers and chex mix and popcorn. You love bacon. You like donuts and “panpakes” and fruit snacks and spaghetti and pizza.
You are generous-- even with your favorite things. You’ll get some candy or chips and immediately offer some to everyone else in the family. You’ll start telling us something and then Audra will want to talk at the same time and we’ll tell her that it’s Adelia's turn right now and she can wait, and you’ll say, “Go ahead, Audra. You can talk now.”
No one is a stranger to you. You will say hi to anyone and introduce yourself and start talking about whatever is on your mind (sometimes embarrassingly so- like the time we were in the theater watching a dance performance and you announced loudly to the older couple sitting near us that you were wearing your big-girl panties. And then you promptly asked them if they were wearing their big-girl panties, too!) You’re the little girl at the park who will walk up to another child you’ve never met and say hi and start playing. Your brothers and sisters aren’t like this at all, so this is new to me and it blesses me. You are a friend to everyone, and it’s a sweet thing to see.
You have a great memory. You remember conversations and events and promises and you remind us often. Grandpa and Grandma were going to take us all to a baseball game one time and the morning we were going to go, you got sick and you and I had to stay home. Grandma told you then that they’d take you again sometime, and you reminded her every.single.time you saw her, until they took you! You love to talk about what we’ve done and where we’ve gone and what you’ve seen and heard.
You are game for everything. You want to try everything, and you aren’t afraid. If the uncles are playing a game of football, you’re right in there, ready to play. No matter that everyone is bigger than you and you don’t know exactly what you’re doing: you’re IN. (This is something else your siblings aren’t, and I love to see this in you!)
God has taught me two practical things in parenting you, my girl. The first thing is that silliness goes a long way with you. You can be grumpy or out of sorts and I’ll just be silly: like climbing into your bed with you and pretending that your tummy is my nice, soft pillow. Or tickling you, or hiding from you, or making silly faces at you-- and your grumpiness is instantly forgotten and you are giggling and reveling in the silliness. The second thing I’ve learned is this: a gentle answer does turn away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). You can be very stubborn and angry with me at times, and I have learned (well, am learning) to return your anger with gentle words and expressions of my love for you, and that goes a long way in softening your heart.
I love you so much, Adelia Hope. You are a gift, and I am so very thankful for you.
Happy five years, sweet and beautiful girl!