Dear Hailey Shaine,
Today you officially throw off adolescence and you become an adult. When your eyes opened today, a shift took place and your dad and I felt it. Your toes are curled on the doorframe of your entire future, and from the view I have behind you, it looks like an incredible and beautiful adventure. Today dad and I are honoring you, thinking of you, and wishing very much that we were with you (darn college). I’m writing this letter to you because I want to openly share with everyone who you are and the woman you’ve become.
When I was a little girl, the dreams I held close were for me to have children from my own womb. You were never in those dreams.
I’m also pretty sure that as you played with your dolls, having a stepmom, a bonus mom, or whatever title I carry wasn’t in your plans either. Very likely your eyes didn’t see past your family unit as it was. I was never in your plans.
During all the times I prayed and asked God for a husband, I always made sure He knew that one requirement I had was that the man waiting for me did not have children. It was months of praying and surrender when one day I felt a shift in my heart that I was willing to date a man with children. And then I met your dad.
I can remember meeting you for the first time. You were breathtaking with your gorgeous big eyes and tender smile. I was scared to death. You are your fathers heart, walking around in flesh and I knew the dreams I had of being with your dad were entirely dependent on whether or not we would connect. That first night that we met, you asked me to paint your fingernails, and my heart instantly melted.
You accepted me with an open heart from that first glance and first initial hug. From that very moment, I knew your heart was a rare and precious treasure.
Over the last 5 years, I have watched you grow, make mistakes, come to know Jesus, and I have seen you mature into one of the most elegant and beautiful examples of being a godly woman.
You my precious stepdaughter, entered into my life as the daughter of my husband, but you have quickly taken up my heart and you became my daughter too. Now, as I’m writing this it’s all to clear that you have also become one of my closest friends.
Today I’m not only celebrating the day you were born and who you have become, but I’m celebrating the fact that God had dreams for my life (you) that were too big for me to imagine, and the relationship that you and I have has filled holes in my heart that I wasn’t aware of.
Happy 21st Birthday, dearest.