Dear future husband to Adelynne & future husband to Aubrey,
Today, as I picked up Nolan from school...his half day, while Aubrey and Adelynne attend full-day, he said to me, "Where's my girls? They comin' home too?" When I told him we'd get them later today, he dropped his shoulders, puckered his lips, and sadly said, "aawww."
This is just one of the many visuals I get when I think about the relationship between Nolan and Adelynne & Nolan and Aubrey. I also see them each stop in the school doorway to hug and kiss him goodbye each morning. I see it when they walk into the door each afternoon and ask him first how his day was, the way they praise him when he had a good day, and the way they encourage him to do better when it was a not so pretty day. I see it in the way they divvy up homework and play time with Nolan. "How about I'll do my homework first while you play with Nolan and then when I'm done, we'll switch," Adelynne will say. I see it in the way they battle over who gets to sit with him at dinner. I see it in the way he prays on the way to school in the morning, "Fank you God for my Adie, my Aubrey...and...and...trucks." I see it in the way Aubrey boldly talks to her class about Wiliams syndrome, proud of her brother. I see it in the way they both, separately, on the same Sunday, grabbed a prayer request card from the pew and wrote, "Please pray my brother will accept Jesus." I'm not even kidding...I was sitting between them, trying to hold in the emotion from realizing their deep, passionate, enduring commitment to loving this boy.
I tell you all this only to let you know, that marrying into any family is never easy. There are family dynamics that are uncertain at times and uncomfortable. There may even be people you inherit that quite frankly you don't care for. There are illnesses, there are additions, there are life changes and hard times. But, in our case, each of these girls come as a package deal. I've prayed for you for a very long time, and before Nolan was part of our family, I prayed that you would love Jesus first, them second, and that you would have many of the same qualities as their daddy. They know this as the "3 criteria for a husband." :) I'm serious, ask them. But, I'd now like to add a fourth...you must love their brother. By that I don't mean...
Oh sure I love your brother. He cute, he's funny, I love him because you love him honey...
I mean LOVE him. I mean love him so much you'd reconsider taking Aubrey or Adelynne far away from him to live because that would devastate him so. I mean love him enough you overlook the nuisances of an adult with special needs. I mean love him to where he's with you two often, at your house often, and goes places with you. I mean love him so much that no one can tell whether or not you're his brother or brother-in-law.
This is no easy task, just as it was never easy for them, growing up...worrying over surgeries, worrying over whether or not someone's making fun of him, worrying over what will happen to him if he dies, being asked to deal somewhat with adult concerns at a much younger age than should be asked of them. I ask that if you can't sign up for the package deal, that you love her enough to let her go. But, if you are willing to sign up for the package deal, we welcome you into our family with open arms. I promise you, either of these girls is a catch, and having the privilege of being loved by Nolan is one of life's greatest treasures here on earth.
I pray for you almost each day, that God's working in your life somehow. I pray for His hand of protection over you as you grow in your relationship with Him, even as a child. I pray he's creating in you a loving, compassionate heart, as each Aubrey and Adelynne have sensitive hearts that will need such qualities. I pray you're learning to love Jesus first and foremost, as He loves you, and that you love people second because ultimately that's what life is for...to love Jesus, and love others.
I pray for you because I love Aubrey, Adelynne & Nolan more than all the fishies in the sea.