She was three and a half years old when she walked down that aisle of grass, dropping petals just perfectly as practiced(and practiced and practiced).
And before my beloved and I slipped on rings and vows he scooped her in his arms and she laid her head right down, leaning safe against his heart.
We had promises for her, too.
Prayed about, written, a critical part of this public commitment my soon-to-be and I so longed for.
And the only Daddy she's ever known, these were his words to her:
"Selah, we promise to love you well...
By telling you we love you,
And by showing you our love.
We promise to protect you,
and take care of you
To the best of our God-given ability.
We promise to teach you
By words and by example
How to live your life for Christ,
and how to develop a relationship with Him."
Then I smiled into her sweet blues:
"We promise to pray for you,
and with you.
We promise to play with you
and take time for you.
And to encourage you to be
the amazing girl God has called you to be.
And to remind you that we think you are wonderful!"
She echoed each word we said.
We always told her that someday, we would have a special ceremony to change her last name, too. Some celebration publicly declaring that she is specially loved by him, too.
We've talked long about those God had great plans for who were not raised by a biological parent.
Esther. Moses. But Samuel and Jesus are her favorites to talk about.
After a year and a half of legal process, it still felt all-of-the-sudden when the time came to go to court. It was on the morning of her Daddy's 32nd birthday, and we all prayed there would be another reason to celebrate the day.
And shortly before those special words that made us all legally bind and belong she crawled in his lap, so grown and beautiful, and laid her head against him again, wrapped safe in her father's arms.
"Why are you so excited about having your new last name, Selah?"
"I wanted people to know that I belong to him..."