Friday, July 30, 2010
Kiana took her first steps at the Lackland AFB Fisher House surrounded by her mom and dad and adopted families. Everyone was holding their breath, as she walked into the playroom in her little red socks, golden hair and brilliant, beaming blue eyes, with the longest eye lashes I have ever seen. She kept taking short inhalations, accompanied by small precious smiles. As her steps became more confident, it was as if she had conquered the world. It was in her face, in her eyes, and in her spirit.
These first baby steps led her into the children's play room, at this home away from home for our sick or wounded military and their families. Kiana instantly saw Kelsie, and with great intent rushed, on wobbly little legs to throw her arms around this dog, on this occasion of her first steps. The first steps of the rest of her life. All you could hear from her parents and the other adults gathered were the words, "She's walking! She's walking!" There were tears in her daddy's eyes, and as he unashamedly wiped them away, his life changed in front of us all.
Daddy's little girl - for better, for worse, for life had just taken her first steps!
But what her mom and dad didn't realize was all of the love that surrounded this child and all of the hearts that were touched by this amazing and unexpected gift she shared with all of us.
We all take baby steps. We all enter uncharted waters with wobbly legs and a scared heart. And we all have a sense of wonder and delight of where we might be heading and what lies out there waiting. We reach out trepedaciously, but if we are strong enough, and brave enough and persistent enough, we can reach our goals. And like Kiana, we can shine all the way there. We can grow and delight in the journey or we can plop down on the floor and cry.
Kiana fell multiple times, but never a tear. There was only determination in her face each time she fell, as she got back up and continued toward her goal - Kelsie.
It was a moment I won't forget. For although Kiana's grandparents weren't present for this event, there were many other excited grandparents there, just for the night, just for the moment. What a blessing.