Aliyana Henry is one of Jayden’s best friends. From the time she and Jayden were sparkles in our eyes, they were friends. She is about 2 months older than Jayden. She (and her family) used to be 3 minutes away and sadly, moved to Elmhurst (aka the promised land, according to Katie 🙂 a few years ago but we have remained close to the Henry’s. They will always be treasured friends.
Katie and Jud do an excellent job parenting and they have really helped Ali embrace and love Jayden, even though he is a bit different than her. To Ali, Jayden is just…well, Jayden. And as a parent of a child that may not experience a lot of acceptance from his peers, it means the world to us that in her eyes, he is just…Jayden. She takes good care of him and still pays attention to him, which means the world to us, especially when her other friends are around. In fact, that has been a hard transition for us. We are learning how to truly be joyful for other children as they meet milestones, and separate that from our grief that our children are not doing the same.
Thank you, Katie, for being gracious through the process and still sharing about your children and all the wonderful things they are doing while still being sensitive to where we are. You have never offended me and I LOVE to hear what new and exciting things are happening with the kiddos. We love the way your family is with our family and consider your friendship truly a gift. We also enjoy how Canyon is now interested in Jayden. It is fun to see him run around in Jayden’s old clothes and ask “where’s Jayden?”. Kingston just doesn’t know what he is in for, but soon enough!
We are thrilled that Ali is becoming such a lovely young woman and feel blessed to be called Aunt Stef and Unc. We love them like they are our own and were honored to share in her day. We drove to Elmhurst and went to a cute pizza joint and then to the park. The kids had a blast!
Ali-our birthday prayer for you is that you always find your identity in Christ, that you embrace an eternal perspective and see yourself through God’s eyes and not the worlds. We thank God that he is already pursuing you. We pray for your salvation-that you know and love him deeply. I pray that you will be just like your mother, with a heart for the hurting, and love that runs deep for everyone she comes in contact with. We pray that all your independence and “grown-up” behavior will mature you into a lovely young woman of Christ!
Thank you Henrys-for loving us like family, Ali-for including us in your day, and we look forward to celebrating more birthdays together!