For no other reason than it was always meant to be;
I choose you!
Loving a child as your own is yes, a choice, but never seems like one.  Love is powerful.  Love allows you to expand the borders of your family without ever noticing.  Love is color blind.  It has no need for a DNA test.  Love is reason enough and rewards a double blessing when you choose to love those born of the heart.

6 brooke flower in hair

Ten years ago a beautiful little girl named Brooklyn captured the heart of our son Nathan, a three year old daughter of his future wife.  An adorable child so sweet you’d think she was born in a candy shop, wrapping herself around our son’s pinky as a ring pop.  Not a father yet, though you’d never know. Instantly Nathan and Brooklyn went together like peanut-butter and jelly; a relationship that seemed to have always been since the beginning of Brooklyn’s life.

17 nathan and brooke little on deck

As quickly as Brooklyn’s love invaded the life of our son, the arms of a huge family embraced her also.  Brooklyn’s name was now on the Christmas list of all the aunts and uncles and her birth-date was duly noted on the calendar to celebrate.

brooke 5

With cousins too many to count, Brooklyn found her place without effort as love always makes room for more.  She fit in like she’s always had that reserved chair at the dinner table.

brooke and alicea family

cousins on bench

In addition to aunts, uncles and cousins, Brooklyn would become the very first grandchild to David and I, whom she would refer as Papa and Gaga.  David and I are crazy about her and vice versa.  We don’t need a piece a paper to say she is ours.  Love is a deep well that never dries up.  We joyfully draw from this well and shower Brooklyn the blessings rightfully hers.

20 papa and brooke at baseball

11 david hugging girls

From day one ten years ago, Brooklyn has proudly worn the name tag “daddy’s girl.”  Brooklyn just loves her daddy.  She has never outgrown her daddy’s lap. Her arms are always around him and daddy’s smile says it all about her.

8 brooke on nathans back

But there did come a day when Brooklyn’s siblings arrived that Brooklyn wanted to write her last name the same as they did.  Not that she felt different or was different, but there’s something powerful about a name, their last name she wanted for her own.

wedding pic

Brooklyn finally got her heart’s wish and celebrated that wish on her Adoption Day.  No greater picture, though albums have been taken prior, than when it’s official.

Brooklyn, you were chosen for no other reason than it was always meant to be.

13 nathan and brooke at judge chamber

21 whole family at judge

At your birthday party two years ago, your daddy celebrated you and your one-of-a-kind relationship:

19 nathan speaking use this one

“What can I say!  I am a proud father of two beautiful girls that I love so much.

Brooklyn, my first.  What a great opportunity for me to learn what it was to be a dad and how to love unconditionally.  Since the first time I met you at three years old until now, has been an amazing journey.  You have been through a lot, but I am glad that I was there to help you get through those difficult times.

I want you to know that you have given me a gift that no one could ever take from me, and that was adopting you as my daughter.  The crazy thing is, nothing has changed for me because you have always been my girl from the moment I met you.

I’m proud to see God working in your life, and I hope your mom and I are doing a good job showing you how to live a Christ centered life.  I’m proud of who you are and most of all, I’m proud to be your dad!
I Love You.

                                                                         10 brooke praising

Brooklyn is soon to celebrate her thirteenth birthday this month of June, 2018.  Crowds of family and friends will be gathering to honor her milestone event and I know she is ecstatic.

On that day after she opens her arm loads of gifts, it is our prayer for her as grandparents that she remembers she is a gift also.

Psalm 127:3 reminds us that “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.”

May she remember that just as her daddy chose her to be his own, God had chosen her also as it is written:

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.  Psalm 50:15

And to know we are all adopted into the Kingdom of God, a glorious family of all.

 Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 1:3-6 MSG

4 brooke at diva party no glasses

Happy 13th Birthday Brooklyn

You are a child of destiny with great promise.

We rejoice over your life.

Surely the angels danced the day you were born.

You are loved beyond words.

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Author Lori A Alicea and her beloved husband David of 29 years thank you for sharing a moment of your day with them at Apples of Gold Encouragement. It is their desire you experience their heart for family, love, encouragement and God through the words God has put on Lori’s heart to write. They are hopeful you discover a few treasures of encouragement, realizing we all share common threads in our lives. Be blessed in your day.

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