March 13, 2017 update: Five years have flown by . . . the Helms family is growing and serving and loving with every breathe.
Good news. Love wins. Without fail, love wins, even when it’s hard and takes a long time. Since the writing of this blog Jake and Carolyn have married, purchased their first home, and begun a powerful Campus Life Ministry. Alexa Jane is a straight up cherub. Yep. A city on a hill whose light cannot be hidden.
Dear Alexa Jane,
You were born into a house of love. The kind of love that costs big.
I met your Daddy when you were days old. His sweatshirt hood pulled low to hide the pallid face of withdrawal, I served him lunch when his shaky hands could barely hold the tray.
Late winter broke into verdant spring and your Daddy continued to come through my line. I began to know him in snippets. First thing he ever shared with me? “I have a daughter, Alexa Jane . . .she’s a month old.”
Each of us has a story, and your Daddy had the courage to tell his piece by piece. Months passed and in the heat of late summer I saw your Daddy out on the sidewalk. We had our first real conversation.
I could tell that he was very bright. Incredibly bright. One of a tribe of highly successful, ambitious siblings. And he had struggled with drug addiction for some time. It was one step forward, three steps back for several years. And he was weary.
And then you came along. And love won out.
Alexa Jane, your Daddy held you as a newborn and knew that he didn’t want to hold you with compromised arms. He wanted his embrace to be strong and true. Not perfect, but true. The embrace of a father who would go to the ends of the earth for his little girl. I know this, because I have that kind of father.
Alexa, your Daddy has the kind of courage that moves him from the darkest night toward the life he was meant to live. And his day one at HUM is not the one that matters so much, but it’s the day after day of life choices that make the strongest stand toward that end. Yep. Your Daddy has integrity, Alexa Jane.
Thank you, baby girl, for allowing me to share your first birthday party with you. You were surrounded by your people . . . family and friends that love you and your Mommy and Daddy. Yes, you are well loved, Alexa Jane. I watched you taste your very first finger swipe of chocolate frosting, then turn to share it freely. I watched you pad around exploring boldly in your pink tulle skirt and sassy leather slippers. And I watched the sandman kiss your forehead, giving your eyes the glaze that says, “It’s been a good day, and now I’m going to float in the arms of the one who loves me.”
Know this, baby girl. Hope begins in the dark.
To hold and be held? Well, that’s to feel the sun from all sides.
And love wins. Every time.