July 6, 2004.
Two little souls entered into the world and simply by their presence, I was transformed. Most families grow through addition; our family multiplied the day our twins were born. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since they arrived in a flurry of motion. Come to think of it, that’s a good descriptor of the last decade!
Abby Kate, you are my firstborn, the first to lay claim to my heart. When I discovered that you were growing inside your mother, I literally jumped for joy. And from that day to this one, you’ve never failed to bring joy to your father. I experienced the year of the Lord’s favor when they placed you in my arms and I called you my own. You grow more beautiful with each passing day. You are a treasure trove of God’s richest blessings to me. You teach me about love and tenderness and friendship. You are a strong young lady who comes from a long line of strong women. It is one of my life’s supreme joys to be your Daddy. “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God,” (Isa. 61:10).
Joshua, you are my oldest son, my pride. You have the fight in you; you have since the day you were born. In those early days, you were so small, but you didn’t know any better. All you knew was the fight to grow. But you are also largehearted, a young man of limitless generosity. Your passion for justice runs deep. You’ve already made me a better man, for you call forth the type of man I want to model for you and your brother. Carry the fire; be the hero you’re meant to become. “Be strong and courageous and never afraid,” (Josh. 1:9).
Here’s what I’ve learned, the essential truth that I reflect on tonight: ten years is long enough to forget the person you used to be. I have no recollection of the person I was before the two of you came into my life. You are a gale force, a seismic event, two God-created boulders sending ripples across the glass surface of my life. But make no mistake: you’re two of the best things that ever happened to me. I love you.