This is Lily Mathis. We have recieved notice that on September 22nd, this coming monday, we will have the opportunity to change her name and birth certificate to Lily Blanche McClellan. This day has been a long time coming, and both Becky and I are really excited about it. We asked Lily yesterday if she is excited about it, and she said, "eh, I guess so". Then she thought about it again, and said she was a little excited and a little scared.
The question that used to make her so uncomfortable, "do you want a daddy?", or "do you want me to be your daddy", has become so comfortable to her now, it's no longer even a question so much as it's a statement.
This is a picture of Lily and I coming back from our first "daddy-daughter date". While Becky was in the hospital, Lily and I had a great couple of days together. We went to the Gateway in Salt Lake City, ate at McDonalds which tasted great for her, and then we both enjoyed ice cream cones at Ben & Jerry's.
Lily is so full of energy, and I'm so greatful that she wants to be my daughter. I hope that I can live up to the responsibility of raising her. Sometimes I have to check myself in case I exchange my role as parent with the role of the fun uncle, but I don't think it has happened yet. I love her, and we have a lot of fun with her, but since our first meeting I have felt an uncanny responsibility which over time became more of a reasonable responsibility.
I met Lily on the evening of general conference in the fall of 2006, when she was three years old. She answered the door when I was bringing money over to the Mathis residence. I knew beforehand I would be introduced to Becky, her mom, and had already decided to ask her out on a date. It was, in fact, one of the main reasons I was in Brigham City that weekend.
Lily answered the door by running, hitting the door, and throwing it wide open. She got shy right away, and I doubt she was feeling what I was feeling. I remember a few years prior to the occasion when the little Mathis girl as I knew her was being blessed. I knew Caleb from Highschool, and our freshman year of college, and I knew a little bit about his sister, and their family, which might have had something to do with the impression I felt at the time saying, "this could be your daughter, if that's what you want". That moment in the brigham city north stake center with my eyes closed stands out in my mind, almost as much as the moment at the door when I was rendered speechless, and Lily got shy. There was an awkward moment of silence, and my voice was probably really shaky when I asked her if Annie Mathis was home. I don't think the words came out right, I think it was more like, "is um, your mom, uh, grandma, um andrea, um, home?"
Since then we've had our moments good and not so good which we will probably keep to ourselves. These moments mean too much to us to throw out there in the open, and trying to put all of this into words, sometimes it sounds like a feature film for families, or some crap like that, which is not at all how it feels. I think these moments don't quite translate, and I'd like to at least wait to write more when I have more time to spend with the text. It's sufficient to say that I feel like we were meant to be together from very early on. As soon as the adoption goes through we will set a date for the temple. Though we've had lots of daddy-daughter dates since the gateway McDonalds, the Logan temple will be the greatest daddy-daughter date ever.