I have never met her in person–only through pictures on facebook, and hearing her story from her parents Jeff and Cat. And yet she has made a deep and lasting impression on my life.

Adelyn was born 10 months ago with Trisomy 18. You can google Trisomy 18 to learn more–I do not want this to be the focus of this edition of Steve’s Story.

As I write this edition of Steve’s Story she is undergoing surgery at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta to correct a problem with her heart. Many today are wearing red (I have on a red shirt) and leopard print (her last name is Leopard) to remind us of the importance of this day. We are all praying.

Here are some things Adelyn has taught me over the past 10 months.

First, “cute” is more than a descriptive word. “Cute” is often what draws us to a person. Every Facebook post of Adelyn has caused me to stop scrolling and go “awwwwwww how cute.” Often calling Jan to come look! I believe God has made her so cute to draw us to her.

Second, she has given me a new perspective on “precious.” “Precious” is much more than cute. Cute draws us, but precious reminds us of great value–something to be treasured. Her parents and big sister have demonstrated how precious she is by treasuring her. I am so glad they have invited and allowed many of us to treasure her too.

Third, this cute, precious child has taught me the value of a smile. Go ahead, go back to the top of this article and look at that picture. It makes me smile every time I see it–and there are many more just like it. Her smile encourages me to feel joy, happiness, and even a sense of hope.

There is so much more that could be written about Adelyn, her family, and life in general, but here is the bottom line for me…

When we are drawn to people because of cuteness (or maybe even ugliness), we should see a precious person of great value since they were created in the image of God. Words like joy, happiness, hope, and do I even go so far as to say love should be a part of the relationship.

The innocence of a child often reminds us of some of the most basic building blocks of relationships as we grow older. Maybe that is why Jesus referred to the faith of a child to show us the way.

This is my story…