Dale Payne listened to Kiera Volz as she told him about her day after school March 20 in Dale’s Huntingburg home. Dale, who has known Kiera since she was born, has helped raise her since July 2010 and became her legal guardian in October 2011. Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Dale gently slipped shoes onto Kiera’s feet as she slept Feb. 28 before school. Dale, who works for the City of Huntingburg Parks and Recreation Department, usually dresses Kiera in his recliner while she sleeps. Rachel Mummey/The Herald
With his hands full, Dale carefully shut the car door as he brought a still-sleeping Kiera to the baby sitter’s house before going to work May 22. Dale works for the City of Huntingburg Parks and Recreation Department. Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Kiera squirmed and giggled on a tricycle while eating dinner May 14. Dale said he isn’t much of a cook but does his best. This night, he made a family favorite called “fat burgers,” which are handmade hamburger patties. Rachel Mummey/The Herald
After her drug court graduation ceremony April 7, Tara Payne, right, hugged Kiera as Dale and his daughter, Kayley, 15, left, watched at the Dubois County Courthouse. Sober for more than two years, Tara hopes to continue improving so she can become more involved in Kiera’s life.
Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Kiera’s mother, Tara Payne, brushed Kiera’s hair before heading to a Southridge boys basketball game Jan. 31 in Huntingburg. Dale has allowed Tara to live with he and Kiera as Tara looks for more permanent housing. Rachel Mummey/The Herald
On a rainy May 14 afternoon, Dale Payne and Kiera Volz, 6, relaxed on the couch while watching Disney Channel at their Huntingburg home. Dale says he knows more about princesses and other cartoon characters than most guys his age. Dale, who has known Kiera since she was born, has helped raise her since July 2010 and became her legal guardian in October 2011. Rachel Mummey/The Herald