Dwyane Wade's Son Zaire Pens Sweet Tribute to 'Best Friend' Zaya: 'I Love You Kid'
"If it means anything, just know there's no love lost on this side," Zaire addressed Zaya on Instagram, sharing a pair of photos from their younger years
Zaya is surrounded by love!
Dwyane Wade‘s 12-year-old received a touching tribute from her big brother Zaire Blessing Dwyane on Wednesday, when the retired basketball pro’s oldest child, who just celebrated his 18th birthday, shared photos from earlier in their childhood, when Zaya was just a baby and toddler.
“Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad. I was the only child looking for company and someone to look after and take care of,” Zaire began his caption. “I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years. We did everything together … we fought, we played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind.”
“I’ve told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth,” he told his younger sibling. “I don’t care what they think Z, you are my best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there’s no love lost on this side ✊?”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
During Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Wade, 38, recalled the moment Zaya came out to him and wife Gabrielle Union, and also said that he hopes to give her “the best opportunity to be her best self.”
“It’s now our job to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have — my wife reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose — we’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self,” the former Miami Heat player explained.
Wade — who is also dad to daughter Kaavia James, 15 months, and son Xavier Zechariah, 6, as well as the guardian of nephew Dahveon Morris, 18 — shared additionally that he was proud of Zaya and her role as “a leader.”
“Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,’ ” Wade added to Ellen DeGeneres. “Right now it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”
RELATED VIDEO: Dwyane Wade Wants to Give His 12-Year-Old Child Zaya the “Best Opportunity to Be Her Best Self”
The same day, Union, 47, shared a series of heartwarming tweets, raving over Zaya and introducing her with a video of the preteen stressing the importance of being “true to yourself.”
In the clip, Zaya was seen riding in a golf cart alongside Wade, explaining, “I would say, just be true to yourself — what’s the point of being on this earth if you’re going to try and be someone you’re not? … Be true and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being you is.”
“Even when people are being mean and when people are getting hurt because they’re trying to be themselves and even through that you still want people to live their truth?” Wade asks Zaya, who says, “I know it can get tough, but I think you push through and be the best you. It’s become more accepting. … Even through hard times you gotta push through, it’s very worth it. When you can look in the mirror and say ‘hi’ to yourself.”
“She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her,” Union tweeted with the video, praising Zaya. “It’s ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.”