Wednesday, July 2, 2014

the letters

I agonized over what to say to our new daughter and her dear foster mother (or China mama, as we refer to her).  They had already been put through a disrupted adoption, so they had every reason to be skeptical about us and whether we would really be Megan Mei Li's forever family.

Our letters arrived a couple of weeks prior to the care package and photo book.

This is what I sent:

Dear Foster Mom,

We don’t know each other yet, but we are soon to have one precious person in common.  That person is Rui Chun.  We are hoping to travel sometime in July or August to adopt Rui Chun and I very much hope that you and I are able to meet in person.  We became aware of Rui Chun through Love Without Boundaries and the more we learned about her, the more we felt that she will be a great addition to our active family.  I will write a separate letter to Rui Chun to describe our family and I am mailing a package today with a photo album for her to see who we are.
            I wanted to write to you and express my great gratitude from one mother to another.  I know it is going to be very painful for Rui Chun to be adopted, for both you and Rui Chun.  Words cannot express our great gratitude for the loving care you have showered on Rui Chun for these years of her life.  I want you to know that we will never let her forget you.  You will be a constant thread of conversation in our home and we will encourage her to look at photos and remember her precious time with you.  Additionally, I will be sure to send you periodic updates to let you know how she is doing.  You will always be a mother to her and family to us.
                                                                                    With great thanks,
                                                                        Laurie (Huai Rui Chun’s Adoptive Mom)

And to our dear daughter:
Dear Rui Chun,
            Greetings from your family in America.  We understand that you are called Mei Li, and if you prefer, we will call you that.  We are very excited to meet you this summer.  We are sending you some gifts to share and enjoy with your friends.  We have included a photo album in the package that has some pictures of you when you were little, with your foster mom, and with your friends.  We also put lots of photos of our family so that you can become familiar with who we are.  In addition to Mama and Baba, you will have four older brothers (Brendan -13, Cameron -11, Andrew -9, Lucas -7) and a little sister (Joya -4).  We live in an area with lots of mountains and we like to do lots of outside activities that we are sure you will enjoy as well – even skiing.  There are some pictures of your brothers and sister skiing.  We included a picture of our blue house (we don’t have snow all the time, but there is a lot in the winter), and there is a picture of our table we eat at.  There is also a picture of all of the kids in our car and you can see there is a spot waiting for you.
            We also included some conversation cards on a key ring, because we are sure that you feel a little nervous about understanding each other.  We will do our best!  We are excited to come to you this summer and we send our regards to your wonderful foster family.
                                                                                    Warmly, The Sweeney Family

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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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