It is 7am, Monday, June 23, 2008 in Nanning, Guangxi, China. I am sitting at a little Chinese writing desk in the corner of our hotel room at the Ming Yuan Xindu (Majestic) Hotel in downtown Nanning. My heart is full today.
You see, today is “gotcha day”, the day we finally get to meet you in person, and start our family together. It probably sounds corny, but we have waited so long for this day to come that we can’t remember a time before the waiting began. Not a single day has gone by in the last 1,000 that I didn’t think about you. Long before you were born, your mommy and I talked about you, prayed for you, and daydreamed about life with you.
You are very special. God picked you out just for us, and us for you. He has a purpose and a plan for our life together, and now we get to discover it as a family. You lived for your first year in an orphanage in Beiliu City, Guangxi, China, where nannies cared for you, fed you, played with you, and tucked you in at night. How jealous I am of them!
I have dreamed of the day when I could wake up and play dolls or have tea or put Buddy into the stroller for a walk or watch Disney movies or do anything else you have in mind to do. I have dreamed of carrying you around at the zoo to see the monkeys, of riding on Aladin’s magic carpet ride at Disneyworld (you can do the tilt control, I’ll make us go up and down, OK?), of playing in the backyard, chasing Buddy and Pippin around, feeding the goldfish, picking flowers.
I have dreamed of putting you down for naps, reading silly Boyton books at bedtime, and tucking the covers under your beautiful little chin. You have made me fall in love with Asian eyes and noses and faces. I have dreamed of corndogs and pizza and lots of mac & cheese, of pink and purple and little shoes with flowers on them and boatloads of stuffed animals covering your bed.
I have also dreamed happily of dirty diapers, spit-up, sleepless nights with fever and whimpering, because these, too, are part of the joy of life together. I have dreamed of your first steps, your first words, your first day of pre-school, of grade school, and even of high school graduation. That all seems so far away, especially based on how slowly time has passed these last 3 years. But I know time will fly, because that’s what it does when you’re having fun.
Today you will be scared, sad, homesick for your little crib and nanny at the orphanage, afraid of the blond hair and red hair and funny large noses. We know that, and we understand if you cry and pout and make a fuss. We are prepared to give you time to grow to love us, because we have all the time in the world now that the waiting is over.
Your heart and ours have been connected from the very start, and none of us can now be complete without each other. Parents for you, a daughter for us; interlocking gifts that grow and bring joy and happiness. I know that raising you will be challenging at times for us, and for your part, grappling with being adopted will bring heartache and many questions. But beyond all the doubts, the fears, the questions there will always be our love for each other.
No matter what happens in the future, your mommy and I will love you, care for you, teach you, and be there for you. We will do everything in our power to give you what you need, to recognize your gifts and talents, and to raise you to love God and do good to others.
Today I pray for God to bless our life together; to give mommy and I wisdom in raising you; to give you good health and protection and peace in your heart. I pray that you will feel loved, cared for, understood, valued, and comforted. I pray that God will answer your every prayer, comfort your every anxiety, heal your every hurt, and that He will allow us to be his hands and feet and mouths to do so.
I’m sorry to write so little, but my eyes are cloudy from tears and my fingers are shaking so it’s hard to write. Anyway, I hope to remind you daily everything I’ve written here and more. We’re starting a wonderful adventure together, and who knows where it will lead us? All I know is that your mommy and I can’t wait to see you in a few hours, and live out the dreams we’ve dreamed of you.
We love you more than we could ever say, but we’ll spend the rest of our lives trying.