The most amazing update of all…

Posted On: Friday, December 16th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

[Written December 16th, published March 4th.]

…A handwritten letter from our son! ūüôā I received an email this afternoon from the Puyang SWI containing a scanned copy of a letter from Min Yu. ¬†Wow!!! ¬†It seriously made our hearts leap. ūüôā We were so overjoyed to get a letter from him and the kids were so excited to hear from their new brother. We have been missing him since the moment we said goodbye in October, and have been puzzling over what he thought about our visit. It is so good to finally know!! The ayi told us he composed the letter the very day he received our package. (Below is an actual clip of the letter.)

In his letter he said (paraphrasing from Chinese of course), “I’m writing this during lunch break and my time is almost up.” ¬†Which means he spent the first possible moment he had that day to write that letter. ¬†For us! Talk about making us feel special.¬†The ayi also said how surprised she was after reading it, and could hardly believe a young boy had written something so moving. ¬†After reading it I had to agree. ¬†Wow. ¬†I can hardly think about the things he wrote without getting emotional. I had wondered and hoped he would write us back, but I never imagined a letter like this. ¬†I expected something more…superficial? child-like? ¬†(Think of a “tween” boy that you know. What kind of letter would he write? ¬†What would it be about? ¬†His favorite video games? ¬†A cool TV show? ¬†Favorite foods?) ¬†Instead, I read a letter that was touching and thought-provoking, an honest look into his thoughts.

There was one other thing I did not expect; it was comforting. ¬†I forget that on occasion we can switch roles with our children, and they can comfort us. Todd and I don’t feel we should share the entire letter because it is personal and special, and we want to respect his privacy as a child, as our¬†child. ¬†But I do want to share a couple of things that have provoked much thought. One of the first things he wrote was something that was music to my ears, that it was his dream to have his own father and his own mother. We can give him that!! And then there was the line that brought so much comfort to me. ¬†I have been so worried about the long wait, not because I’m terribly impatient, but because I really despise making my child wait! ¬†At 12 years old, I’m sure he is quite aware of the passing days and weeks and months. I have worried that he might wonder what was taking so long, why we hadn’t come yet. ¬†Or that he might begin wondering if we would ever come, or if we’d changed our minds. ¬†(Before I quote him, I will tell you that this is a fairly accurate translation, and it sounds as sophisticated in Chinese as it does in English.) ¬†About the wait he said,¬†“I know you¬†must¬†go through¬†the¬†effort¬†of the¬†adoption¬†process¬†procedures, but please¬†rest assured that I¬†will patiently¬†wait.” ¬†Reading those words brought such relief! ¬†He understands about the wait. ¬†And if he can wait patiently, then so can I. ūüôā I told him in our first letter that we would write him every month until we came. ¬†He replied that it was okay if we didn’t have time to write each month because he knows we’re very busy taking care of the family. ¬†He sounds so selfless to me.

And the last thing I want to share is his feelings about being adopted. ¬†He said his “heart was so excited” when he found out he had a family, and that it was our family specifically. Yea!!! It would be so rosy to leave it at that, but he continued. “Although I am happy that I will soon have my own family, because of the life I’ve had here for many years and the care and upbringing of my ayis, I am also reluctant. ¬†I am happy that I had a relationship with them for 6 years, and I will treasure the next 6 months I have here.” Wow. I am so glad to have a glimpse of his feelings in all this. I am incredibly grateful that he feels safe enough to share this with us already! Yes, he wants a family. Yes, his “heart was excited” to find out he had one. But he realizes that adoption means he will leave–permanently–the “family” he has had for half his life. I think sometimes as adoptive parents we forget that our children have a real life before they come to us. ¬†(Guilty.) Even if it’s not an ideal, traditional family, it’s what they have and know. ¬†And sometimes (though not always) it’s what they even love. It’s at least familiar and known. ¬†There is loss and grief in adoption. Pre-adoptive parents are taught this, but sometimes I think we forget when we’re waiting. And when most children come home, they’re too young to express this in words. I think this is why it was so different hearing this from Minyu. He is old enough, and comfortable enough, to tell us.

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