We have written to the children a few times and to some of their friends as well. Not too in depth, but definitely not as generic as some sponsor letters can be. N and M know nothing of the adoption yet, as we have many more hurdles to overcome before it would even be appropriate to tell them. But, even though we can't yet write to them openly as a mommy and daddy, we can communicate with them as a family who loves them enough to have gone all the way across the world just to visit them and who still thinks of them every day since then. We want all of the children to know that we will never forget them and that their Heavenly Father won't either. That they have touched our lives so deeply that we will never be the same and that our entire future and family will look differently because of that one trip. And so each time we write, we tell them about our family, our traditions, and how much we love them and miss them. We ask how they are doing in school and share specific scriptures and pictures with them. But the best part about it is that unlike most child sponsorships, Randy and I have had the unique priviledge of being able to have spent time with the kids we are writing to! We have those wonderful shared experiences that we can remind them of and as they read their letters hopefully it brings back good memories for them too. Memories of shared songs, games, and piggyback rides. Memories of hugs and kisses and prayers. What a blessing for us and for them!
So this week we got a wonderful surprise in the mail....
Can you guess what it was???
We were so excited to get something in his own handwriting and even a picture that he drew on it. It brightened up our day and week!
The letter was written by him in Amharic (the official language of Ethiopia) and translated by a one of the HopeChest workers. But it was really sweet to see the few words he did write in English- our names, a sweet greeting, and what he likes to do- which is play football! (soccer)
We had told him about the boys playing soccer and so he drew them looking all snazzy in their uniforms. Gotta love Nathan's hair. And the way my name is spelled. :)
He told us how much he loved getting our letters and how he hoped we could bring our kids to Ethiopia next time so they could play soccer together! So sweet!
Even Elliana wanted to read what he had to say!
Speaking of Elliana, last week when she was getting into stuff (which is just about every minute), she found the album with a bunch of our photos from Ethiopia. She was so intense as she looked through the pictures and kept looking at the ones of Randy and I with M and N. She calls them Sissy and Brother and recognizes them right away and even kisses their picture. I know that the Lord is already preparing her little heart to welcome 2 more older siblings.