A few weeks ago I received a card in the mail for our little Yun Xi. It was from Lianne, a young lady who was adopted from Yun Xi's orphanage back in July, back at the very same time that we were reading over Yun Xi's file and praying to know if he was our son.
The first several months after we submitted our Letter of Intent to adopt him, I thought that Yun Xi was in foster care. When I learned he wasn't, I was literally sick with worry. Finding Lianne was truly a God-given gift. She said that in the orphanage they were placed in family groups. She'd known "Xi Xi" since he was a baby and even taught him to walk. She called him her "Di Di"(little brother) and he called her "Jie Jie" (big sister).
This orphanage does not prepare the children for adoption. Yun Xi will learn about us either the night before or on the morning of Gotcha' Day. Lianne sent this letter to her Di Di to be read by our guide on the day we meet him. If anyone would know the mix of emotions he might be feeling, it would be this young lady.
Yesterday I needed to wire our money to China, but before I went to the bank, I had a feeling that I should turn the car around and go get Lianne's card and have it translated. I took it to a local Chinese restaurant and after some confusion that I did not need a table for one, the owner said he'd be happy to translate the letter. He and his mother sat with me at a table at the back of the restaurant and when they looked at the card, they both oohed and aahhed over Lianne's gorgeous penmanship. The owner asked more than once, while pointing to her picture, "This girl wrote this?" He was amazed.
He told me that the top part of the card, on either side of her picture, it said, "Do you remember me?" and "This is a current picture of me." Then the owner began reading the main body of the letter. First, he'd read a sentence out loud in Mandarin and then translate it into English.
How are you? Did you have a good Chinese New Year?
Then he read aloud the next few sentences in Mandarin, but didn't say anything for several seconds. I thought that he was maybe unable to translate it, but when he spoke, I realized that he had paused because he was struggling to stay composed. Her letter was so sweet and beautiful.
XiXi, I am telling you good news. Your family is coming--a loving father, loving mother, loving brother, and loving sisters. You are going to have a good life and happiness forever. You are going to have a nice home and then you will grow healthy, breathing fresh air. There will be a brother and sisters to play with you and you will not be lonely because they will love you and you will be part of their family. Congratulations, XiXi. Be a healthy and happy little boy, full of promise. Now you are still little and I don't know if you still remember me, but I am always your sister.
I was crying. The owner of the restaurant was crying. The owner's mother was crying. All of us dabbing our eyes with napkins. I went to the bank and it was with total joy that I wired that money to China. This little boy, a boy full of promise, is getting a family! We're getting a new son! It's a gift beyond price and we are so thankful.