A letter to my daughter

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Early days Kate 049

Kate had just been home about 10 days in this photo. It is one of my favorites. We were taking her to church for the first time. I tried to get a good one this weekend as we celebrated our forever family day but Kate was runny nosed and grumpy and I was old and haggard looking so this is as good as it gets. I sure have aged this year!


My dearest Kate,


One year ago I had the privilege of holding you for the first time. I will never forget how you looked up at me that first time. You gently looked into my eyes and something miraculous passed between us. You knew that I was your Mommy. You did not cry or look scared or resist me. Just as you knew, I also knew the moment I held you that we would have an unbelievable bond.


This first year with you has flown by. It has been a tough year in some ways. You were blessed to have lived with a foster family in China and I think you missed them very much in the beginning. Every night when we tried to sleep, you cried out. I know you were scared so I did everything I could to comfort you. I have rarely left your side this whole year. Eventually, you learned to trust me, but it took a while to get to where we are now.

I am so thankful to your first two Mama's! Your birth mother in China must be a very brave woman. She obviously could not keep you and we will never exactly know what the circumstances were but we do know that she loved you so much that she wanted you to be found and loved by another family. It is illegal to leave a child in China and the puinshments are severe. Your birth mother risked a lot to gently place you on the hospital steps, a place that she knew you would be easily found. That is a selfless act of love and we will be forever grateful to her. She did not leave you Kate; she made sure you would find a home. I hope she knows the joy that she has given us. I hope she knows that you are deeply loved by your Mommy, Daddy and your brothers.


I am also immensely grateful to your foster Mom. I do not know her name but I have pictures of her. You were found when you were just one day old. You were taken to the orphanage for a physical but then you immediately went home with your foster Mom. You never spent one night in the orphanage. In fact, the orphanage director knew nothing about you because you were never there. It was immediately obvious to us and everyone who met you that you had been SO loved. You immediately knew how to love. You kissed us and hugged us from the very beginning. You knew I was your Mama and you called me that just days after you came home. Your heart is so big and you are so affectionate and I truly believe it is because of the love shown to you by your foster Mom. I promise you that we will go visit her one day and thank her in person for caring for you for the first 10 months of your life.


Kate, this year has been incredible. I have seen your first steps and your first English words. We have celebrated your first birthday, your Baptism and all of your first holidays with us. The joy I see in your eyes fills my heart. You are everything I dreamed you would be and more. I will never, ever forget the first time you looked at me and said I love you. Will and Harry were born loving me. They trusted me from day one. I had to earn your trust and earn your love. It was hard work but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Love that is earned is very special.


There are so many things I love about you. Each morning as I get ready, you sit at my vanity and play with my make-up brushes and imitate me. You love music (you call it oooh-ahhh) and you love when we sit and sing and do finger plays. Whenever I finish a song, you say "more?" in your sweet little voice. You adore your brothers (you call them "the boys") and you look for them around the house when they are at school. And oh how you love your Daddy. You run to him with a HUGE smile when he comes home from work shouting "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" You also love our doggie, Scout. You get very upset when we put her in her kennel and you often let her out when we aren't looking:)


You do not really play with toys. Instead, you follow me around the house trying to do whatever I am doing. This is very different than how your brothers were and I am still getting used to it. We do have lots of tea parties though. You love tea parties! You also love to be outside and that is something else I am getting used to as I am not a real outdoorsy person. You also love to eat and you will eat almost anything. You love fruit (strawberries, grapes, apples, pears and bananas). You also love fish, Chinese food and Mexican food. There is little that you won't eat. You even love your omega fish oil supplements!


Kate if I had to describe you in one word it would be sweet. You are incredibly sweet. You are kind and you are gentle and you are the sweetest little girl I have ever known. I look forward to a lifetime of love and laughter with you.

With so much love,

Mom

nanny1_0001

This is Kate and her foster Mom less than a week before Dave got her. They gave Dave this photo seconds after they handed Kate to him. I think her foster Mom really wanted to be sure we got it. She also dressed Kate (under the huge orange puffy clothes) in a hand-knit sweater and booties. I think they were made for her and they seem very special. If anyone who has adopted from Nanfeng knows who this woman is, please let me know. I plan to also post it on their Yahoo site.

47 comments:

  1. lucky mommy, lucky Kate!

    This is just beautiful, Kim.

    Lea

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  2. Kim~

    What a beautiful and heartfelt letter. Kate will treasure this letter someday, I am sure. Thank you for sharing your heart and your precious family with all of us...it is such a joy to call you "friend"~

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  3. Kim,
    This a a beautiful letter. You expressed so much in such a gentle and loving way. I know Kate will cherish it forever. How sweet that her foster mom dressed her in a hand knitted outfit. That is so special. Thank you for sharing this. Hope Kate is feeling healthy again.

    love,
    Shauna

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  4. What a precious gift this is for Kate. I know there will probably be days when our girls question everything--self-worth, love, abandonment, etc. It is gifts of love like these that I think will help them through and remind them how much they were loved and wanted...

    Thank you for sharing such a personal letter.

    Lisa

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  5. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Kim,
    This is a priceless gift for your priceless Kate!
    Love,
    Diana

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  7. oh I love the pic of you and she... and the one of Kate and her foster mom is such a treasure to have. She is so darling in her booties.
    Loved the post. The year I adopted Jacob and Chloe I got really sick in Guat and lost 10 lb plus learning to take care of two babies took a toll and like you, I am small so I really looked weathered that entire yr too. I am sure you will look and feel better as Spring blossoms and summer arrives.
    Love
    Connie

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  8. That is a beautiful picture and a lovely letter! Kate is going to love seeing/reading all of this stuff when she is older. Thank you for sharing it with us!

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  9. What a special letter!!! I loved reading it. You are a blessed family, all of you!
    Debbie

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  10. Kim, how beautiful this is. I love how you detailed so much about your little girl and about her personality~ she will so enjoy reading this one day. :) Kate's sweetness is so evident in her pictures and the things you share about her~ she seems really, really special and perfect for your family. :) I love that she sometimes sneaks Scout out (that's her tender heart) and that she calls her brothers "the boys"! lol
    The picture of Kate and her Foster Mom brought tears to my eyes~ I've seen it before, but after reading what you wrote and knowing how incredibly hard it must have been to hand her off to her forever family just broke my heart~ and that she would dress her just so is so moving. What a very special woman~ she obviously knew how to love and taught Kate well.
    What a blessing that is. :)
    Beautiful post Kim, although I would hardly describe you as "old and haggard"!! lol

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  11. Kim~~
    You never cease to amaze me. This was so touching and I know how much it will mean to Kate someday! What a blessing Kate is to everyone who has the privileged of know her. Talk soon ~~

    Ladybug hugs,
    ;D

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  12. kate, and the boys need a towel for sure! Just e-mail me and I'll get on it!

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  13. What a lovely letter. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. Kim,

    What a beautiful letter. It truly touched me this day. Thank you for sharing it.

    Kate

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  15. What a beautiful letter. You are so blessed Kim. I am so glad that you at least know a small piece of Kate's life before Family Day witht the photo of her foster mom. I hope you are able to find out more about her. I often think of Katie's mother and foster family and wonder who they are. We would love to be able to know her foster family and thank them for their care but all we can do is send up prayers on their behalf. Kate seems so small in the photo with you. She has just blossomed into a beautiful young lady this year!
    Many blessings to you! (Kate's squares are in the mail)
    Kim and Katiebug

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  16. You are one fantastic mom! What a wonderful, heartfelt letter for a very special, beautiful daughter. You and your family are so blessed!

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  17. So touching Kim, truly a gift Kate is going to treasure this forever. I pray someday that you can locate her foster mother. I love that picture of you, you are just beaming. I think you are beautiful at all times! Thanks for the call last night! You are beautiful inside and out!

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  18. Beautiful letter, I am sure one day Kate will cherish this sweet and loving letter. Thank you for sharing!

    Karen

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  19. What a sweet letter to your daughter! I'm sure that she will treasure it always. Congratulations on your one year anniversary together. Best wishes to you and your family.
    Janet

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  20. So you have made me cry twice this week! I LOVE that picture of the 2 of you!

    Julie

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  21. What a blessing that Kate was cared for by a foster mother! Thanks for sharing! I know Kate will love the letter and the detail that you take to record your children's daily lives.

    Jennifer (Landree's mom)

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  22. What a beautiful letter. How blessed you are to have each other!!! I love that you reminded Kate how much her birth mother loves her. So precious. I know she will treasure your letter always.

    Melanie

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  23. so precious.............
    and she lived happily ever after...

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  24. she follows you around?

    how sweet is she? that was a beautiful letter, from the heart.

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  25. so precious ... how are hearts are so enriched by our sweet girls from China ... I would love for you to contribute to the book ... I am overwhelmed w/how God is going to use this book to touch people in so many different ways ...

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  26. Kim -- I enjoyed reading your sweet letter to Kate. I always write a letter to Carson and Kamree each year on their birthday. It is so much fun to go back and read them over the years because I tend to forget so many important things!

    Love the picture of you and Kate too!

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  27. Kim,

    Such a beautiful and sweet letter for a beautiful and sweet little girl . . . how she'll cherish this someday!

    Jennifer, mommy to Adrienne

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  28. What a beautiful, heartfelt letter to Kate. This whole journey is such a miracle and such a gift.

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  29. So sweet, Kim. Miss Kate just has no idea right now how much she is loved by here sweet mommy and daddy. She will treasure this letter forever!

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  30. BEAUTIFUL!!!! You and Kate are indeed BLESSED in so many ways!!!

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  31. Kim,
    What a beautiful expression of your love for Kate. There are so many precious descriptions of her. I think that all of our children would love to have a letter like this one day.
    ~Lynn

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  32. What a wonderful mommy you are! Kate is so lucky to have you in her life and I know you feel the same way.

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  33. I loved that, Kim! I don't think I knew that Kate never spent a night in an orphanage - that is so wonderful!
    I also can relate to so many things you have gone thru with Kate...Lily and I went thru much of the same. I also remember thinking that it was a great feeling to have EARNED her trust and love.
    Kate IS sweet - SO sweet...
    I do hope she is feeling better. She has been in my thoughts and prayers.
    XO

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  34. Your letter to sweet Kate touched my heart. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. She is just beautiful and I love seeing what all she is up to on your blog.
    Have a wonderful day, Kim.

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  35. Hi Kim, I received your thank you note in the mail this week! I must say again what a very organized person you are! (I have not even finished my christmas thankyous yet and it's April!!)

    I also have to say what a privledge it is to get to read this, your letter to Kate. (Can I steal it when I have Bailey home for a year??!) It is beautifully written and heartfelt and I know she will always treasure it. Probably more every year as she matures in understanding.

    I am also touched by her mother's care in the choice of where she placed her and her foster mother's handmade clothing and making sure she had the photo. Obviously, Kate is a very loved and blessed little girl. It is clear to see God's hand in her little life, even and especially with all it's twists and turns. Thank you so much for sharing that with us!!

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  36. Kim,

    Both you and Kate are BEAUTIFUL!!! I love this precious letter to your precious daughter.

    XOXO,
    Stacie

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  37. Tears.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  38. You beautifully articulated the words in my heart. I just returned from China last month with my precious Moli, who was in foster care for three years. We had the awesome privilege to meet our daughter's foster mother in a chance encounter on the street- a total Godthing!

    Your words about an "earned love" really touched and encouraged me. Our sweet girl is grieving and it hurts to see her hurting. How awesome to see how fully and completely your daughter has transitioned into your family.

    Tara
    friend of Karen
    www.eastandwestkids.blogspot.com

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  39. What a gift you have in Katie Ru! The picture you have of Kate & her foster Mom is precious - I really hope that you will be able to find out who she is.....

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  40. Kim,

    That was beautiful!

    Love,
    Aunt Doonie

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  41. What a wonderful letter! Just beautiful, you can feel the love through your words. It is such a miracle how these sweet babies have come into our lives! I am forever grateful to Bowen's nanny also. They are very special people and prepare these babies for us so well!

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  42. Wonderful letter, very touching. You are beautiful! Happy Forever family!

    Alyson LID 01/27/06

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  43. Wow, I just found your blog. What a beautiful post...I'm in tears reading it. How lucky Kate is to have such an amazing family and how lucky you all are to have her.

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  44. Wonderful letter! I just found your blog. I'm an adoptive mother as well. I've written many of these letters to my children's birth and foster mothers over the years....

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  45. VERY touching! What a gift you both share. Such a blessing!

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  46. Kim,

    What a heartfelt letter- truly beautiful! I know it will be very special to Kate always!

    Happy Day again!

    Love, Shana :)

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Thank you for your kindness.