Letter to Our Anli Joy {On Family Day}

I woke up before 5 this morning just listening and praying. Today is a big day! It’s a big day for me as a mother, Will as a father, Ollin as a brother and the multitude of extended family and friends who anxiously await for a smiling family photo from half way around the world.

But today is a gigantic day for our Anli Joy. Yes, she’s gaining a mommy, daddy, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who already adore her. But I can’t help but think about all she is losing. In her finite world, she’s losing everything!

Here are some thoughts I wrote to Anli as I braced myself for this pivotal day…


It’s 5:30 in the morning. I’ve been awake for a while now thinking about you. A bazillion emotions are running through my veins.

First, I’m so THRILLED to finally meet you! There is no one word that describes the excitement I’m exuding right now– elated, excited, thrilled, overjoyed, overwhelming happiness, to name just a few. To finally touch you and tell you I’m you’re mama, to call you daughter and say how much I love you seems like a dream still. We have prayed, fought blood, sweat and tears not ever really knowing IF this day would ever come. Really, no words. Just tears of joy streaming down my face.

IMG_9268Second, LOVE. I feel an overwhelming, unconditional love for you. One that comes from the gut of my soul. One that says you are mine and there is nothing that could ever, ever make it stop. Our love started to grow for you a short while ago– July, to be exact. Even though it’s only been a while since we knew you existed and knew you were ours, God knew you before the world even began, He knew you as He formed me inside of your Mimi. He knew you would eventually be ours. He knew you when he formed you inside of your birth mother. And He knew you would have many “mamas” in your first few years. He knew this day would come when I would be your mama. And He knows days will come when you question my love, His love, your birth mother’s love. Not one single moment of your life has happened by accident. Though I grieve the moments with you that I’ve lost, He, your Heavenly Father, was with you. He saw them all. His love for you surpasses any love I could fathom on my best day. You probably won’t understand this deep rooted love I feel until you have children of your own. But it’s also a never ending, unstoppable, fight to the death kind of love.
IMG_9322Third, I WORRY about you. Will you know what is going on today? Will you know what this means for your future? Were you told what is going to happen? Are you scared? Will I be able to comfort you? I also have silly questions running through my mind. Where did you sleep last night? Did you sleep last night? Who are these people who brought you to us? Do they really know you well enough to honestly answer all my questions? I feel desperate to gather information for you. This is my only chance to get as much as possible and remember everything I can about you and your life here; your past 3 years and 3 months, your birth city, to know your people and your home. The pressure to know and find out these things for you is so overwhelming at times I can’t breathe.


Will I be able to communicate to your tiered, fragile heart that everything is going to be okay? I know me and your dad can see the big picture or at least portions of the grand scheme God is orchestrating, called your life. But you cannot. This is a glorious transformation called redemption and we are honored to be in it with you.

You are gaining a family today! Do you even know what that means? In order for that to happen you have to loose everything in your world that you’ve ever known. This breaks my heart. Tears of deep, deep sadness stream down my face as I cannot take your mourning away. I cannot magically make everything better though I sincerely wish with all my heart that I could wipe away the loss and suffering you are about to experience today and the loss you will go through as you grow and discover yourself.
IMG_9301You are gaining a family today! Not a temporary one. One that will fight tooth and nail for you. One that will never leave you. One that will love you and direct you to your Creator. I promise, my child, NOTHING will ever stop my love. Even after we pass from this hard world into eternity, nothing will stop my love. We are family. We are real. We are far from perfect. And we love unconditionally. This is permanent.

Your are gaining a family today! Not just a mommy, daddy, and brother who are head over hills for you but you’re gaining aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, great aunts, a great grandma & friends who can’t wait to scoop you up and say how they also have prayed and longed for this moment.

You are loved my beloved child.



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