An Open Letter to Meili

Dear Meili,

As you probably know by now, we started this blog to provide you something to hold onto when life brings confusion about who you are. We can’t tell you why your life has unfolded as it has but we are more thankful than you will ever know that our journey’s crossed paths as they have. You have taught our family a lesson in love that we could have never learned any other way.

It’s so funny when I think back to when Tracy recommend we look into the special needs adoptions list for China. We always felt called to do something about the war on little girls in China but just never knew where to step into the battle. It turns out that a simple checklist of what we felt our family could take on in addition to our existing responsibilities was all we needed to do. There was a litany of malities¬†we reviewed and wrestled with one at a time knowing there was an angel that nobody wanted behind each of them. With heavy hearts and a firm commitment to our other children, we checked what we knew we could handle and you were our chosen blessing.

Cleft lips and palates are so tragically normal in China that orphanages are filled with precious little ones just like you. Their mangled faces chasing away Chinese families before they can even get to know the abandoned soul behind them. It’s so easy to fix but yet so quick to chase away too many families. We all remember with vivid clarity the day your picture came through our email – there you were with those big, beautiful eyes and soft glow of fuzzy newborn hair surrounding your perfectly round head. Your cleft lip was not yet repaired and open from your nose to both sides of your mouth – taking what should have been your upper lip.

What you didn’t know was that even before we opened your picture we knew we were going to take you home with us. We really didn’t care what challenges we were going to have to work through with you – we were called to this life-altering event and there wasn’t a chance that we were going to let you go back in the mix of referals. The moment you were emailed to us, your path was woven into the fabric of our family.

Here we are almost two-years into our lives together and we could have never guessed the flood of love and happiness you would bring with you into our family. There isn’t a day that goes by that your mom and I don’t spend a moment reflecting on something amazing you did. So amazing that we often forget that you even have a special need! We forget that the road you walk is far more uphill than any of ours. We forget that just communicating what is hurting through tear filled eyes is so difficult that sometimes you just lay your head on our laps and give up.

But we are trying to do all we can to make it right. We are trying to flatten out your road, as best we can.

In two short days we are going to have to take you to a place that is going to hurt you, really bad. But the pain will be temporary as we try to reverse the scars your premature birth left you with. Unfortunately, communication is always going to be a struggle for you but our hope is that these brief moments of pain will give birth to a better life for you.

We really, really wish we did not have to do this. We dread these moments more than we can tell you. But if you can muster the courage to push through a life that has chosen to stack the deck against you, I guess we can do the same. I just want you to know how much we love you and are thankful for you. We don’t expect to get much sleep over the next couple days – your tender face keeps showing up in our minds-eye whenever whatever it is that were are doing to distract ourselves comes to an end. :)

Anyway, I just wanted to share some thoughts with you. All of this will be over soon and you will be well on your way to telling us all those things you haven’t been able to for so long. Your mom and I joke that you have an extensive list of complaints that have been waiting to share and we are going to really hear it when you heal up! :)

Thanks again for all you do in our hearts and for our family. We are so thankful you have finally come home!

- Mom & Dad

PS – We heard from friends of your mommy on Facebook (it’s this old social networking thing that was really popular for a while ;) – we’ll tell you more later) that your story was a big reason why they chose to adopt off the special needs list. And even more than that, they are adopting a baby girl with a cleft lip and palate – just like you! How beautiful is that? You continue to change the world Meili!