Friday, March 23, 2007

open letter to our orphanage

oh my. first post.

I think I will post our letter to the Board of Toukoul. Toukoul is the orphanage we are adopting from. We had to write them a letter explaining why and who we wanted to adopt. It seems like a good place to start telling the story of our family.

14 March 2007

Dear Board of Toukoul:

It is with great joy and humbleness that I begin this letter, for how often do you find yourself writing perfect strangers who will change your life forever? Though it is not part of our official dossier, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves to you formally, and perhaps more importantly, to thank you for allowing us the opportunity to raise and love children who have been in your care. I believe that God has given you an awesome gift and power, because you create families. And by creating families, you create laughter, bedtime stories, family meals, and memories – all of which are surely pleasing to God.

It is hard for me to pinpoint exactly how we came to the decision to adopt from Ethiopia. I believe that seeds have been planted in each of us long before and after we met. Our bookshelves, for instance, are lined with works about Africa, from the Great Lakes, to South Africa, to Malawi, Cameroon, Morocco, and of course Ethiopia, our interest in learning about the many cultures, tribulations, and great warmth of its people has been a long time interest for both of us and one which we will attempt to instill in our daughters. However, our motivation to adopt came almost a year ago to the day and is hardly explainable. I was on the train on my way to work when I just knew with absolute certainty that I wanted to adopt from Ethiopia. You can imagine my surprise and happiness that when I got off the train, there was a message from Ben saying he wanted to adopt from Ethiopia. This was not something we had talked about more than in passing, and took this revelation we both had, collectively and individually, as an absolute affirmation of our future and began researching it and taking the necessary steps almost immediately. I have only felt that sense of resolution and certainty on one other occasion – the day Ben and I met and knew we would spend the rest of our lives together... “If ever two were one, then surely we...”

First and foremost, we want to adopt because we want to have a family – a family that laughs, cries, prays, and plays together. Ben’s mother has in the last few years adopted two little girls and this has influenced us greatly. So when it came time for us to think about having a family, I believe it was our witnessing the transformation of our new sisters and Ben’s parents which led us to the same moment on the train. And through this, we decided to try and give children who need a family everything we possibly can.

We want to adopt two girls – related or unrelated, under the age of 9 months, but as young as possible. This was a difficult decision for us to make as we know there are so many waiting children, but as first time parents, we want to be able to go through as many stages of their development as possible, and feel we are better equipped to bring home two infants.

Again, we want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you and for taking the time to read this. We are anxiously awaiting the time when we will meet in person, when you place our daughters in our outstretched arms.

Most Respectfully,

Anna and Benjamin Thomas