Dear Baby,

Friday, July 15, 2011

In June of 2010, your dad and I went on a one week mission trip to Peru. We spent our mornings at an orphanage in Chosica, playing with and talking to the children. Before this trip, we had our minds set on waiting to start a family. We had this long list of things we wanted to accomplish and places we wanted to go, so we told everyone our plan was to wait five or six years to start a family. (The funny thing is, I can’t even remember what most of the things on that list were.)
When we arrived at the orphanage on the first day, 20 or more children greeted us, threw confetti in our faces, and started pushing around us, fighting to be the first to talk to us. They would all do the same thing - latch onto a leg or arm, give us a big smile, and ask “Cómo te llamas?” which means, “What is your name?” (This was the question that they all wanted to ask, because it was the only one we could understand and respond to without a translator.) Through all of this commotion, I spotted the little girl that would later change life as your dad and I knew it, paying no attention to the commotion and intently trying to sit on a balloon. Later, we found out her name was Sharon Blanca Aybar, or “Charro” for short (which translates to cowboy in Spanish, which I thought was the cutest).

For the next six days, I played and laughed with, and talked to Miss Charro - inevitably, I became attached.  I had never had a bond like this with any other child. Even though we spoke entirely different languages, somehow I understood her at all times. I thought she was perfect in every way, the way I had always imagined I would feel about my children. When we came back to the United States, the first thing I did was email the director of the orphanage to ask about adoption. For several complicated reasons, she wasn’t available for adoption at that time, and the chances of her becoming available soon were slim. It was overwhelming news - this wasn’t the only obstacle we would have to overcome to make her a part of our family; our young age and the cost of adoption were factors as well.
In the end, we were forced to face the fact that it was not going to work out as we had hoped. Regardless of my disappointment, the whole ordeal caused me to realize that I was ready to start a family. I never want you to get the wrong idea about this - you were not a replacement or second best for this little girl. In fact, your dad and I talked seriously about trying to have a baby in the next year even if the adoption did work out. I’m telling you all of this because I want you to know where the idea of you came from. When all of these feelings and desires were swirling through our heads surrounding this adoption, I believe God was smiling, thinking of another one of his children coming into existence, and preparing our hearts to love you.
All the Love in the Universe,


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