Dear Linxi, sweet Baby Grace,
You are 4 weeks old today, and you’re already world famous. People from all over the world have been following your story and excited about you. People on both sides of the world were thrilled to welcome you on March 23 on the day you were born. And, I think I was the most excited of all aside from your mommy, your daddy, and your big brother.
You were desired and loved before you even came to be. Your mommy and daddy knew that having you would be very hard because of the rules in China. But, they wanted you so much and believed with all their hearts that God would protect and provide for you. And, He did, but not in the way they may have expected at first. He brought your mommy and brother here to us, all the way across the world, so that as you grew inside your mommy, you would be safe and secure. Our home became their home, and we lived our days together, our excitement for you growing as March grew closer, knowing that we’d meet you soon. We talked about you all the time and imagined what you’d be like. We couldn’t wait for you to come and to meet you. You turned all of our lives upside down before you even entered the world!
I held your mommy’s hand as she labored to bring you into the world. I watched your daddy anxiously try his best to comfort her. I was there when you took your first breath, watching it all happen as it seemed like time stood still. You are a miracle, sweet child. And, as happy as I was to finally meet you, I felt a little sad too because I knew my time with you would be short. Most of the time I had with you was while you were still growing inside your mommy. Now that you were here, all the talking, anticipating, and imagining was over and our time would be spent preparing for you to leave and go home.
I’ve heard there’s a Chinese saying that goes something like this–fallen leaves return to their roots. It’s time for you to return to your roots and go home to China where God has called your family to be. I trust that the God who moved mountains to bring you into this world will keep you safe and guide you with His hand so that you will grow into the young woman He wants you to be. And, I can’t wait to watch that happen from afar. He is going to use you to change the world. But, as you return to your roots, I want you to know that your roots are deeper than China alone. You will not remember our time together and how two families became one to bring you into the world safely, but your roots are here too in a way that is far more significant than that passport that says you are a citizen of this place. You belong here too. I may have given you your Western name, but I have no claim to you; you are not our own. Yet, we will always see you as part of our family, an extension of ourselves. And, because of that, we will always feel the heartache of missing you when we are apart. We will look back on our days spent with you and this season of our lives with joy knowing that God used us to change the world by helping to bring you into it.