August 4, 2016

A Letter To Estela On Our Adoption Day

Estelita,

For many years, your mom and I have been thinking and dreaming of the day that we would meet you.  One of the first conversations that we ever had way back in 2005, when we first met, was about the fact that someday we both hoped we would have the opportunity to grow our family through adoption. We did not know when, and we did not know where, we did not even know at that point that we would be together, but we were both excited about this dream and hope.

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Soon we were to be married. Your Dutch father and Swedish, British, Irish, Dutch and New Zealandish mother tied the knot on August 18th, 2007.  Since that day we have dreamed a lot about you.  We thought about when we would first hold you in our arms and imagined the joys we would and will share together.  You joining us for this journey has truly been a dream come true and our hearts both melted when you first said the words mama and papito.  Your constant smile, your thoughtful imagination and resilient spirit have been a blessing and example for your mom and I.

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Your joyous personality has been a constant in our family and for that we are so thankful.  To see your smile when you literally ate your first piece of gum, or how you jump for joy every morning for a glass of leche and your banano with peanut butter.  For your love for Oso Pardo and your sense of wonder and desire to know, exhibited in your beloved question of ¿porque?  Through this past year you have been constantly bringing smiles to our faces and we are more happy than ever to say without reservation that we are yours and you are ours.

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You have showed us what it means to persevere, to be resilient and empathic. You showed strength through difficulty and continue to show love and gozo to the world around you. Through the joys you have been there with a smile on your face; when you swam across the pool for the first time without your floaties and declared yourself a fish, when you wiped moms tears away and told her everything was okay, the way that you run to greet me when I get home from work, through the singing of Edelweiss and Deep Sea and all the other tunes you have learned in your deep singing voice and through all the waiting you have been there telling your mom and I that “¡no hay nada que Dios no puede hacer!”

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For all that and for so much more we want to say thank you Estela.  Thank you for making our lives joy filled and lighter.  Thank you for your smile and grace.  Thank you for your care and concern and thank you for liking onions.

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We are so thankful to have shared the last ten months with you in Nicaragua and we look forward to the many trips and adventures that we will continue to share with you in your home country.  Together we will climb your volcanoes, we will swim in your lagunas, we will eat at your favorite comedors, we will ride the city buses and venture into the market hand in hand.  We are so thankful that we have had the opportunity to live in your beautiful country for the past five years and make kindred friends with your pueblo.  We want to celebrate your culture and your heritage with you as we can now proudly say that we are a Dutch, Swedish, British, Irish, Kiwi and Nicaraguan family.

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You can look forward to piñatas for your birthday and getting your face smashed into your postre which we might even serve with Coco-Cola.  You can look forward to your dad trying to perfect gallo pinto and your mom doing everything possible with plantains, coconuts and the fresh fruits of Nicaragua.  We will celebrate your struggle for freedom and your independence, your liberation and your holy days.  We will light fireworks on Christmas-eve and wait for the Son to rise the next morning.  We also will share with you the Lakes of Minnesota, the corn fields of Iowa, your great-great-grandmother Gert's secret almond tart recipe and your great-grandpa Edwall's secret taffy recipe (as long as the secret stays in the family!)

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And so we want to say Estela, on this very special day, welcome to this family, to our family, to your family, officially.  You are a special part of us and we are so thankful that we have found each other.  Things may not always be perfect, your papito will never make tortillas like the lady across the street and he will never get his Spanish down perfectly, your mom will not stop you from eating pineapple at night or keep you from playing in the rain.  We may never know, little one, more about your biological family, though we will do whatever we can to help you get the answers that you need.  We promise to always love and support you in the ups and downs, in your dreams and lives adventures.

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We will always celebrate you.  We will take joy in who you are, who you are becoming, you are our little Nicaragüita, our little daughter.  What we do know and can say to you without reservation is that you are precious and that our family would not have been just right without you.  Dreams come true, we’re together!

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We love you SO MUCH!  Te amamos, MUCHO!

Your Mamita y Papito

16 comments:

Jennifer Jo said...

It's wonderful to finally see her face. She is beautiful. Congratulations!!!!

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

Thanks Jennifer! We think she is beautiful too!

Patricia Burger said...

So beautiful and heartfelt! Thanks for the early morning tears, Kevin :). You are all blessed as your little one seems to be a perfect fit with the two of you - what amazing parents I know you are and will continue to be. ❤️

lisa said...

So many tears of joy for you guys. This is beautiful.

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

Thanks Pat and Lisa! I cried reading it too, very sweet of Kevin.

Lorena said...

So perfect. So special for her.

Carla De Jong said...

Congratulations!!!! So happy for your family. can't wait to meet her.

Becky Fagerlie said...

I love everything about this. So well said. And she's such a beautiful girl! I hope we get to meet her :) Congratulations!

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

Thanks Lorena, Carla and Becky! We are so grateful that she is officially ours!
Cassie

Evonne said...

Welcome to your family Estela on your official adoption day.
Congratulations Kevin and Cassie. This is such a beautiful letter.
Wishing you ALL, all the best in life.
With Love,
Evonne Bierlink

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

Thank-you Evonne, very sweet of you! We hope to come and visit sometime this next year. She needs to meet her future hubby James!

Van Zoest Family said...

Kevin and Cassie,

Thank you for posting this letter to Estela. So precious for her and an inspiration for us as well. Thank you for your care for our family as well through your friendship. Your positive attitude and passion for adoption have been a constant encouragement to me. I am thankful too for Daniel's friendship with Estela and that you will be living in MN - so close to Iowa - and so I believe that one day we will see each other again. That Estela and Daniel will see each other again. Maybe pen pals one day, we'll see. Anyway, thank you once again for blessing us by inviting us into your journey.

Peace and Love,
Lisa Van Zoest

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

Thanks for your sweet words Lisa! We are grateful for your friendship and excited for the future of it. See you tomorrow at the pool!

Lynn Schoolmeesters said...

We are so excited and rejoice with you that this day finally happened. She is beautiful! So nice to see her face!

Kathy Van Der Bill said...

Cassie and Kevin, what a joy to see her beautiful face and smile and the joy she gives to you. what a Gift from our Faithful Father. We are so happy for you all! Blessings and joy to you and may God Bless you richly. Kathy Van Der Bill

Anonymous said...

¡Felicidades! We are so happy for your family. Thank you for publishing your heartfelt words to your precious daughter. We adopted from Nica too and feel a bond with you though we've never met!