September 7, 2016

A Letter To My Bicultural Daughter

Photo Aug 04, 7 49 13 AM

Estela Maryuri,

Your papito and I started to talk about you over ten years ago.  We started the process of finding you five years ago.  Eleven months ago you entered our home and our hearts and just this past week we are now officially a family.  Throughout all of this time, I have often dreaded the day that we will leave Nicaragua and move to the United States.  I know that this doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially after our long in-country adoption process, but it grieves me to think about taking you away from almost everything you know.

In Minnesota, we will not be able to walk across the street and buy fresh tortillas for breakfast each morning.  Much to my chagrin, you will probably eat cereal or toast for the first time, never a pop tart though.  For dinnertime, it will be more challenging to make gallo pinto, although I will do my best to find us red beans.

When we leave for school and work in the morning, you will not see horses and oxen walking down the street with their carts.  There won’t be people walking across the street or waiting at bus stops.  Instead, you will most likely see big box stores and interstate.  There are also a lot of lakes and green trees. 

When you are going to bed at night, you won’t hear loud music blaring from your neighbors next door or wake up to all of the neighborhood dogs barking at each other.  It will most likely be still and quiet.  I can turn on the fan if you need a little noise.

You will no longer sweat 365 days of the year.  You will experience a more drastic change of seasons, you will feel cold for the very first time.

All of these changes are bittersweet.  I so wish that I could keep everything the same for you, raise you in this beautiful country where you will always hear your first language and be surrounded by other Pinoleros, the incredible people of Nicaragua.

Adoption is full of loss.  While we have all gained so much, there is still so much loss.

I do not doubt your resilience in the transition.  I am confident that you will grow by leaps and bounds. 

However, in advance I want to apologize for not being able to keep you in your home country.  Know that I will do everything to help you maintain connections to this place.  We will visit often.  We will communicate regularly with the people that are so dear to us.  We will find ways to continuing eating tajadas and baho and queso fresco.  We will continue to speak Spanish with one another and continue to develop relationships with Spanish speakers in Minnesota.  We will put up art in our home that represents and depicts Nicaragua.  You will always have a piñata at your birthday party and I will sing you Las Mañanitas on your birthday morning.  I look forward to learning and growing with you, know that I am with you each step of the way.

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