Someday, my baby girls, I hope you'll read this. Mommy and Daddy traveled around the world, twice, to find you. It's been a tough journey. Physically and emotionally, a tough journey. But know this - we did it because we love you. Cassie, we've had you now for 9 months. Chloe, for 6 days. And we love you both. That may seem odd to you. How could we possibly already love you? Maybe you'll understand some day; maybe not. But we do. We loved you before we ever set eyes upon you. We loved the dream of you. We loved the thought of you. We just didn't know you, which is the odd part.
Cassie, when you joined our family, you were a scared little girl who didn't know who we were or why we were there. You REALLY didn't like Daddy at first, and only began to trust him a few months after you met him. That made Daddy sad, but he understood. Poor Mommy wasn't allowed to even leave the room for several weeks. That meant bathroom breaks were few and far between. Showers were a luxury. As tough as this was on Mommy and Daddy, we know it was much tougher on you. We didn't even really know who you were until several months after you came home. Now that we've figured you out, you surprise us every day with the things you learn, and the way you interact with the world. You've already shown us that you are wicked smart, and are going to give us a run for our money some day soon. Until then, we fear the day that you choose to replay, in public, some thing Mommy said to Daddy or Daddy said to Mommy when we didn't think you were listening. Every experienced parent tells us that "your kids are ALWAYS listening". We weren't always sure with you, especially since you didn't understand English when you came to us. But you've shown us that you are listening, so now it is up to us to make sure you hear the right things. (If you're listening now - Daddy wants new golf clubs. Mommy wants chocolate. I'm just saying.) The big surprise about you has been the strength of your personality. You definitely prefer to be in control of the world around you, and you are not shy about insisting that the world conforms to your needs. You do not put up with anything less that you deserve. Please don't EVER give up that trait. We'll probably try to soften the rough edges a bit, if you'll let us. But keep doing what you're doing, and when it comes time to decide whether you're the bug or the windshield, you'll be the windshield every time. God help anyone who stands in your way. In a few short years, Daddy will be meeting your boyfriends at the door with a stern look or perhaps even a shotgun but in the back of his head, he'll know that none of that will ever be necessary. You'll chew up those poor boys and spit them out.
Chloe, when you joined our family, you were a soft cuddly little girl who seemed to love everyone and fear no one. You were everybody's favorite little girl at the orphanage. You give kisses out when asked. You let both Mommy and Daddy hold you, comfort you, clean you, and feed you. You are very easy going. The only thing that makes you upset is when you are sick. And Mommy and Daddy started you off the wrong way. We fed you formula that made your stomach feel bad, and you tried to tell us by crying for hours and hours, and having several really messy accidents. But we figured it out pretty quickly, and you were better within a few days. We know we'll continue to make mistakes with you, all the way until you get married and move away (hopefully when your 30 or older). We hope you'll continue to be that easy-going girl that you are, and that you'll understand, and work with us.
At the moment, Cassie, you don't really know whether or not you like your sister. She's a playmate, and that's pretty neat. But she also demands some of Mommy's time, and that's not so neat. But Mommy has enough love for both of you, and I think you'll figure that out soon enough. Chloe, you keep on trying with Cassie, and you don't seem to care that she doesn't always like you. That's part of your special charm. In your own way, you too have decided that you're going to get what you want. Right now, you want Cassie to be your friend. Because of the way you do the things you do, I think you'll get your wish. Mommy and Daddy will be there to help that happen.
Right now, Mommy and Daddy are wondering just how we'll find the strength to do all the things we need to do to give you the lives you deserve. We believe God will give us the strength and guidance we need. He's done it so far, and that's led us to you. We haven't earned the privilege to become your parents, and don't deserve the honor. God's grace has brought us to you, and you to us.. We're still going to do everything we can to come close.
We love you both. Whatever may have transpired between the time of this writing and the distant future which finds you reading this post, know that through it all, we love you both. Everything we've done along the way is a direct result of that, even the horrible mistakes we are bound to make. And yes, that probably includes Daddy's attempts to intimidate your prospective boyfriends.