If you noticed, on the Eighth Day of Christmas, we dropped off letters to Santa. Odd for adults to do? Of course! But the letters weren’t really for us. Ken and I each wrote letters to Santa, and dropped them off before sharing their contents with each other.
We were informed that we could expect a response from Santa, but what we got in the mail on Christmas Eve was much different from what we expected. I was expecting a generic form letter, perhaps with the names changed at the top. Instead, Santa wrote responses to Ken and I together (even though we had written two separate letters), and a letter to each of our kids. I know it’s a long post, but it will be worth your time.
Dear Saint Nicholas,
It has been a long time since I have written you a letter, but Christmas is a time for child-like faith and so this year I choose to believe in you.
I am not asking for the latest Xbox game, cabbage-patch doll, or shiny new bicycle. Instead, my wife and I are adopting two children from the Democratic Republic of Congo and we would like to ask you for a favor.
You and your reindeer travel the world on Christmas Eve delivering toys to girls and boys. We do not know if our children have been naughty or nice, but we are certain that they are loved. Although we have never met, we already miss them more than words can express.
This Christmas Eve, when you visit the orphanage in Kinshasa, could you make sure that they are tucked in and safe? And we would ask that you whisper to them a simple message, in French, while they sleep.
“Votre mère et votre père vous aime beaucoup. Ils viennent à vous ramener chez vous bientôt.” [Your mother and father love you very much. They are coming to take you home soon.]
Thank you Santa, and next year we look forward to welcoming you to our home and delivering presents to two children who will be enjoying their first Christmas in Tennessee.
Grace and peace this holiday season,
I know I’m a little old to be writing you a letter, or even to be telling you what I want, but before you put me on the naughty list, know this letter isn’t for me. It’s for my kids.
My kids are Rose and Emmanuel. They are ages 3 and 5, and they live in an orphanage in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We’re in the process of adopting them, and things have come to a standstill since October. There has been an election, and rioting, and much instability in the country. We were hoping to be travelling to get them this time of year, but we still have months of paperwork and processes to go through before we can get them. I don’t even know for sure that they know we exist, or that they are loved.
So, here is my Christmas wish. Would you let Rose and Emmanuel know that they are loved, and that we are desperately trying to bring them home? Would you make sure their mosquito netting is snuggly around them, and that they have a toy or a blanket to cuddle with? Would you fill their caregivers with an extra amount of love, joy, and patience, and help their security guards to be brave and strong? Would you give them the gift of laughter on Christmas day – even though they may not even realize what day it is? Most of all, would you protect the places in their hearts that are meant to be occupied by a mom, a dad, and Jesus so that they don’t give up hope too soon?
I know this is a lot to ask for, but I’d appreciate your help. Next Christmas, I hope to be helping Rose and Emmanuel to write letters of their own.
And here is Santa’s response:
My Dearest Ken and Robin,
I wanted to write and let you know that I received your precious letter. As I hear the heartache in your words, I write to bring you hope. I promise you that I will do all the things you have asked of me in order for your amazing children to be blessed this Christmas season. Though my magic exists through the innocent hearts of the young and old who believe in me, the words of my promise to you can only be made concrete through my willingness to get on my knees and join you in prayer. Through references in your letters, I am assuming that you are a couple of faith and that you have been praying to our heavenly Father, the one true source, who can make all your dreams come true. Therefore, I will spend the word of your despair and heartache so that a great number of complete strangers throughout the world will join you and multiply your prayers in loud, harmonious requests to the ears of our Lord. I promise you that your prayers will be answered and that in the Lord’s perfect timing, the gift of Rose and Emmanuel will be placed in your arms. As they already have their places in your hearts, know that peace will settle in theirs and that they will be overcome by your love this Christmas and for all the days to follow.
One thing I know for certain, is that precious Rose and Emmanuel are two very lucky children. Though their current circumstances may not reveal that to them yet, your love and your desire to make your family complete will bring them full circle to the home they are truly meant to thrive in. It is evident that your love will encompass them so that any pain and anxiety they may have felt in their homeland will erase in time to be replaced by the life necessities you will provide to them as well as a loving and nurturing environment which will reveal their purpose in life. It is obvious that your hearts are yearning for them to be spared any difficulties and that you want nothing more than to become the parents they deserve. It will become my greatest wish that anything standing in the way of this gift to you will simply vanish, so that you can hold them in your arms as soon as possible. May the magic of Christmas and the power of God be revealed to you soon so that your heartache will be healed and your home will be filled with the love and laughter of a family made whole.
Christmas blessings to you and yours, with great love and compassion,
Thank you Santa for your prayers, and for your letters. And Merry Christmas.