I would like to tell you a story, because that’s what I do. I write and tell stories. Many of them are true, and this is one of them. This is a story about my wife and I.
Before my wife was my wife, when we knew we wanted to be married but weren’t yet, we would talk about children. One day we played a little game. We would each think of a girl’s name and a boy’s name for what we might want to name our children if we had a girl or boy. She told me that the names she liked were “Emily” and “Paul.” I said that those were the names I liked, too. She thought I was teasing, or that maybe I was just saying that because sometimes young men in love say they like things a girl likes when they really don’t. But it was true. Somehow my wife and I had both dreamed about a Paul and an Emily. We felt it was probably our destiny to have one of each, a boy and a girl.
In time, we did have a baby. A girl. And her name was Emily. When we had a second child, we thought we had better pick another girl name just in case. We agreed on one quickly, which was good because we needed it for baby Mira. Later on we had a third baby coming, and we were worried about what would happen if this would be a girl, too. We had a much harder time, and did not pick Kirsten’s name until after she was born.
Today we have three girls, and cannot have any more children. This left us with a mystery. My wife and I have felt all our lives together that we were meant to care for a boy named Paul, but if he wasn’t our son, where was he? We kept that space in our hearts, to be filled when the time was right.
My wife and I went to hear a musician tonight. His name is the same as mine, Jason. I have known him for a long time, too. He told a story tonight of the four children he sponsors, and of the joy each one brings, and of the love he has for them. Outside the room where he played his music there were cards with pictures of children on them. He begged us to look at them, and see if in our hearts we were meant to sponsor one.
That’s where we found you, Paul. We knew it right away when we saw you who you were. We knew that we were meant to learn about you. We were meant to care about you and worry about you, to think about you and wonder about you, to be happy with you and sad with you. We have waited so long to find you, Paul, and now that we have we hope to help you as best we can from far away, for as long as we are able.
There is so much that we’d like to tell you, and so much that we want you to tell us about your life. We know that your birthday is January 1. You will be five soon, if you aren’t already. If you get this letter after your birthday, I want you to know that I am sorry we were late in wishing you a happy birthday. I promise you it won’t happen again. For now, just know that we are thinking about you and your family. We hope you will be a blessing to your family and love them dearly. Watch over them for us, and share our love with them. Be strong. Be kind. Be happy.
I cannot wait to hear from you. I want to talk about you to my friends and my family. I want them to know about you and think about you, too. Maybe some of them will want to care for someone like you, too. I hope it will be all right with you if I should talk about you a lot to people, because I like to tell stories. It’s what I do.
May this letter find you happy and healthy, Paul. I’ll write to you again soon.
Your new friend,