Hi. How are you? I am fine. How was school? I pray for you everyday. I asked God for everything. Then you write me! I can't wait to meet you. I think my court date finished soon. God be with you. Jesus is my hope. I am so happy now to have a sister. I have never had a sister before now I have a sister and I have never had a brothers now have brothers. I love you Katie and God love you.
I love you."
"Dear My all family,
Hi. How are you my family? How was everything. I am fine. Merry Christmas my family. Today I got letter from you. I am so happy because I got a letter from you. Yes I have Christmas in Layla (her orphanage). Yes, my pants size is 12. Hope next Christmas together soon. I like your pictures so much. (We sent her a many pictures of us, the house, her room, the snow!). I hope my pass court finished soon. I like my bedroom. When I come to Minnesota I want to change my name. Please my family change my name.
God love you my family.
It is so exciting to receive letters from her. It really helps us to get to know her and her hopes and dreams.
We all wondered somewhere in the back of our minds if she would have the desire to change her name when she came home. Her best friend, Letarik wanted her name changed to the middle name that her family had chosen for her. So her new name is Anaya, which has a beautiful meaning. I believe it means 'gift from God.' Both Letarik and Tarikwa's names have the same meaning, 'history.' I think it is absolutely beautiful and we all LOVE her name. But I also understand that Ethiopian's put a much different weight on names than we do in the West, where most of us name our kids because we like the way it sounds, not for the 'meaning' of the name.
I have to admit that I cried when I read of her desire to change her name. After all, her name and her memories is all she will arrive here with, nothing else. Even though we had given the boys American names before we met them, we realized how special their Ethiopian names were and ended up never calling them by American names. So legally and officially, the boys are Micah Mihiretu and Jameson Misganaw. Also special names with wonderful meanings, both American and Ethiopian. Mihiretu means, "God's mercy," and Misganaw means, "Thanksgiving to God."
So Tarikwa wants her name to be history and desires a new name. I will write her and ask her if she has a name in mind. We have come up with a name that we thought would be her middle name but instead, if she likes it, will be her first name.
I fully understand her desire to want to start over, to have a fresh start. And a new name makes sense, I guess. Tears well up in my eyes as I say that because I really don't want her to change her name. I love the name Tarikwa. She's lost so much in her short life and it just seems like a big deal to lose your name, too. But we will honor her wishes and give her a beautiful new name. I will post the name after I get the ok from her. She should hear it first, don't you think? :)
She also sent a couple photos of her. Don't know where she got them but they are so cute!!
Pray this week that both Jill, Medhanit's (Lilly) mom and us get an embassy date. That will determine when we travel to pick up the girls. Remember that we both think it would be wonderful to travel together so the girls can leave the orphanage together forever?? Maybe God thinks that is a good idea, too!