Time in Willow Creek: 11 months, 1 week, 6 days
“Hey puddin! Gosh you play so well. It’s so nice to have music around the house again. I wish we had room to put this in the house. Anyway, I didn’t mean to interrupt, but a package just came for you in the mail!”
Juliana’s eyes glistened and were as large as quarters. The corners of her mouth stretched as far as they could to the edges of her face. “Mamá?”
Harriett smiled and nodded.
She jumped up, squeezed Harriett, and dashed out of the shed and ran up to her room. The only time she ever ran quicker was when that dog chased her on the way home from school.
She tore open the box and found a letter, a few familiar knick knacks, and a bigger envelope which made her curious. She sat and opened the letter first.
(translated for your understanding)
My Dearest Juliana,
I am so sorry it has taken me this long to respond to you. I know you understand, but I am still sorry. I thought the angels might have come to take me when I got your letter. I was so happy, I thought my heart would stop. I sent you away with the intention of never hearing from you again. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Even harder than losing your older siblings. Losing them was indeed hard, but I don’t have to worry about them anymore. But with you, I didn’t know where you were, how you were doing, or anything. You have been in my thoughts and prayers every day since you left. I knew you would be angry with me. That is why I chose not to reveal my plan to you until the end. But, I’m glad you understand why I had to send you away. I do not know what is going to happen to us here. Things have not improved, but I will not let our family perish. That is why you had to leave. That is also why I have sent your birth certificate. That is what is in the other envelope. I love you with all of my heart, but I do not want you to return for any reason. Stay in Willow Creek. Be a good person. Learn all you can. Work hard. Become something great.
I’m glad you are learning the language because I need to ask you a favor. I have written a few words for your friend Harriett. If you are able to translate, can you read this next part to her? Do the best you can.
Praise be to God! Thank you for taking care of my child. As a mother, I am sure you understand how much this means to me. I am forever grateful to you. I pray to the God in Heaven that He would bless you and your family richly. Juliana is a wonderful girl, and I know she will be a blessing to you and your family. I know she will be no trouble for you, but if she should give you any trouble, you have my blessing to correct her how you need. You are a beautiful person for allowing her in your home and adopting her in your life.
My darling Juliana,
I love you so much. Never forget this. I put some things from home in the box that I knew you liked. I hope they bring you happiness and good memories of home. I feel connected to you as I write, and I do not want to stop. But, I am out of words. There isn’t much to tell except the little ones are all doing well, and we are as safe as we can be for now. Pray that this good fortune continues for a while. Until the next time I hear from you, I love you my sweet child. Stay well.
Loving you always,