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Friday, May 14, 2004

Indulge me while I brag about our adopted goddaughter. Her name is Josefa and she lives with her family in Guatamala. My husband and I have sponsored her through this agency, CFCA for four years.

When I was a kid, I fantasized about sponsoring a child in foreign lands. I lingered over the ads in Parade magazine featuring Sally Struthers. We finally got off the dime and started doing this because of a CFCA priest who visited our parish.

The reality of this relationship is different than my childhood fantasies. It's clear from the letters that Josefa sends us that these children are instructed to take a posture of extreme gratitude. I imagine someone from the sponsoring agency standing over Josefa and telling her exactly what words to write.

On our side, it seems to us that there is a risk in this arrangement that Josefa's parents are undermined by it. Does it make Josefa's dad seem inadequate to Josefa or to himself? Wending her letters seems like a double intrusion--as if we are insisting on a relationship just because we can write a check.

But our infrequent letters have gotten a little warmer, on both sides, perhaps in response to the graduated thawing we both see.

Anyway, though, this kid is great! We just got a letter from her yesterday. She is about to finish third grade and the letter is painstakingly printed on lined paper. She has drawn twenty-two flowers (pink and orange), a butterly, two trees and a house.

Here's her letter.

I hope this finds you well, with your dear family and God bless and take care of you today, tomorrow, and forever. I wish you exist in everyone of your daily labors and for everywhere you go, you have fun of this year and be a giver of a lot of blessings.

I tell you that on the 2,003 I was playing in my vacations with my brothers. And friends, I was playing ball, and I was burning stars, cohetes, and pumps on Christmas with my cousins. I ate many tamales with my family and uncles, and grandparents, with my little nephew too who is very anxious and fat, and his name is Juanito. I was dancing the Son at my school I dressed of a typical cloth from Atitlan. I took a picture at the river, I was there with a cock of red color, I tell that we celebrated the San Valentine's day and it is coming Easter too, and I will be with my family here in the Colony The Recuerdo, and I feel so happy because I am attending now the third grade, we will be soon in our exams and I am studying hard.

I say bye and I send you kisses and hugs with a lot of my heart, your dear godchild says bye.

I am so happy and excited to write to you my first letter with my own words with love, I send you kisses and hugs.

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