She’s here! An Open Letter to Our Daughter

She’s here!, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Dear Sweet Zoe,

As I write this I am waiting to hear the date/time of your flight to us. I’m so overwhelmed by the tons of emotions – excitement, anxiety, joy, elation, relief, concern for you and your foster mom, gratitude for Carol who will be escorting you, confusion about what lies ahead of us as a family, and an unbelievable amount of love. I also have thoughts racing around in my head that make me wonder about your trip, your thoughts, your losses, your needs and what you will ask about these days when you are older and we talk together. Oh, life is a wondrous and glorious thing. It is something that will amaze you and give you joy. It is something that challenges us all through it’s ups and downs, but remains is some strange way, consistent with love and light.

Your dad and I dreamed of you for years before this process ever began. There was never a moment in our partnership that we didn’t talk about adopting when we could. You were never an afterthought, not a result of what could not have been; but rather you have always been exactly what we hope for – what COULD BE! You have been you. In that basic sense, the basic tenets of agreeing as a soul to become who you are in this lifetime is all that we have ever hoped. You. As you are. Nothing more, nothing less.

We talked for weeks, months and even years about what name you would have. We didn’t worry about the name – we wanted a name that would fit you. When we chose the name Zoe, it was as though there was no longer a need for discussion or debate. It was you. We were satisfied. So why did we chose Zoe?

Zoe means life.
It is the beginning of all things.
Even though we come in to life alone, we do not do so by ourselves.
YOU are loved by the many people who have been touched by your life.
The washing of our lives upon the shores and over the shoulders and backs of each other is what makes us who we are.
Life is like the waves on the ocean.
They begin beyond our vision and never cease.
Some days they rise high over our heads
and some days they gently rock and splash at our toes.
We as humanity gather together at the shore for play, for sustenance and in moments of awe.
We share in the gifts of life together.
We celebrate, we mourn, we learn and we grow.
We ride out the waves as they are given to us.
We are altered by the movements of the ocean around us and molded by not only the waves, but our reactions to them.
Life is beautiful.

Some people may think that we have named you Zoe because you are the gift of life in to our lives.
But really, you are so much more than that.

You are the gift of life, not for us,
but rather from your wonderful, strong birth mother.
She gave you strength and courage.
She gave you the chance to live and seize the moments of Life around you.
She granted you the dreams and the possibilities.
She knows the beauty of Life.
She knows the beauty of You.

And then those dreams and possibilities were supported and nurtured by your omma.
She cared for you as you learned about our world and comfort.
She rocked you, sang to you, danced with you,
watched you crawling, heard you laughing and comforted you.
Your omma knows the beauty of Life.
She knows the beauty of You.

And your Dad and I?
We wish to give those dreams wings.
We wish to give you the music of life.
We wish to carry on with you like waves on an ocean.
Another pair to love Life and You.
To support your dreams and Life.
We know the beauty of Life.
We know the beauty of You.

And that is why we chose to name you Zoe.
The name means Life.
It is You.
And we are honored to know and love You.

Welcome Home, Little Girl.
With all our hearts, we love you so –
-Your Mom & Dad


  1. Congrats!

  2. Holly Varner says:

    I am so happy for you! Welcome Zoe! I cant wait to see more pictures of her.

  3. Wow! God bless!

  4. Oh, wow, trying to type through tears … I am so extremely happy for you all. Zoe is beautiful, even snuggled into your love.

    All the best to the three of you … see you when life settles into a bit of a routine,


  5. That’s so beautiful!! Congrats to you and your newly expanded family!!!


  6. Kim Fera says:

    Oh, I am so happy for you both (ok, you three)! Enjoy your beautiful daughter — the wonderful adventure is only beginning!

  7. Congrats! She’s beautiful!!

  8. I knew I’d need a tissue before I began to read this.

    CONGRATULATIONS! Much love and joy from me to you today! Oh, I’m thrilled for you three!

  9. Julialuli says:

    Oh, how you must be bursting right now. Don’t worry about the house, the food, the errands. Sit and wallow together in these precious moments as a new family. Thinking of you! Thank you for sharing this beautiful/painful/amazing journey.

  10. Congratulations!!! She is gorgeous!

  11. Jessica says:

    Congratulations on the addition of your beautiful daughter Zoe! I am so thrilled for you all. All the best!!!

  12. jillelise says:

    FINALLY! Congratulations so much, what a beautiful letter, a beautiful name, beautiful picture, and beautiful perfect little girl!!! I’m soooo happy for you!

  13. Yay! Congratulations!

  14. Congratulations. She’s beautiful. Your post made me want to go pick my sleeping son out of his crib and hug him.

  15. oh i have tears in my eyes now, i am so very happy for the three of you! What a lucky lucky child to have you for parents, and what a beatiful tribute to this little girl who has com into your lives. Thrilled for you, completely!

  16. Congratulations on your beautiful daughter! :)

  17. Awwww, I am so happy for you and your family. I got tears in my eyes when I saw the picture of your husband with your daughter sleeping in his arms. That for sure pulled on the heart strings. She is so comfortable and comforted in his arms, so sweet.
    Congratulations on your new addition to your family! Very exciting.
    Best wishes,

  18. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. There is nothing more beautiful than love. God Bless.

  20. Congrats ! I guess we won’t be seeing much of you the next couple of days – no doubt you’ll be too busy enjoying the new girl in town ! :-)

  21. Congrats!!! That picture is too cute. You will make really awesome parents:)

  22. Ina Gawne says:

    Congrats to the three of you!! What a beautiful picture, and what a beautiful child! Your joy is being spread around the world, with this website. How beautiful of you to share such an amazing time in your lives. Blessing to the three of you, may you all continue this incredible journey with much joy and love!
    Ina, from the Westcoast, B.C. Canada

  23. Weeping!!!

    Please give Zoe all my love from Auntie Ging! XOXOX

    I am SO happy for you all.


  24. Congrats. Enjoy!

  25. Congratulations! That is such a sweet picture! We’ll be thinking of you as you all get settled in and find the new rhythms of your life together.

  26. I wish you pure enjoyment and delight with your new little baby.

  27. Congratulations! The picture is breathtaking. I am very happy for you and wish the three of you great lives.

  28. That picture, and your open letter, brought tears to my eyes. I can’t wait for all the updates!

  29. A beautiful tribute, and a moving welcome home message to your daughter. Sending your family warmth, health, joy and peace. Happy Spring, Kate!

  30. Beautiful!

  31. Congratulations to the three of you!!!!!

  32. Congratulations, enjoy your family! Yes its official you’re no longer a couple you’re a family

  33. I’m so happy for you. Congratulations!

  34. That sweet little nugget is here!!! Give her a hug and kiss from the Artist and I!

  35. congratulations to you and your love – oh, I guess you have two loves now! I wish all three of you the best :)

  36. That gave me goosebumps. I can’t even begin to imagine the excitement.

  37. Taichinutq says:

    Happy Easter to the Chan Clan !. Your letter and the photo of your love and precious Zoe made my day. Much happiness and love to you all.

  38. she looks absolutely amazing. Congratulations.

  39. Here from LFCA…

    Congratulations on Zoe’s arrival!

    She will really appreciate your beautiful letter someday, but I’m sure she is already enjoying the love behind it.

  40. Welcome Zoe! You could not have better parents.

  41. Welcome baby Zoe! Your arrival has been MUCH anticipated! I am so happy for you and your parents! Your daddy looks like he has the perfect shoulder to snuggle against! Snuggle often! Be happy! Be family!

  42. Violetsrose says:

    I am sooooooo happy for all of you – I’m sat at my desk at work with tears of happiness running down my face – that photograph is the perfect expression of love

  43. Oh Kate! I am speechless! What a journey this has been for you! I am SO excited for Zoe and for the future you have with her!! Thank you for sharing this!! Much love dear friend!!

    XOXO — Carrie

  44. Kimberly says:

    What a sweet blessing! Congratulations!!!

  45. Congrats. Words can’t express how happy I am for your family at this time. Beautiful.


  46. Uh oh! I have tears in my eyes at work….

    What a beautiful letter. I am sure she will cherish it for many, many years. I am so happy for you both! What a blessing!

    I adore the photo as well: so sweet :)

  47. Aw, how beautiful she is! You made me get all choked up, I hate that. I am happy for you three!

  48. What a beautiful blessed event for your family! You may not have as much time for the blog after Zoe arrives (and your readers will understand even while missing you) but please, please do not forget to have your gluten-free necessities on hand to care for yourself just as you will always provide the necessities for Zoe. One of the most important things that she needs is for you to be your very healthiest self!!!

  49. Congratulations to you! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!
    Another gluten free momma

  50. what a special time for you and your family!
    enjoy every minute!

  51. One of the most beautiful writings I have read. I would like to share with my young students who are considering the future of their unborn child.

  52. Congratulations! She is beautiful, and you will both make wonderful parents. Best wishes and thinking of you and your family as you get to know and love each other!!!


  53. I’m so happy for you. I remember both days we brought our boys home. I was overwhelmed with joy and so many other emotions. Keep all the visitors at bay for awhile-this time passes so quickly. Enjoy one another and getting to know one another.
    God Bless You!

  54. What a sweet girl.

  55. Congratulations! She is precious, and she belongs with you and your husband.

  56. I have been MIA from the blogosphere so I managed to miss this development! CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy to see that this new addition to your family has finally arrived. Health and happiness to your family.

  57. I’m behind—haven’t been reading blogs very often lately—so now I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face! 😀

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