“Dear Remya, my daughters name is Julia, she would like to be your special friend.” That is how, eleven years ago my very first letter to Remya started, I was too young to write, so my mom wrote for me.
Meeting her was eleven years of anticipation and expectations. And that day blew them all out of the water. If ever a day was perfect, it was yesterday.
She held onto me the whole day, we went to a zoo, the kind where the monkeys ran free, and goldfish were so unheard of, they were in the aquarium. We had pizza for lunch, her first slice of pizza. Then we went to an old Buddhist temple where the monks used to live. Small square rooms carved out of a rock hill. Remya and I climbed to the top where we could see all of Bhubaneswar. We sang her happy birthday.
We went back to the hotel and talked some. As we asked questions, we found that her oldest brother had just started to recover from Polio this year. Her mother has no work, and her father cuts down coconuts for a living. He receives about twenty cents per coconut. That is what the family lives on. I had no idea that her situation was that rough, it was hard to hear.
Remya handed me a photo album. She had pictures of her family, and the first pictures I had sent her, from when I was very small. It was funny to see all of the history between us. She also had pictures of her friends the “Sixen Beauties”. I had sent her a picture of me and my best friend in a field a while back, which she had photo shopped over, so that it was her in the field with me. We got a big kick out of that. I learned that she wanted to be a teacher for computer sciences.
Remya had also brought her file with her. Every Compassion child has a file, it includes their grades, their medical records, and every letter she and I had ever written to each other in it. It was overwhelming. It was both of our histories, all of the pictures we drew, all of the questions we asked. It was amazing to see.
Throughout the day I really fell in love with this wonderful girl. I loved how she wouldn’t let go of me, I loved how she loved my “fish eyes”, I loved how she cried as we said goodbye and she held me tight, I loved how she could only say “I love you so much” through her tears, I love how her mother grabbed my chin and smiled as she said I was like another daughter to her. I loved that day, and I love Remya. Words really can’t describe my day with that wonderful girl. God really did put us together for a reason. She has been my “special friend”, and a huge part of my life. One day, after eleven years, was worth all of the goodbye tears at the end, all of the sponsorship money. This relationship is priceless.
I have come to terms now that this will be the last time my family or I will get to see her, that we only have one more year to write letters before she graduates from the program. But I know that one day, I will see her again in heaven, my Kingdom friend. And it will be a joyous day, because we won’t have to say goodbye. I can’t wait till then.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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