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Letters to my Unborn Daughter Series: My Hopes for You

This series is for my unborn daughter... a way for me to prepare for her arrival by writing my inner-thoughts for her. Hopefully one day she will get to read them and see what I was thinking right before she arrived. These are my hopes for her life.

Dear Daughter,

You are due any day now... I am hoping your arrival can be smooth and safe for both of us. As I (impatiently sometimes) wait for you, I can't help but imagine what your life may be like the next few decades. While most of the time I think of you as a tiny newborn who will intimately need me for the first few years of your life, I also know you will grow into a little human being with desires and plans of your own. Daddy and I will do our best to encourage you to be YOU, but here are my hopes for you as you come into your own.

I hope you will have courage to be YOU no matter what

The more you grow up, the more you will learn who you are. Sometimes you will 'fit in' and other times you may feel like the 'odd-one'. Some people try hard to ignore who they really are so they can fit in all the time, but I want to encourage you to be proud of who you are no matter what. It takes a lot of courage to become who you really are and there will be many times you will have to choose how authentic to be. Please choose YOU as much as you can. I promise you it will help you realize your path, your purpose, your true friends, and your happiness.

If I look back on my life, the proudest moments were when I had the courage to be ME, even when it was not popular, easy, or straightforward. The more I stepped out of the "norm" the more I felt myself. Not everyone will understand if you do this, but stay strong and stick with it if it is something you really believe in. I look forward to seeing you truly are as you grow up.

I hope you will have a sense of humor

The more you laugh, the more you will experience joy. There will be plenty of times that things may not "go right" and the only way to survive them will be to laugh. I love comedy and humor because it has a way of smoothing things over that may feel serious or scary. I got my sense of humor from your Grandpa and I think it has helped me in my life A LOT. There were even times growing up that I preferred to be told "You are really funny" than "You are really ​​pretty". I think that is because a sense of humor is a priceless trait that can bring you so much: ways to calm a group down, entry into places serious people are too scared of, fun memories, and if you are lucky--a good partner.

Your Daddy is pretty funny too. He has some good jokes and sometimes actually reminds Mommy to take herself less seriously when she forgets to laugh about life. He will make you laugh a lot while you are growing up, so I hope that his (and my) humor rub off on you! I can't wait to hear your first giggle and share something that makes me so truly happy--laughter.

I hope you have a love of the world

You will be born in Hong Kong--a dynamic, fast-paced city with Eastern and Western influences--but you will technically be considered "American" because your parents are. (I know that is weird, right?) But living in Asia during your young life will expose you to a very different way of life than your parents had when they were little. We feel lucky that you will already be introduced to ways of living that we were not exposed to until we were adults.

We hope to take you to lots of places with us as you grow up to show you to all the things we love about the world. We hope that you see how generous and welcoming strangers can be, how fun getting lost is, and how beautiful the natural and man-made parts of the world are.

I can't know what world events will occur during your young life, but I am sure there will be many things that could make you afraid to venture out and see the people, places and things that make our world great. People may try to convince you that some "Other" people are bad, or that some places are "gross" or "scary", but I want you to try and keep an open mind to what the world can offer you--visit new places, appreciate the differences you encounter--and then learn what you can offer the world. I think you will be surprised that the good in the world always outweighs the bad.