Dear Cameron, Sydney, Landon, Connor and Ethan–
It’s hard to really put into words what these last 5 years have meant to me and for our family.
When people look at you from the outside, and you introduce yourself, they will mark you as different. You’ve traveled and adventured more in your short lives than many people will in their lifetimes.
Two of you were born in different countries, and all of you have had experiences that many people will only dream of doing. But these are not the things that make you special.
You are special because you have each other. Because you’ve learned to be best friends with each other, and to cheer each other on.
You are special because you have the courage to try new things over and over again and to do your best each day. You see past what people look like or how they talk, and make friends everywhere you go – you all literally have friends all over the world!
While it may seem that our adventure is ending, this is just a new chapter in our family’s book. It will not be measured by the stamps in your passport, but by the mark you leave on others. Some of you will start school for the first time, and all of you will have opportunities to make deep friendships that can last your entire lives if you choose.
Inevitably, you will be teased, questioned, and laughed at sometimes, because so many people don’t know how to act around someone who is different than they are. Do not let this get to you. Show the same grace and love to the kids around you as you show to each other, and let them see that different can be amazing. Use the same strength and courage as you go to school as you have shown as you traveled the world. Be flexible and open minded, be willing to help out, but most of all be kind. Be so kind. Share your beautiful smiles as often you can, and I promise your world will be a happier place because of it.
We love you all and can’t wait to see what’s in store for each of you in this new chapter of life!
Love, MOM and DAD
(A special thanks to @thebucketlistfamily for the inspiration for this – your thoughts were almost exactly how I feel about our experience too! If you haven’t seen their latest video, grab a box of tissues and go see it NOW)