Follow Your Letter to Your Sponsored Child, Part Two

06/02/14

Hi! My name is Reciprocal Letter, but you can call me RL. My friend, The Letter, introduced us last week. She’s staying in Malawi with her new owner, Grace, while I continue my journey from Malawi to my new owner’s home in Utah. Come along with me!

 
1: Your child writes back
It’s time for my page to be filled with wonderful words! I stay very still as the kind gentleman dutifully copies everything Grace wants to say to the family in Utah. I can’t help but smile as Grace adds colorful crayon to my page. When she’s finished, she hands me back to the gentleman. I can hardly wait to begin my long journey to the land of Utah!
 
 
The gentleman is careful with me. He marks me off on a tracking sheet and puts me into a large envelope with more letters just like me. It’s dark in here but I’m not worried. I’m an experienced traveler now!
 
2: Back to the USA
When our envelope is lifted off the shelf and I feel the familiar bumps and buzz from the conveyer belt, I think, “We are finally flying home to the USA.” It’s a long, cold, quiet flight so I am sure we are definitely on our way home.
 
We get jostled around during the landing, thrown onto another unfeeling conveyor belt. Thud! Thud! All grows quiet again until I hear muffled, excited voices. Ziiiiiiiiiiiiiip! The weight is lifted off me and I am gently set down.
 
3: Through the COTN office 
A couple of days pass before I hear another voice, and she sounds excited.  I wonder, “Is this my new owner? Am I finally home?” No. But suddenly I realize I’m back at the office of Children of the Nations (COTN). 
 
The sponsorship coordinator opens the envelope and removes me and the other reciprocal letters. She hands us to a volunteer. She starts sorting us as she checks the tracking sheet and then puts us in numerical order by our child’s reference number. But then she leaves! I’m disappointed that she didn’t put me in the mail today. 
 
We couldn’t process and send out all of the letters without our volunteers
We couldn’t process and send out all of the letters without the help of our wonderful volunteers!
 
A few days later I’m picked up by another volunteer who wants to make sure my words are appropriate and well translated. I feel good because she smiles as she reads me. When she folds me I get excited. She’s going to send me to my new home!
 
Oh, no! She’s leaving too. I sit perfectly folded, in a mailing tub on her desk. I was so close.
 
The next day, the sponsorship coordinator seems determined to send us out. She addresses my envelope for Utah. On the front is written, “A message from your child is inside.” She puts me in the envelope with a letter-writing guide and return envelope. Hurry up! Seal me! Stamp me! 
 
Your letter is like a long distance hug!
                                          Your letter is like a long-distance hug!
 
The sponsorship coordinator puts us in a tub and sets us down on a table in another building. But we still aren’t sealed or stamped. After a little while a gentleman arrives and puts us into his truck. Will he take me home? Alas, he gives us to yet another person.
 
The next day, I hear a machine clicking and I see a lot of other envelopes. They go in the clicking machine and come out the other side sealed and stamped.  Hope rises within me. Suddenly I’m being pulled through the machine. When it spits me out I see that I’m sealed and stamped. Yes! And it didn’t even hurt!
 
4: The postal service 
This post office is a busy place. I get buried in a pile with a lot of other envelopes and packages. I feel them move me, and think I might be in a truck again, but I am tired and fall asleep.
 
When I wake up I’m rubber banded to a few other envelopes that look nothing like me. We’re in a small metal box. Suddenly, I hear a click. A hand pulls us out. It’s a woman with soft hands. She thumbs through the bundle and stops when she sees me. She smiles excitedly and opens me right away. As she reads the words I bring, I can tell she is happy. She gently folds me again and sets me on top of the bundle.
 
Thanks for writing
                                                         Thanks for writing!
 
Last stop: Home!
We go to her home. She gathers her family and reads me aloud. There is a young girl here who looks to be about the same age as Grace. As she attaches me to their refrigerator, I look and see a picture of Grace hanging beside me. I made it! I am finally home and I am content.
 
Ready to start writing your own letter? Find tips for writing to your sponsored child here. 
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