Fellow Adopters: When I Write to my Survivor…

Rela and Nancy 2 (Small) by Nancy Kurtz

When I want to write to my Survivor, I think: what should I write about this time?

Have you ever asked that question?  I did nine years ago when I first adopted Rela.  I did not know what I should or should not write or mention.  Soon I discovered that I could write about most anything.  I began to see her as my elderly mother.

Now, what would I say to my own mother?  I would tell her about what I was doing, nothing big and elaborate.  I found I could tell about day to day activities.  I had coffee with a friend and we went to the greenhouse looking for plants.  I wrote about the flowers I was growing, the vegetables that I tried to grow that the groundhog ate.  I wrote about going to visit my children and grandchildren in Colorado and California.  Those are some of the many things I wrote about.

So what didn’t I write about?  I did not write about my being sick and feeling miserable, surgeries, the car accident I was in or the mean spirited ex-husband- or anything ugly.

You might ask, why not?  Well, I tried to think about how I would like to read letters about sickness, surgeries and car accidents and nasty people.  I don’t think I would enjoy those letters.

One thing I do is pray before writing a letter.  Then I try to think about all the wonderful things in my life, from small to big, and then I write those things to my Survivor.  I send pictures of my dog and me, my flowering cherry tree before all the petals are gone and hiking in the woods.  I tell her that I love her- because I do.

I do not ask anything from my Survivor.  I don’t ask her to think of me, pray for me or write back to me.  I just want her to know I am thinking of her and that I care about her.

From my experience, I have some suggestions to share when writing to your Survivor:

  1.  Keep letters short.  One page is plenty for older people as their attention span is short.
  2.  Make letters uplifting and positive.
  3. Avoid proselytizing; this is God’s job.
  4. Use the email address letters@ahi-il.org as it is easier and faster to send your letters!
  5. Send cards/ letters by post to AHI c/o Susan Heagy, POBox 23479, Akko 24530 ISRAEL
  6. Make sure your Survivor’s FULL name is on ALL correspondence and the envelope.
  7. Don’t expect your Survivor to write back.  This is a chance for you to bless God’s People and not expect anything in return.

I hope my nine years’ experience of writing and loving a Survivor helps you.  My Mama Rela turned 100 years old this year and she is my heroine and my inspiration.

Thank you for all your love and caring for the Survivors,

Nancy Kurtz, AHI Board Director, Survivor Adoptions

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