An Open Letter To Renata, Richard and Pavla

Dear Renata, Richard and Pavla,

One of the hardest things I have done is to say goodbye to your son and brother. Lucas said it best when he said very succinctly “this sucks!” We are driving away from the hotel with a car full of heavy hearts but with minds full of happy memories of a fantastic year with Jan. It was a tremendous honor to welcome such a terrific young man into our family. Jan has a heart of gold and we thank you for sharing him with us! We were blessed to have him in our daily lives for the past year and we know he will continue to be a big part of our lives in the future. He knows he is always welcome in our house ~ he has a key to the door and a key to all of our hearts. He is a true gentleman and has won the hearts of all who had the pleasure of meeting him.

I am sure it took a tremendous amount of courage to allow Jan the opportunity to come to the States ~ leaving your nest for a little while. Jan came to us as a self-confident teenager who was always engaging but a tad shy. He returns to you a young man who is bursting with self-confindence, the shyness is gone but his engaging personality remains exactly the same. We thank you for selflessness in sharing your son and brother with us.

Jan will be deeply missed but his presence will always be felt with us. He brought our family closer together and for that we will be forever grateful. His engaging personality brought new life to our family dynamic. He shook the kids out of their desire to “plug in and tune out” from the everything else. I look forward the day when we can all meet, knowing we have grown our family to include you all.

We sat at breakfast this morning and made a list of everything we did while Jan was with us ~ what a year we had! So, even though our hearts hurt now, I wouldn’t change a thing. Garth Brooks said it best in his song “The Dance”

“Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance”

I wouldn’t have missed this “dance” for anything. Tears are flowing in our car on our way back home but our tears are tempered with the memories we have. Our sadness is also tempered with the knowledge that Jan is going home ~ to you! Thank you again, for sharing your son and brother with us.


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