For almost two weeks I have been trying to write a post about a sweet little baby named Sunshine. On January 17, little Sunshine went to be with Jesus in heaven. I wanted to tell her story but I could never find the words to share her story. Our ministry (Taiwan Xi En) sent out a newsletter with Sunshine’s story. Since the words written in the newsletter are so beautiful, I will let them tell her story: “Remembering Sunshine”.
I did, however, write a letter to Sunshine. This is my letter to say goodbye one last time.
I can still remember the first time I heard about you. We had received a call from the hospital in Chiayi saying that there was a special baby girl they were looking after and her parents wanted to adopt her out. They faxed us the information about this baby and we looked over all of the special needs this baby had. As we searched online to see what the terms meant, we started to fear what the baby might look like. We were sent no pictures so we had to wait until we could see this baby in person. It wasn’t until a week later that part of our team drove up to Chiayi to meet this special little girl.
As we walked into the NICU and saw you for the first time, everyone exclaimed over how cute you were. You were perfect in our eyes. I tried to take some pictures of you but everyone was standing around and it was hard to get close to you. We quickly went into another room and started talking to the doctors about you. After waiting around for a few minutes, I asked Holly if she thought it would be okay for me to go back into the NICU to take more pictures of you. She said that was fine so I quietly stepped out of the room. During those brief moments of being alone with you, you stole my heart. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone I knew about you. I got home that night and eagerly showed Sara the photos and videos I had taken of you. I was so excited that you would probably be coming to us in a week or two. We had to wait to bring you home because you were scheduled for surgery that week.
About two weeks later, the team returned to Chiayi to pick you up from the hospital and bring you back to the House of Hope. I did not join them for this trip because I was not needed. I remember texting Holly all day long and asking when they would be home; I wanted to see you so badly!! They finally made it back to Kaohsiung, but you were not doing well at that point. You ended up going to the hospital just a few short hours later. The day after you were admitted to the hospital, I asked Mary Joy how she was doing (with you being rushed to the hospital) and she said, “I’m not sleeping. I’ve held her…I can’t stop thinking about her.” It was at that moment that I saw the lives you were starting to touch.
Over the next few months, we could only wait to see how the Lord would work in your little body. Many times, just as we thought you might not have any fight left, you proved us wrong and fought hard to stay alive. The day finally came when you were strong enough to come home to the House of Hope. We were all so happy that you were healthy enough to come home. The nannies had prepared the nursery for you and most of them had practiced taking care of you. It felt so right to see you in the nursery and to see the love the nannies poured out on you. We were able to start talking about a forever family for you, and we discussed how we should write a newsletter to introduce you to our community of adoptive families. We were so excited to find you a family, but God had a bigger plan for you.
On Thursday night (1/17), I got a call from Holly saying that you had gone to heaven to be with Jesus. She said that Sara and I could come to the hospital to hold you and say our goodbyes. I remember telling Holly that I would need to call her back; I couldn’t think or respond to her. Our little Sunshine was gone. I told Sara what Holly said and Sara thought we should go to the hospital. I didn’t know what to think, so I just agreed to go. As we walked into the hospital room, I saw Rui Fang holding your sweet little body. You looked so peaceful laying there with no tubes or monitors connected to your body. After we talked to Holly about how everything happened, I asked Rui Fang if I could hold you. She handed you over to me, and I wept over you. This was the first (and last) time I held you. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. I was supposed to be able to hold you lots of times in the nursery. But this was God’s plan all along.
As each new person came into the room and wept over the loss of you, I cried again and again. It was when your birth parents arrived that the room grew silent and we all watched as your mommy and daddy took you into their arms. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. My pain was nothing compared to theirs.
Just two days later, we all joined together for your funeral. I was amazed at how many people showed up at your funeral; the ushers were scrambling to find more chairs to accommodate all the people who kept coming in. Who would have thought that one little baby could have touched so many lives in less than 5 months. I sat behind your mommy and daddy during the funeral and I was amazed at the strength they showed throughout the ceremony. Your parents passed on that strength to you, and I am convinced that is why you were able to fight to live for as long as you did.
After the funeral, the Xi En team and your family made our way to the ocean. As we stood at the ocean and watched your daddy send your ashes to sea, our team started singing, “You are my sunshine”. Baby girl, you were sunshine to every one of us. I thank God for your short life here on this earth and the sunshine you brought to all of our lives. I miss you so much but I know you are running, dancing, singing, and praising Jesus in heaven. Like we always say to our babies when they go home with their forever families, “see you soon.” I know I will see you one day in heaven, Sunshine, so ‘see you soon’! I love you!!
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy, when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
So please don’t take my Sunshine away