For those of you looking to give your friends and family a tangible way to be involved in your adoption, here is a sample letter that the Carmody family wrote to their friends and family:
As we’ve been reading and studying a little bit about China and Chinese culture we came across an interesting tradition from the northern part of china. When welcoming and celebrating a new life, family and friends are called to put together a “Bai Jia Bei” or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. The quilt maker invites 100 people to contribute a single square or patch of fabric to be included in the quilt. Often times the squares would come from the fabric of their worn clothing and it is said that the luck, energy, and good wishes of the people who wore these clothes now surrounds the child when he/she is wrapped in the quilt. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation. We think this is a great tradition and would like to make a Bai Jia Bei for our little one from China; however, for us it would represent the love, support and prayers of our family and friends. The squares do not need to be from old clothing but can be scraps or newly purchased material – something that either has special meaning to you or just something you like. We would love to have as many of you as possible contribute a square to our quilt if you are able. If your children would like to contribute their own squares and blessings and wishes, that’s great too. We think it will be a beautiful treasure and keepsake for our little one.
If you are interested, here’s what we would need:
1. One 7” x 7” square of 100% cotton material (washed and ironed before cutting the square to allow for shrinkage).
2. Along with your quilt square please include a “wish” which could be a prayer, poem, thoughtful quote, Bible verse, original thought, or whatever you choose on a piece of paper along with your name.
3. On this piece of paper with the wish and your name, paste a small square of the fabric (can be about 1” x 1”) that you’re sending for the quilt. This small swatch will help us to identify your fabric within the quilt. The piece of paper can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like to make it and will be kept in a scrapbook for our little one to read. We know that he/she will love to read the blessings from each of you and find the fabric you’ve contributed within the quilt. If the fabric has special meaning to you, please include that information on the paper as well.
You can either give the fabric and paper to us personally or put it in the mail. Your help will make this a wonderful keepsake. Thank you so much.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email.
(Here are just some of the squares that the Carmody family received)
Karen and her husband, Mike, have been blessed with four children – Victoria (bio), Austin (bio), Samara (China) and Denver (Ethiopia). You can find their blog at: http://carmodyadopt.blogspot.com/
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