Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 27, 2010

A Written Legacy

Tonya and her daughter Kira.

My friends Craig and Tonya LaTorre have waited for months to adopt a baby from Uganda. I have enjoyed following their adoption adventure on Tonya’s blog. Tonya is a prolific writer and an exceptional photographer. She was a member of a teaching team that I led to Uganda in October 2009. Not long after we returned home, Tonya and Craig, the parents of four boys, started the process of adopting a baby from Uganda. This month they officially completed the process of adopting a beautiful baby girl. They named their daughter Kira, a shortened form of the name Kirabo which means “gift” in the Lugandan language. What a great name! Kira is indeed a gift to the LaTorre family. And, the La Torre family is a gift to Kira. She now has a Mom and Dad and four big brothers who love her. The La Torre’s have also given Kira the gift of a future filled with great hope and opportunity. Theirs is a beautiful story of the power of love and the beauty of adoption.

There is yet one more gift that Tonya has unwittingly given to Kira — the gift of a written legacy of love. Tonya has recorded every detail of her family’s journey to adopt Kira on the virtual pages of her blog. You can sense the LaTorre’s love for this precious little girl in and between every line. And, Tonya’s photos add a warm dimension to her story. Tonya has done something very important for Kira by recording the story of how love took their family from the suburban neighborhoods of Katy, Texas all the way to the orphanage in Kampala where they found Kira. One day, Kira will regard Tonya’s words as a precious treasure. Tonya’s written legacy will always remind Kira of how love pursued and found her. And, perhaps Kira will one day sit and read her adoptive mother’s words to her own children. Tonya has done a very good thing for her sons and for her new daughter by leaving each of them a written legacy of love.

Since most people no longer write letters, we risk losing one of the most precious things that we can leave to the next generation — our words. That’s why I am thankful for the opportunity that blogging has given to parents and grandparents. We can use blogs to record family history and the ordinary and every day kind of stuff that defines families. We should not underestimate how the words that we leave behind can encourage and influence the next generation. I treasure the letters from my parents and grandparents and other family members that I have saved over the years. On occasion I get them out of the special place where I keep them and read them again. And, since my beautiful mom passed away, everything and anything in her handwriting has taken on greater meaning, significance, and worth to me. Her words continue to encourage and inspire me.

You don’t have to be a professional writer or even a good writer to leave a written legacy. You just have to be willing to write — to take the time to give expression to the things in your heart. Here are a few suggestions on how you can leave a written legacy.

Use the flyleaf of a book. | My grandfather recorded bits and pieces of family history on the flyleaves of the books in his library. And, he also wrote sweet notes on the flyleaves of the books that he gave to me and my siblings.

Write a letter. | Don’t let the convenience of e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter rob you of the opportunity to sit down and write a letter to someone you love. My parents kept the love letters they wrote to each other before they were married. These are a treasure to our family.

Keep a journal. | Keep a journal for each of your kids. Record the special as well as the ordinary happenings of their lives. Then, give each of your kids their journal when they leave home or when they get married or have kids of their own. They will be grateful to have this written legacy of love.

Make a scrapbook. | Use a scrapbook to feature photos, news clippings, school certificates, and other things that will give your kids a sense of their personal history.

Start blogging. | Blogs are a free and fun way to record happenings and to post photos. Be sure to keep an electronic copy of your posts on a back-up drive or print them and keep them in a notebook.

Regardless of how you do it, take an intentional step to leave your kids a written legacy that will be a source of comfort and blessings when they are grown and long after you are gone. A written legacy is a beautiful gift to leave for the next generation.


  1. Adoption is such a beautiful choice! We made the choice twice and added two fine young men to our family tree. smile


  2. Tonya-This is such a blessing for you all. Our Father God, He appreciated a lot!

    Mortuza Biswas.

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