My dearest Akin,
It is with great impatience, hope, and love that I write this letter to you. I am impatient because I have spent months waiting for you, my unborn son, and I am eager to know you and love you. However, I am mostly full of hope and love, knowing that you will soon be part of my life and part of the lives of everyone around me here on Earth.
You will soon join our family, which is, to say the least, a bit unconventional by old Earth standards. We live in a different world now, though, that you will not know as different, but it is these differences that will make your new world both exciting and dangerous for you.
Our family consists of both humans and Oankali, the species that came to Earth after our destructive war and saved the few humans that were still alive; it is with them that we are now living. In order for both of us to survive (so they say), the Oankali had to cross our two species to make a new Oankali-human hybrid that would live on the new Earth that they rebuilt. I wish that you could experience the Earth that I knew and loved, but humans destroyed that which sustained us, so now we must live with the consequences. This new world, though, is beautiful and full of possibilities for you.
The Oankali are helpful, inquisitive, and caring, but I still cannot help but be bitter that their idea of “trading” between our two species is actually a crossbreeding that eliminates the human species, MY species, from this world. However, you will be a result of this crossbreeding, and for you I am and will always be grateful. I am NOT happy that I am at the whim of alien creatures, but I cannot deny my uncanny bond with some of them. I know this is something you too will experience.
You will have many around to love and care for you, including me, Lilith, Nikanj, our ooloi that will heal and protect you, and your two Oankali parents, Ahajas and Dichaan. Your human father died many years ago, but his name was Joseph and I am sure he would love you just as much as I do. Ahajas and Dichaan will have a daughter that will be your sister; she may not look like you, but you two will become closer than you can imagine. The family dynamic creates bonds that are enormously strong, and your first months with your sister will be inexplicably important for you two, and undoubtedly rewarding.
You will also be different, different than any of your parents. You will be a combination of our two species; at first, you will appear more like me, but as you age and go through metamorphosis, or the Oankali equivalent of puberty, you will transform into something that at this time we cannot predict with certainty. You will be able to do things that others cannot, and some will find you strange, but do not let this interfere with your happiness. Many will covet you, as human babies are now coveted, but you are not human, despite your appearances. Embrace your differences! Learn to love everything about yourself, and I know that you will be happy. However, because of these differences, you must be vigilant and in tune with what is around you in order to protect yourself and your family.
Akin- I cannot wait to know you. I am biding my time here on Earth waiting for you. Know that you are part of me and part of all of us, just as we are all a part of you. For now, float on and think (or don’t). See you soon!