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PostHeaderIcon Letters and Love

PostHeaderIcon A Grandmother's Plea and Reflection on Grandparent's Day

September 13, 2009

My beloved Amber,

Today marks seven months that you have been missing. I am sending this as my message of love to you. Survive. Do whatever you must to live. My love for you will not diminish no matter what you must do because it is constant and never ending. In these months you have changed because you must change in order to survive. Use your strength, courage, will power, intelligence and the ability to reason that God gave you. Stay alive. Hold deeply to the knowledge that you are unconditionally loved and that I am here for you now as I have always been.

Do you remember when you gave me the short story you wrote about Ookume? You wrote about how she learned to survive after being kidnapped. Think of the beautiful gold eyes she saw and that you have seen as well. Stay strong. You will come home.

You come from a long line of very strong Irish women and you are my Number One. After my stroke, you sat with me and helped me. When I could not say the word “squirrel” you named about 100 animals until you got to that word. You made jokes when I said the word “foot” when I meant to say “hand”. You helped me to speak again. I believe that God blessed my recovery because He knew that you would need my help now. He gives me the strength to stay alive and to hunt for you in every way I can.

One night we watched “Without a Trace” and the boy had been missing for seven years. You asked me if I thought his family still wanted him home and I told you that they did. Then, you asked me how long would I look for you if you went missing. I promised you that I would look until I found you or I died trying to find you. Amber, I will keep that promise to you. I put in a number that you can call from anywhere: 1 800 201-6061; this is a private number, not a police number.  I am begging anyone who can help find you to call me.

When the reality of where you are now hurts you too much to even feel, think of happy times: lying on the belly of a dolphin swimming through the water, climbing to the top deck of a ship when the wind nearly blows you over, reading and reading more until your eyes close, riding Rojo, holding the lorikeet birds and touching the sharks at the aquarium, snuggling in my big chair with a fuzzy blanket and eating ice cream. Or, let your thoughts go to a beacon whose light shines unendingly from a tall lighthouse, sweeping over the land, the air and the sea. The light, like Grandmom, sends out a beam towards you that is full of love, hope and strength. It will not dim. It will not stop shining and searching for you until you are home. Keep Faith, my dearest.

My love always,


J. Sheila Welch (Maternal Grandmom)


PostHeaderIcon Letter from Dad

March 06, 2009


Hello my sweetheart, this is Dad. It's late Friday night and I wanted to write you this letter since you are not here with me. This was supposed to be our weekend together and this afternoon at about the time I should be picking you up from the train station, I was thinking about what I could do to talk to you like we would be doing right now. So I decided that tonight I would write you this letter and get it out where you might get a chance to read it.

One of your friends brought over a CD with pictures of you and your friends at their birthday beach party. Some cool pictures of you guys, one is of you running in the water at night by the pier with a cool sunset behind you. It reminds me of our midnight grunion run while camping last summer and all the fun we had that night catching all those darn fish with our hands. I guarantee on our next run, I will catch more than you!!!

Your Teacher Mr. Reyburn is keeping your lamb, ( Nénette ) for you till you get back. You can bet your Mom is looking as hard as she can for you since she will be doing your barn clean-up duties until you return.

This is still my weekend, so I will be waiting to hear from you so I can come get you. Next Friday is the 13th again and it will be a month that you have been away, I don't want to wait that long before I get my next hug from you. Well, I really just wanted to say we all miss you and love you very much. I hope you get to read this, or better yet I hope you are back in my arms soon, so I can tell you in person. Don't lose hope in our finding you. I will never lose hope in our search for you.

Always Loving You,

DAD xoxo


PostHeaderIcon Letter from Amber's Grandmom

The week before her 4th birthday, Amber flew with me to Yosemite.  She loved Yosemite, but, she wanted to see a wolf.  There is no kind way to tell a child she cannot see a wolf because they had all been killed by people who did not understand or like them.  I told her a few wolves had been moved to from , and, when she was older, we would go to see them.

As she grew up, Amber read hundreds of books and watched almost every animal show on TV, becoming quite an expert on many animals and insects.  She continued, as well, to read about wolves and was impressed by the importance of family to the grey wolf, especially their wolf pups.  I gave Amber the Yellowstone Wolf Project bulletins, and we discussed their progress, and, waited until she was old enough to participate.   Amber read about the deliberate extermination of wolves programs in the U.S. and was glad that the grey wolf was finally listed as endangered. Now, of course, Amber is going to be devasted when she learns that on March 6, 2009, the government delisted her grey wolf as an (everywhere except ). 

By age 11, Amber's interest in wolves had increased so that any "wish list" she wrote included requests for wolf t-shirts, wolf books, or the like.  But, she still cared for all animals.  When she found abandoned kittens along the horse trail, she brought them home so they would not die.  If a bird fell from the nest, Amber had to put it back.  A lost dog needed food and water and we had to hunt for the owner.  Amber was taught to love ALL of God's creatures and she does.

At age 12, she wrote a short story "Ookume" about a young girl who was in peril and ultimately rescued by wolf pups.  Amber also wrote a paper on "Cloning" in which she argued that "therapeutic cloning" would be good for "saving endangered species."  But, Amber also let her imagination flow readily with stories and art work about dragons and other such mystical creatures likely influenced by the Harry Potter series..

As a teen, Amber took up the wolf as her "cause."  She learned about their habits, behavior, packs, dens, marking territory, reactions to other animals and their place in the ecosystem.  She was impressed by the dedication of the wolf to its family life.  As Amber's family, we are proud that she has the tenacity and courage to stand up for an animal species that, clearly, has not been favored by our country as a whole. 

Amber still must wait until she is 16 to attend the intensive wolf seminars at, but, we were scheduled to visit Yellowstone to at least see the wolves this past August.  Unfortunately the time of the program was in conflict with the opening of school.  Amber accepted that high school had to take priority.

The next program is in June.  The wolves are waiting for us Amber.

[Written by Amber's Grandmom, an attorney]




PostHeaderIcon Eleven Long Months

Today marks eleven long months since my granddaughter Amber
 disappeared on her way to Escondido High School. 
It’s hard to count so many days and nights of not knowing where she is or how she is.
  At night I lie awake and I wonder if she has a place to sleep,
 if she’s cold or scared, or worse.
  When I try to eat, I wonder if she is hungry and then I have no interest in the food.

 Where can she be? 

I pray for that one person to recognize her and make the call that will bring her home.
  I feel the kindness of those who help in the search for Amber and
 all the other missing children and question why there can be so much kindness
 and still so much evil in our world?

We try so hard to keep some form of “normal” in our lives,
 but there is no “normal” anymore.


I remember how Amber’s Mom spent hours dotting the nursery ceiling with tiny, glowing stars in preparation of Amber’s arrival.  But that house was far too small for a growing family and, as fate would have it, they found a larger home nearby and were settled in just weeks before Amber’s birth.  I decided to move into that house to be closer to my first grandchild.


So, from babyhood, Amber and I would lie in that room and look at those stars so lovingly put up by her Mom and sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” unendingly. 
Those stars remain.
  In 15 years I have not been able to paint over them.  
Every night I look at them before I pray.  

Can Amber see the stars or is she with them?


I wear a silver bracelet with Amber’s name and the words
 “Hope, Faith, Believe, Love
  One day I hope to place it on Amber’s wrist as a constant reminder to never give up.


Today is a silent day for our prayers.  
Please join with us in prayer and light a candle for Amber…


Help Light Amber's Way Home
You can light a candle for Amber


Thank you for helping to break through the darkness by being one of the lights that will bring our Amber home.

Last Updated (Thursday, 21 January 2010 01:15)