Sunday, October 7, 2012

So close, and yet so far

This was the fifth and final post from the secret Eli blog. It was written on September 13th.

Dear Eli,

Before we went to China, I knew that our visit to the orphanage would be an unforgettable experience for us. I wasn't sure if it would be fantastic, or scary, or a little bit of both. I wasn't sure if Annie or Daddy would get freaked out by it, or if Rose would be traumatized by us taking her back there. But I knew that no matter what happened that day, it would remain imprinted on our minds for a long time.

There were some things about the visit that were pretty great (meeting the women who took care of Rose, seeing the other babies who were waiting for families, watching the orphanage director interact with the kids) and other things that were harder (going to Rose's finding place, seeing some of the kids with more serious special needs, walking through enormous puddles of freezing cold water to see the new orphanage site). Of everything we did, my favorite part was walking from room to room and taking pictures of the babies. This was probably because my very favorite thing while we were waiting for Rose (and now what I love about waiting for you) is getting pictures from families when they visit Xuzhou. Last week we got TWO DOZEN pictures of you, and you look fantastic. You're putting good weight on your arms, making eye contact with your ayis, and smiling. You have a little girlfriend too- you're peeking into her crib or she's peeking into yours in almost all of the photos. It melts my heart. And that's the hard part too, you're so adorable, and you're so far away.

But you weren't always far from us.It gives me chills every time I think about it, but you were in the orphanage when we went to visit. We didn't see you, because we were focused only on the babies on our list, but you were there. We even went into the room where I expect you were at the time. You were five months, and when Rose was five months, she was in the room with the green duvets. We went into that room to take a picture of a little boy, but I only remember looking at the list, following Ms. Tang to his crib, and taking his photo before we walked right out the door again. But you were there. If I had only known....

Perhaps it's better that I didn't know. I can't write about it without crying, so I can only imagine that if someone had said to me, "Shelah, this one right here, this cute little guy, he's going to be yours too, but you have to wait at least a year to get him," that would have been unendurable. This whole process is more of an endurance test than any marathon or ultramarathon I've ever run, but it will be worth it. You, Eli, are worth it.

In other news, I talked with Isaac's orthopedist, and she said she'd be happy to be the doctor to work with your lower extremities. She also recommended a partner who can work with your hands. They'll work together to make sure you have the best motor function you can. I'm gaining confidence that you're going to be just fine. I've joined a few groups and started following a few facebook pages related to limb differences, and I have a feeling that there will be no stopping you once we get you home.

It's true, it won't be easy to get you here. Rose was almost exactly the same age you are now when we adopted her, and we have at least six more months to wait for you, probably seven or eight if I'm being realistic. But you will get here eventually. We can't wait to have you as part of our family.



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