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