Just over two weeks ago we were matched with a little girl, our daughter. The orphanage provided a very detailed description of her and we began to fall in love with this little girl who likes to be held, has a ready smile, likes songs, enjoys peek-a-boo and apparently likes to eat. Upon seeing her picture, the first comment is usually “Look at those cheeks!” If you knew our boys when they were infants, they had those same chubby checks, especially our Little Bug!
We were told several times that it was a very complete file. Yet, we still had so many questions. The information and pictures were seven months old. We immediately requested an update. Is she saying any words? What does she like to eat? How much does she weigh? Is she walking yet? At 17 months old she wasn’t yet walking but that’s not unusual being that she’s in an orphanage. The report said she was in a room with 30 other children 1.5 years old or younger. Online I found information that indicates this one orphanage has over 600 children.
Our agency told us it would take 2-4 weeks to get information back. We waited for a week and a half, but it felt like six months! I was excited to read that she was taking her first steps, she can say mama in Chinese, she’s growing and she still likes to eat. I was hoping for new pictures as well. But, I was not prepared for how much she might have changed since those first pictures we saw.
She’s no longer the baby I saw in pictures two weeks ago; she’s a toddler. When I look back at pictures of my boys they changed so much from 18 months to two years, but you don’t notice it when you see them every day. You don’t realize how much they’ve changed until you look back at pictures. I’m glad she’s growing and progressing but at the same time it saddens me that I’m missing it. I didn’t get to see her first smile or the first time she crawled or her first steps.
I have two nieces; one is seven months older than our Little Bug. The other is six months younger. All three of them were together recently and it struck me just how much they change in six months, not just physically but developmentally. The difference between a two year old and a three year old is amazing. We won’t be able to travel for another 3-5 months. How much more will Emily change during that time?
Although I wasn’t prepared for how much she would change I am thrilled to have these pictures as they are the only pictures we will have to document her growth as a baby. The best part though, was receiving videos of her walking and playing. Seeing her move and interact with others filled my heart with joy. The wait is going to be excruciating but it will all be worth it when we get to hold her in our arms for the first time. There are so many firsts we have missed but I’m excited about all the firsts we will get to experience with her.
If you want to follow us while we spend two weeks in China meeting our little girl and finalizing paperwork make sure you click on the blue ‘Follow’ link in the bottom right corner. We won’t be posting on Facebook and we may not have steady access to email.