Thursday, March 21, 2013

say what? you WROTE a post? why yes, yes I did.


I have let my writing fall off the map. I find it impossible most of the time to gather up the moments of any day and somehow transcribe them into letters and phrases.

I failed to mark that day when it dawned on my girl (we've spoken of it numerous times since our first week together, but it sunk in about a month ago) that she has a mom and a dad in China, a mom that is not her precious ayi "Jie Jie", but one that gave birth to her and left her. There were weeks where each night ended in tears as she fought to process this truth. No amount of holding her or loving her will ever replace or diminish this loss, but I hope it gives her the strength to face the grief and ultimately, to be a healthier and happier human for it. Grief has such amazing power: it can bury us or transform us.

She is an incredibly smart girl and I am amazed at her ability to recall events or places or people with little or no prompting from me. Her scores in school are great, but she continues to struggle with reading comprehension (tremendously) and finds reward in finishing a task first rather than taking her time and making sure she is reading test questions. But I see this at home too, and I'm not convinced it is entirely that she is rushing through the questions. I think she is (like her mom) a highly visual person, who tunes out a "story" if it is being read to her. My guess is once she has a better command of the language (it being her second, after all), the pieces will fall into place and probably much more rapidly than we would expect. 

She has gained 10 pounds in less than a year- massive growth spurt. I look at this picture posted here and think: "I am looking at the future". How much she has changed. Unfortunately, growth spurt equals a high potential for spinal cord issues, and she is having the same symptoms as last year. Full brain and spinal MRI are scheduled Monday with a follow up with the neurosurgeon on Tuesday. I dread hearing the word "surgery" but I will be surprised if we are told anything different. I hate it for her because she is a natural worrier and will obsess until the day comes. Time to browse P*nterest and make a list of fun mommy and me activities :)

She loves her Chinese culture class (weekly) and has language on Friday. She will tell me constantly that she does not want to go to Friday's class, but once she is there, she is (according to her teacher) the first to raise her hand, the only child that understands the phrases/words in context, and is completely engaged. At home, she will ask repeatedly what a word is in Chinese, and so we will sit at G**gle translate and find those words. Yesterday when cleaning the house I found a dry erase board of hers where she had written her numbers in Chinese, up to 10, over and over. So it is sinking in, even if a part of her is fighting it. I just can't cave on this. She has a lot of privileges and the one thing I am insistent about is that she learn her first language (that she was speaking fluently 3 years ago)! It has been incredible learning with her and I am hungry for more and my personal goal is to be fluent as well. Or as close to fluent as is possible.

She is still the happiest person I have ever known. The easiest child even with her multiple physical challenges. She is aching to start archery and misses tennis (not sure what happened to her coach). She loves drawing and painting and will do math problems for "fun". (SO not like either of her parents!). She's an incredible dancer. She is silly and full of life. When she learns a new word, it is used at every opportunity.

She still writes me love notes, That makes me the luckiest mom in the world. I am keeping them in a special box, along with artwork that she made "for mama". 

G and I still have not married and this September will mark 4 years since our engagement in China. I am dragging my feet, but not because of him. I just don't want to compromise and can't swallow a courthouse wedding. So, money is tight and it will happen when the time is right.

Hope everything is wonderful in your corner of the world.


  1. I love you writung and me reading. Can't wait to hug you very soon woman!!! Great big hugs to my girl!!

  2. Have missed your words and updates, keep them coming! Hope YOU are feeling well too!

  3. This is such a beautiful post, as so many of yours have been in the past. Putting your thoughts into written words can be so healing. Your daughter us beyond amazing, but you already know that. I can't wait for the day that I can actually meet all of you in person. I am blessed to call you my friend.

  4. Ahhh, like water to a parched soul. Have missed you.

    Beautifully written, as usual.

    So scared of the day of which you wrote; saddens my heart.

  5. Thank you for sharing some of what it happening in your corner of the world. It's wonderful to see you sweet little girl growing and hear of her progress. What a clever little sweetie!

    We're headed your way again this November. Hope it works out this time to get together.

    Praying things went well at her appointments.

  6. i have enjoyed reading your blog since you brought home your beautiful daughter, Ellis. see, i met Ellis in 2008 when she was still "Anna". I fell in love with her and immediately bonded with her tender heart, old soul, and loving spirit. i advocated for her when I got home, but knew in my heart her family was already found :) she is very special indeed. in fact, it was through precious Ellis that i knew one day I would return to China-not just to adopt but also to serve orphans who were seen as "less" in society's eyes. i have been to China 6 times since to serve (i am not quite old enough to adopt at 29). SB kids will always have a place in my heart because of your daughter. she is truly a wonder! Thank you for sharing and keeping us updated! i love the pictures-she has changed so much!

  7. Glad to hear your voice. Wonderful blessings in your life. Hope you are doing well and maybe just maybe they won't say surgery. Love the concentration at archery. All the best.

  8. Wedding - backyard, party platters, pretty dress, another one for little miss, four legged ring bearer, love all around - life is short - don't miss the moment, don't wait.

    Ours - simple historic church, restaurant afterward. A few Flowers from farmers market. Should have gone with a homemade cake - would have tasted better. Music from a boombox - no one could hear it anyway. In the end, we loved it. 10 years now.