Tuesday, July 27, 2010
bella did not come with operating instructions, but she did have a few odds and ends with her when we met:
her outfit - bright green shorts and a yellow top and garfield sandals.
a throw pillow - with which she likes to sleep. actually with which she needs to sleep. we haven't attempted to experiment otherwise.
a strange sculpture of a rat - a gift from the orphanage - umm...not sure about the rat thing.
a bag of medicine for her cold - all of which was in chinese and most of which we were clueless on how to use. we went to see the american/canadian doctor quickly.
a baby blanket and photo album - last year we had sent her a care package. these were two of the items in the package. we had never been able to find out if she received them. so we were floored to see them show up with her. the album had pictures of our family, her home, our pets and our life...perhaps someone did take the time to thumb through it with her on occasion.
a milk container - she had in her hands a little container of milk when she walked up to us. perhaps it was supposed to be a hint about what she might drink. when we we first layed eyes on her, we weren't thinkng about the milk container. the only reason i know she had it, is from the pictures. we should have paid more attention.
there is one other thing bella brought which i think is worth sharing. we didn't recognize this gift right away, but we have grown very much to appreciate it. we can tell bella was well cared for in her orphanage. this is not such a tangible item as those listed above, but i have had so much pleasure in seeing evidence of this gift. let me explain. bella pays special attention to her grooming needs. she is careful to wash and wipe her hands and face. i know this seems really small, but it isn't. it tells me someone took the time to keep her clean and even to teach her good habits. last night after wiping her hands on a towel in the bathroom, it fell off the rack. she worked very hard to get it back up to where it belonged. she didn't just drop it on the floor or ignore it. perhaps she can work with her 12 year old brother when we return. anyway, i have noticed this in how she cares for her toys and things as well. she is careful to put things back in their place. i can tell she likes order. in addition, if there are crumbs on the table, or a spot of something spills she insists on wiping it up. what a bonus in a soon to be household of seven! now you may think i am reading too much into this, but i assure you, it is a good sign. bella lived two full years in this orphanage, during a time where she was developing important building blocks for her future. i will glory in every little glimpse i discover. when the nanny handed her to us she told us (via our interpreter) that she was a favorite at the orphanage with all the nannies. they all loved her and referred to her as the "angel of the orphanage"...that was the first thing we were told about our daughter as she was placed into our arms. i couldn't agree more. when we returned a few days later and watched some of the children and nannies with her, it was clear, she had been well loved. above and beyond all things, i am most grateful for this. it was my specific and even desperate prayer the entire year we pursued her. "please, Lord, let there be people around her to offer comfort, attention, love, and a soft touch. please, Lord, allow someone to provide a soft touch for our child."
none of these items on the above list are incredibly special. but i will never forget them. they are all bella carried from her old life to her new life. a typical two year old could usually fill a wagon with all their special and favorite items. our other kids at two were well versed in the expression, "mine!" they had heaping piles of treasures by 30 months. bella held in her hand a small milk container. is it any wonder rick and i have fallen over one another this week as we've given her toys, touches, clothes, baths, books, hugs, smiles, puzzles, experiences, food, laughter, memories, drinks, shoes, time, boundaries, naps, medicine, ice cream cones....our love. is it any wonder?