A Year Ago Today...
To say she was scared would be an understatement. I couldn't even convince her to come play with me in the play area of the civil affairs office. When the orphanage director left her with us, she magically cemented her feet to the floor in a fit of hysteria. She realized quickly that she would have to make this "new normal" work. So there were moments of contemplation and quiet grief. But they were short-lived that evening back in the hotel room. As she sat on my lap and let me feed her congee (Patrick couldn't even get near her), she decided she really didn't like this new normal at all. The blood curdling screams and crying that went on for over three hours was truly heartbreaking, though not unexpected.
As I sit and think about the events of that day, one year ago, it's amazing to see how much she has grown since then. Really. It's mind boggling. Her language skills have exploded. She cracks us up all. the. time. She only knows one volume- LOUD. She plays on all the big kid equipment on the playground. She wants to do everything her big brother does and her fierce determination gets her there. She can light up a room in the blink of an eye. And she lights up our hearts every day.
We are so proud of how far she has come. She freely gives hugs and kisses, unprompted. And she's getting better at obeying her parents. lol. She and Caleb get along so well and have so much fun together, though at times they can both bug each other, too. (What else would you expect from siblings?)
What is quite comical about Madeline's first Gotcha Day Anniversary is also quite telling. We couldn't even give Madeline a bird bath in China for FOUR days because she cried at the sound of running bath water. Well, today during swim lessons, she did her swim-float-swim sequence all the way across the pool, TWICE! All by herself!!!!! It's funny that she achieved such an accomplishment on her Gotcha Day Anniversary. But as I indicated earlier, this girl wears determination on her sleeve. Swimming would be no exception.