i learned a new world about this tiny one yesterday. we all keep saying how tiny she is, and with good reason. we met with several doctors and professionals with the CHOP foreign adoption team, and WOW...what would we do without them? 3 amazing women sat and played and talked and looked deep into this sweet little being and saw what i see...so much light and life, hidden inside a small body that is trying hard just to survive. they are going to work closely with us to get her weight and strength up in preparation for surgery, and they had so many suggestions for the many questions i have. there are moments that i see a spunky, glittery, oh-my-goodness-girl-you-are-so-wiggly child...but then she becomes exhausted, so she sits. now i know why. she hasn't been given the opportunity for the past 14 months to consume enough calories to grow. she has only been given the opportunity to exist. so tragic that i cry just typing it out. she showed the CHOP ladies her amazingness and they were stunned when she solved a difficult problem-solving-game right of the bat (and then did it 3 more times just to prove it :). i don't even know how to express all that i learned about her. most of it, i will never share on the blog, because it has to do with her incredible story of survival, and her unrelenting spirit to never give up. but i will say, that the malnutrition has hindered her in many ways. they think she spent a lot of time laying down, so her feet work like hands. we we see her explore with them all the time, and now we have a better understanding of why. her fine and gross motor skills are similar to a 6 month old, but her cognitive ability is right on target at 13 months (she is 14 mo old). they were so encouraging and gave us mountains of things to work on, even a trial by the University of Delaware with a scientist that will come to our house each week and video tape sessions and work with our family and with jing liu to build strength and skills. i'm so excited!!
my heart is bursting with so much love and respect for this 13 lbs baby girl. i wish everyone could spend an hour or two with jing liu. she beams joy. she makes me want to stand up and fight for each child who isn't getting what they need out of life. she makes me feel stronger and stronger about foreign adoption because i see so much more of how her life existed only 3 short weeks ago. i am in the presence of a little warrior.
and when evening came, we received my favorite gift of all time....photographs. i love all things documenting, especially photos that can document a season in our family that is so beautiful. cait and jeff jensen are a photog husband and wife team brimming with talent. they came to us with so many great ideas, and they must have sprawled out on the grass at least 15 times to get these great shots. they were so much fun and we are soooo thankful for these amazing images they created!!! not only are they talented photographers, but cait (and jeff too :) writes a food blog that is so much more than a "food blog" and has been one of my favorite sites since they started.
oh melt me! this shot of our feet is my favorite!!
fyi, i'm not above bribing the boys with a special "after photoshoot surprise" (which was sherbet ice cream in a cone) to get happy faces. but this time, i think the bribe was totally unnecessary! they had so much fun, and i think we all giggled for a solid hour! they made cait and jeff take at least 20 "take a picture while i run and jump!" shots and thoroughly enjoyed our noodle fight :)