my little warrior {and family photo birrage}

i wake up almost every night, scouring the covers for jing liu. i keep dreaming that she is so tiny that she falls from my arms like a piece of glitter and i loose her amongst the sheets. i wake up, elbow deep in a swirl of blankets, to find her sleeping peacefully beside us in her crib. what a precious and amazing girl...who sleeps soundly through the night, every night since we met her. so peaceful.

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.
after a long, but exhausting afternoon (including an hour of blood work in which she and i both cried), she rested.

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 :)


  1. Oh I love her delish feet in your family feet picture.

    It's amazing how these children become survivors over their circumstances! Are they strong b/c of their circumstances or are they strong and that is what gets them through their circumstance....

    Thanks for the medical update - I was wondering how soon she would have her surgery. She is a tiny bean!!!

    The hard part is not knowing the history and circumstances that bring these precious children into our lives, we've got some grieving to do as well - and letting go. Some of the smallest details that we celebrate with our bios are unknown and it's hard to swallow - (until I realized the important thing is the here and now - and celebrating them!)
    You've got a beautiful family!
    LOVE, Hugs, and prayers for your continued blossoming and bonding!

  2. Oh Angie, your family is beaming with love! I just love you guys! Call me when you can sometime so we can catch up :-)

  3. I LOVE the one with you and Clint blurry in the background, and the kids in the front. It's just precious! Happy to hear the doctor's appointment went well!

  4. Gorgeous pics, beautiful post, Angie. I love what the earlier commenter Maria said about having to let go of some of what troubles us about our kiddos' past. J, too, spent most of his time lying down in a crib...grrr...but he fights daily (w/ our help which sometimes angers him, but oh well) to overcome. I'm thrilled you'll get some extra support! :o)


    And, after that appt at CHOP, you can see more clearly perhaps why we felt driven to start The Sparrow Fund. They provide something every adoptive family needs.

    I hope we can find a time to meet up soon and let me ooo and ahh at your precious baby who God has sustained!

  6. So, how do you get this appt at CHOP? I LOVE those photos....so precious!!! You're right, she really is a little warrior, such a fighter! Though, it does make me worry a little more about our baby girl who is still waiting in China for us. I will keep committing her to the LORD and continue to trust Him....its so hard though. I am SO GLAD you have your little sweet one finally in your arms, she is such a gem. MAY GOD BLESS YOU!!!! xoxox

  7. oh bless you and your amazing family for loving this little girl, for SAVING her, for giving her a chance to not only survive, but thrive in this beautiful life.

    i am so glad i found your blog. i hope adoption is in our future, maybe not for awhile but hopefully someday.




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