2:45 PM

Update

It has been a long time since my last update, sorry about that.  Things have been pretty darn busy.  We moved this summer, Yoyo started kindergarten (!!!), she also turned four, and we have had a huge development in our birth parent search (more about this below), not to mention I am working full time and running my own business, I am feeling pretty mental these days.
School has been an incredible challenge for me.  It started last year when my son entered JK and experienced some pretty extreme daily bulling.  I was not really prepared for that to start in JK and we even did a stint of homeschooling when things just got too hard to handle.  I don’t have the best relationship with our school and I worried about what the next year was going to hold for Elora and my ability to advocate for her.  Things have gone more smoothly then I could have hoped, although not because the school got their act together.  After months of talk and explanation about her vision and adoption needs, we have had 5 teacher changes and a family tree project in the FIRST TEN DAYS of school.  Not to mention she has come home daily with scrapes and bruises as she learns (the hard way) to navigate this new environment.  Thanks, for listening to me school, insert eye roll here.  Regardless, she has been a trouper; although she cried her head off the first day, every other day going forward she has been pretty egger to attend.  She is in class with her brother, about the only thing I advocated for that has actually come to play so far.  We have been promised the world but are still yet to see an IEP for her, so I am incredibly unimpressed with them, but totally wowed with my girl.




We moved!!! Yeah for mommy, panic attack for Elora.   She also had a whole new house to memorize and has been having tumbles all around the house and yard, but now almost a month in, she is navigating well again.  It was really an eye opener about how much she does not see, really she memorizes most things in her daily life, and it appears to an outsider that she is seeing her environment, but this was a big wake up call to me about how much she really cannot see.  Again I am just amazed by how capable she is, all things considered.  Our new house has a pool and I am so impressed with her, this girl who was so afraid of water had a pool party for her birthday.  We all just stood in wonder as my little fish swam around with her friends all by herself, happy little clam.  It was not even 6 months ago that she was tolerating water but sort of like a cat does, with her claws firmly implanted in my arms the whole time.  Ouch.
In the early summer I was doing some of my typical social media birth parent searching, one thing I always do is follow the blogs of other parents adopting from Wenzhou orphanage.  I read that she had got an email from one of the nannies directly; I contacted her and asked if she could share it with me.  She did but said that other than the one email they had not gotten any communication from her.  We wrote a letter and asked a friend to translate it for us.  I sent it off, just like the many other bottles in the ocean I have sent.  I did not have much hope.  Nearly three months later we got an email back!  I was so excited, and even better it included a baby photo of our girl we had never received before.  We now have contact though this amazing app called WeChat and we can send messages and photos back and forth, all for free and best of all it translates for us.  We have shared videos, photos, stories and memories.  It has been incredibly healing for Elora.  All these years she missed Nanny, Mama she once called her.  All these years we thought that Nanny did a great job, but it was just a job, not a bond.  Our correspondence was never received, for all we knew all the love we sent across the ocean was not reciprocated.   We were wrong!  Nanny cares about all her children.  I wish I could have videotaped the moment that Elora received a recording of her nanny singing to her, a birthday gift, the song she instantly recognized as “my baby song”.  She twirled and swayed and the hugest grin was plastered on her face as she played and replayed the song over and over.  The most incredible gift EVER!!  We have been so blessed by this budding relationship.  I am the custodian of this friendship and the responsibility of this weighs heavy on me.  Every message I send I wonder if I am writing too much, intruding, stepping on cultural toes unknown. 

As we continue to build this relationship, I learn more about the woman who was mama.  It has been also so rewarding for me.  Do you know how incredible it feels to have a person in your life who also thinks everything your daughter does is perfectly perfect.  She was with me beaming and proud and teary eyed when I sent her photos of the first day of school.  She also thinks Elora is THE most beautiful singer, we both have mommy ears on.  She does not tire of yet another photo of our girl in a pretty new dress, or poorly shot iphone videos of her chatting away in a foreign language.

There was once a day when Nanny had my girl and I was the one an ocean away from her crying and wishing for her happiness and health, worried oh so worried.  Now I have in my life the inverse and I am so incredibly lucky to be able to share with her our girl, the one she and I raised together, because she is wishing those same wishes and crying those same tears.  She the second and I the third mama, one huge piece of the puzzle back in our life, yet one still missing.  This new relationship has both eased my frantic search and inspired me to try harder.  If this is all we ever get, that will be amazing, because I never even dreamed we could have this much of her past in our present.  On the other hand how incredible would it be to complete the circle and include first mama in all these moments of motherly sharing and pride.  If this is what open adoption can be, so healing, so rewarding, so bonding, so hopeful, so quenching, so much love for one incredible girl, then I can only ever want more of that.

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