So, the best part of the day was the discovery that we have 250 pictures of Liana on a flash drive that we sent to the orphanage just a couple of weeks ago! For her birthday, we sent a cake with a panda bear, disposable camera and a flash drive. We thought that they hadn't used the flash drive because it was still in the package but then Ethan was walking around with it today and I realized that if he got it out that easy, it must already be open. So Erik stuck it in the laptop and lo and behold, pictures, pictures, pictures of our beautiful baby! And to think, until we got to China we only had 8 measley pictures! On gotcha day, we were also given a beautiful photo album of her and they looked at it with us and pointed out her best friend in the pics. Get this, I actually know the mama that is adopting her best friend! I recognized her little girl, Daisy's, picture right away and told her later on Facebook that I have pics in Liana's album that I would scan for her when we get home. But after discovering the flash drive, I found 24 pictures of her daughter in the pics with Liana! I already emailed them to her. I am so happy to be able to do that for another waiting mama. I would have died for someone to be able to do that for me as we waited. I'm so happy that we know each other and it turns out she lives in Washington so when we visit our parents in Oregon, we plan to meet up so the girls can see each other again. What a small world it can be sometimes! Who knows, maybe Liana and Daisy will be friends forever! They sure share something most people don't share with their best friends. They share something with each other that we can never share with Liana...her first two years and a life in an orphanage.
Liana is showing more personality and more smiles every day. I think she's figuring out who Mama and Baba are. Yesterday, when Erik was out getting lunch for us, I said something about Baba and Liana looked around the hotel room like she was looking for him. Then today, we were sitting on the floor eating lunch and I asked her if she wanted to sit on Mama's lap and she said, "Mama" and reached for me. It melted my heart.
What an adjustment this small girl has had to make in the last few days with us. Just think, her whole life so far, has been spent in an orphanage and that is the only thing she has ever known. Now, she has these white parents and brother and sister who look funny and sound funny and take her to all these strange places. Nothing is the same and now we're about to take her away from her city and the hotel that she probably assumes is our home and change things on her again. Poor baby. It's going to take a long time for her to know what our normal life is like. In her two years, she has experienced things that I can't even imagine. Even though I do believe that she was loved very much in the orphanage, it's not like life with a family who provides for your every need. Just putting her down for her nap today and seeing her grabbing out bites of food out of her mouth and handing them to me so that she wouldn't gag as she fell asleep, I realized the kinds of things she must have gone through to think that if she wants food, she better just hang onto a bite from her last meal. We'll never know what her life in the orphanage has been like but you take little things like this as pieces to the puzzle. I'm so amazed by her strength. How strong she must be to be handling all of this so well. I certainly wouldn't. I can't wait until she feels safe enough with us to just fall apart when she needs to. She'll get there.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the flash drive
Liana and her best friend, Daisy
Liana's 2nd birthday...so glad we could at least give her a party with her friends!
And from today...
Looking at Ethan