It is hard to believe but it was one year ago today that the wheels on our overstuffed and aging Air China 747 touched down on the windy runway of JFK International Airport. The sudden jolt to the aircraft was a fitting example of how Meili was destined to impact our lives. I remember sitting in that stinky plane all misty-eyed at the thought of how our cute little carry-on from China became a citizen of The United States of America the moment we touched U.S. soil. Just another cool part of this amazing process.
So, much has changed and I am sorry the updates are getting farther and farther apart. Truthfully, I am not sure anyone but Tracy and I are reading this blog and that is fine because I really just want Meili to have a history to fall back on as she grows and matures.
Meili has certainly planted herself into the middle of our family. Each of our children struggle with each other for her attention and I think she is getting wise to the experience. There a moments when you can actually see the wave of devious intentions pass slowly across her face like capitalism in a communist society. The already narrow eyes grow more slim, a subtle smile breaks across the face and down tilts that bulbous head. And like a Chinese bottle rocket, off she shoots into another room leaving a trail of laughter and silliness for one of her siblings to follow in. Nothing makes her happier then to run around the house on the verge of toppling over with brothers and sister in tow.
One of the more beautiful things to watch is her every tightening bond to Tracy. Mommies are so important in the lives of children but take an abandoned child and giver her new mommy and that bond takes on so many other dimensions. Nobody in the house brings as much happiness to Meili as “MOMMA!”. Yes, I capitalized it on purpose because Meili never says “momma.” – it is always “MOMMA!”. Regardless of the volume, it is always enjoyable to hear. Even when Tracy leaves the house for a short errand, Meili will frequently check the door to the garage or look out the window to see if she has returned yet. Gone is the fear of abandonment, she just wants “MOMMA!” in her sights (seems she has picked up that whole “control” character trait that seems so prevalent in Chinese government circles). By the time Tracy has returned, she usually finds a tiny brown figure standing at the door with a huge smile surrounded by far more pale and taller people sporting frowns. You can only take so many times of “MOMMA?” every 30 seconds before you begin to look for 2-year old capable distractions.
As for me, my own bond with Meili is growing closer. We had a real rocky road in China but as she learned I wasn’t going anywhere, she finally allowed herself to foster some affection for me. Now, every night before bed, I get a kiss (and sometimes two) from Meili. And these aren’t your run-of-the-mill pecks, mind you! They are usually backed with a smile and long kisses. On top of it all, the surgery she had in China to close her clef lip has made her upper lip extra puffy – which ads to the uniqueness of her tiny kisses. I look forward to it every night so much!
Meili and I also have a silly connection that I shutter to share because I never to how people will take it. We discovered early on that Meili has NO fear and is quite ready to experience life at 90mph. She got to where she loved riding on my shoulders and would ask to be up there. Seeing that she really did not weigh all that much, one time I put her all the way on top of my head and kept my hands around her waist. I could not see, of course, but the kids were laughing hysterically because Meili was just smiling as big as possible while sitting on top of my head. Now is where I remind you that I am 6ft tall – so Meili is looking out at the world from close to 7ft in the air and is loving it! God has also blessed this odd man with a natural indentation on the top of my head (I think I was dropped as a kid) so Meili’s tiny bum fits perfectly on my head. So all of this has lead to our own little circus act! Now, when I pick up Meili she will pat me on the head and say “yah, yah”. She is asking me to do what we call “ta-da!” – That is where Meili turns her back to me and scoots all the way into my legs so that I can pick her up from behind and fly her briskly up to my head. After a second or two of balancing, she will reach her arms out wide and yell… “YAH, YAH” as I do the same. She laughs and giggles perched on top of daddies head waiting for me to lift up my arms to her so she can slide off.
Meili is such a nut!
Thanks for your prayers and support over the last year – we have experienced more than we deserve with Meili and highly encourage you to consider adoption if you have not already. I can’t believe we didn’t do it sooner!