Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Like They Were Never Apart...

During the process of adopting,  photos are occasionally received out of the blue.  Some of the photos would be  sent by families traveling while adopting their children - always mindful that a snapshot (however blurry) of a waiting little one in China was worth more than gold to the family who was also waiting across an ocean!  Other photos would come from a sweet expat volunteer that was helping prepare both the little ones and the families.  Even others came from the orphanage staff when they were able to get their hands on a camera and find a way to get the photos to the waiting families.

These were all the case while we were in the process of adopting Lilli.  The photos were our "connection" - and the photos are still to this day poured over and cherished very much!

It was evident - as we received many photos - that Lilli had an every present companion while in China.  Another little girl that was more than just her "best friend"... they were more like sisters - sharing the 4th floor at the orphanage and also moving to a smaller foster home together with just seven other children.

At the time, the British volunteers in Xi'an called the two Cheryl and Susannah.   They are now Elizabeth and Lilli.    They were always together.  In pictures where Lilli was alone - there seemed to always be a frown or a look of fright on her face - when she was with Elizabeth - a certain look of confidence took the place of the sadness.

One of the earliest photos I have from the orphanage - Susannah  is far left with the orange poof in her hair and Cheryl is to the right with the orange sleeveless coat on.  This photo was taken in early 2006.  

When Lilli and Elizabeth were both matched and waiting for their families - now living in the foster home and being cared for by Heidi (far right) and being checked on quite frequently by Aunty Sandy from Australia (blue coat).

Joe and I traveled to China first - and were lucky enough to pretty much "dive into" Lilli's life in China.  We visited the orphanage, foster home, and even Lilli's school - all that she shared with Elizabeth.  And... we met Elizabeth - and said goodbye to Elizabeth on February 28, 2008.  Little hands parting so slowly across the school table....

We now know that this was not goodbye... but see you later!

Fast forward to June 9, 2011 - and this is what happened when they said "Hello" again:

This was within a few seconds of seeing each other... Lilli whispered in my ear, "It is all coming back to me now mom"...


Remember Elizabeth.... no sad... just happy.... until we see you again!!!

1 comment:

Ellie said...

AWESOME! I loved looking at all these precious photos - I need to see the big Lilli! (can't believe I haven't met her!)

xo ellie