I think that my little princess is growing. She always wants to sleep. Eats like a farm hand. Whines like a girl. And is just starting to find a streak of acne across her forehead.
This seems early. Granted, she is 11 years old but to me she is a little over 3. It is hard to believe that Jacie has only been here for 3 yrs. She is such a part of our hearts and life- It seems like forever. I think that it is harder for her though. Yesterday, as she and I were driving, she said, "I was looking at your pictures and you guys had a lot of fun before I came."
I replied, "Yes, we did but we have had a lot of fun with you as well."
"Yeah, I know."
I could hear the wistfulness in her voice as she processed the facts. There is no way to change the fact that she came to our family at the age of 8 and her brothers were 12. That means that Loren had 12 years of memories and Jared had 10 (he was adopted at the age of 2 from US foster care.) Unfortunately, life is like that. I cannot explain that while she was struggling, we were actively pursuing life with our family unaware that she would join us. That life did carry on without her presence. I can only tell her that when she came- life got that much sweeter. That our family was changed by her presence and that we would never desire another picture without her smiling face in it. That is all I have to give her at this point. Hopefully it is enough.
I can also tell her that her time in China formed her. It made her who she is today. She has life where hers was hard. She has mobility where there was none. She has love.
Jacie's story is one of amazing people. She was left in an orphanage to die. Saved by a proud Chinese rice picker's wife. Nursed back from severe nutritional deficit. Overcame a late surgery to master walking by the age of 6. Was removed from the only family she knows. Spent 2 years in a Chinese orphanage. Was removed from the orphanage. Met a white family for the first time. Flew 19 hours home with them. Learned their language. Learned their customs. Had major orthopedic surgery. Learned to walk all over again. Had major orthopedic surgery again. Learned to walk again. Learned to ride a bike. Learned to read a book. Learned. Learned. Learned.
My guess is she is tired. Yet, she said to me last night, "I am living the happy life."
Yes, dear girl. You are.
So am I.
I continue to work format on Jacie's book. Hopefully it will come out in the Spring.