Let me begin by taking you all the way back to January 10th, following Cassie's heart catheterization. Cassie told the interpreter she knew she had had a bad heart. When the interpreter responded by sharing with Cassie that Randy and i had worked for one year straight, the primary goal being to get her home to America and to get the help she needed for her heart, Cassie looked up at me from her hospital bed and in very broken english replied, "Thank you." And gave me the sweetest smile. I cried....
Two weeks ago while we were out and about Cassie became very insistent that she wanted to "go home". So I told her that's where we were headed. Cassie became elated with the news of this and laughed and smiled, but as we drove into our addition, she began to whimper, "Go home, go home, go home, wasa (mispelled probably-means "I want to" in mandarin) go home." I did not understand. I told her, "We are home. This is our home."
Cassie did not like my response and cried. When entering our house, she sat on our kitchen floor with her back to me. Finally I realized i needed the help of Yenchen, Cassie's interpreter from Riley, to help figure this all out.
After a while, Yenchen was able to determine that Cassie was missing one of her friends from the orphanage, and she wanted to see him. "Zhong Dong Bo" she kept repeating over the phone. Happily, gratefully, this little boy, now known as Jack, lives less than three hours away from us in Michigan. We visited him on Monday of this week, and he is the same little boy whose family brought him to welcome Cassie home at the Fort Wayne airport back on December 23rd, 2011.
As at the airport, these two didn't quite know how to interact with eachother initially. But it didn't take them long to warm up.
Seated from left to right: Jack (Bo Bo), Cassie (Feng Mei), Sonya and Jack's older sister Caleigh.
I just had to put this picture in of Sonya and Caleigh as they are both just so adorable!
We spent quite a bit of time outdoors, and i am glad we did because i have learned from it that Cassie doesn't mind at all playing outside in the cold.
Another adorable picture of Caleigh and Sonya as we walked/ biked over to Caleigh's school to drop her off at afternoon kindergarten. Pictured with Jody, Jack's sweet momma, as she pulls Cassie and Jack behind her in the wagon.
A very new experience for Cassie as she comes down the school slide
When it was time to go, we lured Cassie away with cupcakes and a promise that we will see Bo Bo again along with their other little friend whose parents happen to be in China right now to bring him home to America. He also lives only three hours away from us. What a blessing it is for these children to get to see eachother on the "outside" and to get to know eachother outside of the confines of an institution. Thank you, Jesus, for blessing these children with Christian homes where they can grow up to know You and to know one another through You.
Now on to some random pictures that i've been snapping.
Here's Cassie when she comes to me wanting her picture taken.
And here's Cassie when she doesn't.
Cassie yesterday in our addition, ready to try out her sister's bike
Cassie, wanting to be photographed. As a matter of fact, she woke me up yesterday morning asking me to help her get into her pretty dress so i could take pics of her! Now how could i possibly refuse?
Of course then Sonya needed to get in on the action.
Can you see Cassie's wheels turning? Somebody's going to get tickled!
But big sister managed to beat her to the punch! LOL!
When we visited Bo Bo the other day, Cassie very timidly and awkwardly climbed over an open platform to go down a kiddy slide. Just two days later, notice the difference!
As Cassie was riding her little bike yesterday (of course with me holding it up) after playing hard at our neighborhood park, she said to me, "Mei Mei bu lay." Meaning, she was not tired. And I said to her, "I know because your heart is fixed. Hao la!" Even Cassie marvels at how far she's come. She remembers a time when she would have never been able to pedal a bike without growing winded and tired, and she knows it is different now. Thank you, LOrd Jesus, for leading us to this little girl!
And last night, Cassie finally lost her first top front tooth! I wasn't there for the first two, but i am here for this one. I laughed and cried as i held her close to me, congratulating her on such a feat, with such mixed emotion knowing i've missed so much yet grateful i am here for her now to put away her baby tooth in a very safe place to have for her future and her memories.
Cassie, this morning, very proudly showing me the gap in her mouth
This afternoon, after Cassie received a little gift from us for being so brave. We do not do the tooth fairy but we do try to make these moments memorable.
Cassie is growing to love it here with us, but we haven't been without our share of trials. Imagine being a child who has gotten by on her ability to communicate well with children and adults alike and then to have it all stripped away over night. I believe that when this happened to Cassie with us, what was left was her brokeneness underneathe. But slowly, she is healing and she is developing and she is learning to trust us. I remember reading on various adoption blogs, before we brought Cassie home, about how the adoption of an older child isn't easy but it's worth it. I didn't understand what they meant until now, and there really are no proper words to describe this journey, but i am grateful for it. I've cried many tears over it. I've prayed many prayers over it. And my only refuge is in Christ alone.
Cassie loves to pray. She will pray every day a certain prayer, whether at
meal time or laying in her bed at night, and it goes like this, "God, thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Sonya, Mei Mei. In Jesus Name. Amen."
Now it doesn't get any better than that!