Elisabeth - Day 4

Elisabeth slept like a pro again last night, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:30 this morning (we pray this continues!).

Today was a big day. Elisabeth seemed to physically feel even worse (she whimpered more and was more clingy – which we didn't think possible), but she still managed to show us some new tricks. Mom
and both grandmothers (and 7 others from our group) took a road trip to the orphanage where Elisabeth lived today. The trip is a 3 hour bus ride one way; and Dad got to keep Elisabeth for the day. (While we felt this trip to the orphanage was very important and a once-in-a-lifetime chance, we both agreed that not only did Elisabeth NOT need to spend 6 hours riding in a van today, but more importantly, we did not feel it was in her best interest to be taken back to the orphanage – we thought it would be confusing and traumatic.) We split up at 8:00 a.m. for Joli and Grandmas to go to the orphanage and Dad and Elisabeth were anticipating a trip to the bird garden. As we mentioned yesterday, Elisabeth is cutting some teeth (looks like 2 up and 2 down for a grand total of 8). Elisabeth cried and cried when Mom handed her off to Dad but she quieted down after a couple of minutes. We decided not to go to the bird garden and instead spent some quality Dad and daughter time back in the room while Mom was gone. We played with her stacking cups (Dad sets them up and Elisabeth knocks them over) and with her colorful keys, and we read some books. Her two favorites are the Touch and Feel Kittens book (she likes to `pet' the kitten on the cover), and Red – A Touchy Feely First Words Book (thanks so much Aunt Su Su!). We're still working on a smile, haven't had one yet but it looks like we're close. Elisabeth `talked' for the first time today; she did some babbling while she was in her crib. Before this, Elisabeth hadn't talked any, only cried and whimpered. Elisabeth also sat up in her crib; this was another first for our family. Up to this point, she would only roll over and reach up for us to take her. We have been working with Elisabeth since yesterday to wave to us. Well, she started waving (a little tentatively, but a small step is still a step forward) tonight before supper. An example that Dad is pretty helpless without Mom around: When Mom returned she asked how Elisabeth had done with her bottle. When Dad said that she drank all of her 1:00 p.m. bottle but a couple of swallows, Mom was confused and reminded him that Elisabeth was supposed to have eaten at 11:00 a.m.. It all of a sudden became clear to Dad why Elisabeth had been so fussy those last couple of hours before she ate!

Mom missed Elisabeth so much while she was gone on the orphanage trip today. She was afraid that Elisabeth would be mad and not want anything to do with her when she got back, or even worse, have
forgotten her! There was NO need to worry – when Mom got back Elisabeth clung to her neck with force you wouldn't think possible from such a little body! Mom cried at the orphanage today - looking
at all the other little girls scooting around in walkers it was so sad and amazing to think that Elisabeth was one of them just 72 short hours earlier. And now, thanks to the mysterious inner workings of the China Center for Adoption Affairs (which we know to be ultimately controlled by the Lord); Elisabeth is now our precious daughter. Mom is crying again now!

Mom got to meet Elisabeth's nanny at the orphanage, and she cried when we showed her Elisabeth's picture. While we were not allowed to use video cameras, we were allowed to take pictures. We'll post
a few of them – you can see more when we get home, if you'd like. We don't feel we should talk about all the specifics of the condition of the orphanage here. Please, if any of you ever feel that the Lord is calling you to adopt from China, PLEASE feel free to talk with us. Unfortunately, there are thousands of little girls just like Elisabeth that will be left here. The handful we saw today broke our hearts.

Elisabeth will be taking her first airplane ride tomorrow when we fly down to Guangzhou to finish the American side of her adoption. We praise the Lord for your e-mails - they are a great source of joy
and encouragement to us.

Granny Linda talking to some of those left behind

Gran Gran Beth with Elisabeth's nanny

Elisabeth's crib

Gate of orphanage, where Elisabeth was found at 4 days old

Playing with Gran Gran's finger...progress!

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