see you in a year!!

About two months ago I met my daughter face to face.  We quickly learned just how hard it was to parent a child that you cannot communicate with... and how much communication relates to bonding with a speaking child.  And so we asked you to pray that we would be able to find a way to communicate.  We believed in faith that God would answer this prayer and when we have grown weary your faith has held up our own.

On Tuesday, we spent the entire day at D.C. Children's with Eliana.  Each specialist we saw asked us how long Elie had been with us and each time we watched their jaws drop as they heard the answer. "She has been in America for 6 weeks.  Apparently her understanding and usage of the English language is way beyond what children normally have at this point. And her understanding of the language far exceeds her ability to speak.  She was able to follow all the directions given and complete every test, including tests for speech and hearing.  She even had her own conversations with each doctor that examined her.

Our games of charades are decreasing.  She spends the entire asking "What are you doing?" and "What is that?".  When she learns a new word she will repeat it over and over out loud and most of the time if you ask her again later in the day she remembers the word.  She loves to give  Daddy a list of her activities from the day each night at dinner.  She goes through everything she did from "it's time to wake up" all the way to the present moment of eating dinner.  And because those are words she can speak well, she usually will repeat her daily schedule over and over at the dinner table.  Her face totally lights up when she realizes that we are understanding what she is saying.  I still long for the day when I can have a real conversation with my daughter and for her to be able to tell me why she is scared or sad or angry.  But we are on the road to getting there.

People can say that we are doing a good job or that it is because she has three other siblings or because she is naturally gifted at learning new languages... while God has used all of these things to help her learn English, truly all the credit goes to Him alone.  You can try to explain it all with reason, but we believe that God has worked a miracle in our daughter's life.

I watched in awe and wonder as Elie completed each test.  My mind couldn't help but wander back to last summer.  To a time when all we had was a picture from 3 years ago and a small paragraph that described a little girl named Liang.   A little girl who had a significant brain malformation, significant developmental delays  and an unrepaired cleft palate.  We were told to expect significant learning disabilities and the inability to clearly communicate.  I am so thankful that we did not chose to run away in fear, but instead to trust God with the outcome.  I am so thankful for all who have believed in faith that God would heal our daughter. The end report for the day:  she needs speech therapy and they will see us again in a year.  A YEAR!!!  Not only was her cleft repaired in China but it was done so well that they do not need to see us again for a year.

Are you falling out of your chair yet?  Jump up and down and praise God along with us!!!

worn out after a long day at the hospital

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