[9 years old]
Eight years ago, Mr. Tennis and I stood with 10 other families in our travel group anxiously awaiting the arrival of our daughters. It was a warm and rather humid day in Guangzhou -- my hair was a big, curly mess, but not even I cared (except to worry that I might scare the baby!). We thought we would be meeting the girls the next day, but we were surprised with an early arrival from their orphanage -- a 4-hour bus drive away.[Photo we received prior to travel to China. ]
We were the second or third family to receive our daughter. She looked at us carefully with her beautiful dark eyes, stuck two fingers in her mouth and began to suck on those fingers in earnest. She was 14 months old. She didn't cry, but I knew that she was very upset and worried. As we slowly got to know her in China, we discovered she had developed her own way of coping with strange or hard situations. She put her hands up on either side of her face to block out whatever was upsetting her. Elevators and people getting too close meant those hands went right up. Breaks my heart a little that my adorable girl had figured out a way to cope all on her own at such a young age.
[This photo is from a day or two after we got home. She had double ear infections, tummy troubles and rash. She was getting a little more comfortable, so only put one hand up.]
Her smile and her unconditional love adds so much joy to our lives and brightens my day and that of Mr. Tennis.