This month is a BIG month for Emma and Ellie! They have been home for one year and they both have birthdays! When they came home last year their birthdays were day two and three of jet lag. With their initial adjustment being challenging and communication being difficult we let the days pass by- Ellie was in the emergency room with a concussion and Emma was working on improving her behavior. It just wasn't a time for cake and gifts at our home.
This is the referral picture we saw of our girls on the waiting child list.
The yahoo group for their orphanage (Guilin, Guangxi) Is very active with tons of photos! I was able to search through all the photos and find many with our girls in them. At first I felt so lucky but now I realize how our daughters roamed around with no place to be, no place to go... They would attach them selves to any adult that was nearby. Their foster mother wasn't in this pic but I did recognize their friends foster mother. So at least they kind of new these people they stood so very close to. Obviously they were not posing for the pic either, they were just there...
What I notice about all the pics is how close the girls stand next to each other. After being placed in the orphanage for 6 months Ellie was doing very well. They felt she had more potential so they placed her on foster care. Separated neither girl could function. They cried and cried and continued to ask for each other, so after a week they moved Emma to the same foster family. They were so happy to be back together. They are inseparable and their security comes from one another- it is very much like twins. They are okay as long as they are together!
The girls were happy to be in a family but the stories of abuse continue to surface.
WE liked them when we met them but I have been unable to bring myself to send a gift to them. I could say I have been too busy but also my heart is holding me back. What happened in that foster family and in with in the community was just plan wrong...
Emma is significantly cognitively disabled. She was so victimized.
Ellie tells us the stories of what other children did to her- it's enough to make you sick. She had no real friends that would stick up for her... even her sister watched as Emma endured abuse from everyone around her.
Emma has very few words. She parrots back what we say but only sometimes does she have a thought or words of her own.
We look forward to God revealing more of Emma to us as time goes on!
Ellie was also treated very poorly although she was the favored one. Ellie is cognitively delayed and has some cognitive disabilities but she has her own thoughts, a sense of humor, knows right from wrong has more impulse control.
She struggles with her speech. Her sentences are garbled together and she cannot mark the beginning and end of many words. Sometimes she is kind of clear and we can understand her. She is working with a speech teacher now. We hope her speech improves so she can be more confident meeting other children and talking to them.
She came to us with an attitude. She felt she was more important than Emma and treated her sister like a second citizen. She was shocked when we treated them equally and insisted that she treat her sister respectfully.
When we first met her she was rather lazy and mostly wanted to eat and sleep. However some people do need to sleep in times of great stress and I am sure two large white people from America calling themselves your new parents is about as stressful as it gets!
Emma was often not fed in her home. Her food was taken away because she was a "bad girl". They did not understand her mental capabilities and punished her for them. She would dig in garbage cans for food.
Still they smiled, it was all they knew, they didn't know life could be better.