May 31, 2009

Next Door Neighbor

If you read the foster home's blog or follow the foster home's website, you probably already know about Elizabeth. But since some of you don't, I wanted to introduce her here! Elizabeth is about 8 years old (we think); she was abandoned in February 2009 (that's right - less than 4 months ago) with a very serious heart problem. Though we don't really know the circumstances of her abandonment, we all want to believe it is just because her parents couldn't get her the medical help she needed, and they knew they'd run out of options. She spent the first month living at a government orphanage, and then she came to the foster home in April. She stayed in our "Healing Home" (an extension of our foster home that happens to be in the apartment right next to ours) for a few weeks until she was checked into the hospital in preparation for her surgery. She had her surgery, and just a few weeks ago, she came back to the Healing Home. She'll stay until she is adopted.

(Side note: I know many of you might ask about the possibility of family reunification. That is something totally out of our control, and from the looks of things, not very likely. But, the orphanage does want to prepare her adoption papers, so she will get a family... for many reasons, it breaks my heart that it won't be her first family, but we're trusting God will restore her fully.)


To be perfectly honest, it's a miracle she's still smiling... she's undergone 3 major transitions and an open heart surgery in the last couple of months. We know that she's been traumatized, and we're doing our best to be there for her and to love her, but ultimately we're just praying that God will intervene and help heal her fully.

Since she lives next door, we've been having a lot of fun getting to know our new little neighbor. She's come to our apartment a few times now... the first time was to make a No-Bake Cheesecake (Thanks, Body of Christ in Pampa for sending that in a care package! It was perfect for a little girl "baking" activity!) Since then, she's started asking the nannies if she can go next door. I think it's because Jacob always sneaks her candy. :)

When Valerie sent us the wall-art for our apartment, she also sent a little package for Elizabeth. Elizabeth LOVED it, and was especially excited about the assorted hair bows that the package included. (She's a girly little girl, but her hair was cut very short sometime before she came to our foster home. We'll let it grow out, but clip-on bows are a nice way for her to feel like a pretty little girl!)


After she opened the package, we made chocolate chip cookies. While the cookies were baking, she'd run into the living room and re-open her gifts just to look at them. Back and forth. Back and forth. I think she must have opened them five or six times. She was definitely really excited and kept asking me if they were for her and if she could take them to her house.


While the final batch of cookies were in the oven, I caught her snuggled up on the couch with Jacob. So sweet. They were checking out games on a cell phone, but mostly she was just enjoying being held. She's always asking to be picked up and to be hugged. We're glad she's able to receive affection, and we hope it helps bring her healing...


She loved serving Jacob hot cookies. When a batch came out, she'd carefully lift one off the plate, put it on a napkin and run it to the living room for Jacob to taste. Each time, she would ask him if it tasted good. When he'd say that it did, she'd break out into her beautiful smile and proudly scamper back to the kitchen.


When the cookies were finished and it was time to go home for dinner, she asked if she could take some for her nannies and little brothers and sisters--that's what she calls the other children in the healing home. She carefully counted out the cookies based on which children were old enough to eat them, and we both walked across the hall to take her cookies and loot home. I loved watching her share the cookies with the nannies and explain to them how she made them. They told her how good they tasted, and she just beamed and giggled.

We love this little girl. She has an incredible spirit and a beautiful heart. We're sad that she needed to come here, but so thankful that she's come into our lives.

6 comments:

Lisa said...

What an amazing smile and spirit she has! I'll be praying for her!

Janet said...

What a sweet and beautiful experience both of you have provided for Elizabeth. I'm so thankful that she receives love in such a warm way and then in turn is such a giving child. What a blessing and example she is to all of us. I continue to pray for this very special little girl.

TanyaLea said...

Elizabeth is such a little sweetheart. Her spirit just shines through in the photos you have posted! I am so glad that you and Jacob are there for her...I'm certain that it makes her feel quite special and brings some comfort to her broken heart, that she is so embraced by the two of you. We will continue to lift her up in prayer!

Hugs,
Tanya

WilxFamily said...

you and Jacob are just oozing with the love of God for Elizabeth! I too, love to see her smile. She has a special place in our hearts, as a family, and we'd love to take her home when we pick up Evan. I'm sure the Lord is already preparing a special family for her. She has such a sweet, sweet spirit. Thanks for loving on her so much.

Mama-Beans said...

Wow, this blog is going to get me into trouble. We are not in a place financially to be able to adopt right now, but that is our goal in a few years. Stories like these... I just want to gather them all up.
I'd love the link to the foster homes/ orphanages web site!

Sally- That Girl! said...

I know that you can not request to adopt a child from blogs like yours. However, with that said I have been praying for Elizabeth from her information on the foster home site. Then I saw her on your site. Is there any way I can find out more information on her?

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