We have grown by one.
Mom and Daddy have adopted a baby girl from China into our family. Sixteen months old, black hair that is straight and silken to the touch, large, dark almond shaped eyes that miss very little. That is Morgan Xie Love, my new baby sister. She has been with us for four months now (since March of this year) and has managed to steal all of our hearts. She has also managed to be a little human tornado; suddenly we remember what having a baby around is like.
When Mom and Daddy told us the news that they were adopting a sister for us, we were excited, but many other emotions came into play too: fear, jealousy, envy, anger, confusion, uncertainty. We had so many questions and fretted every time the adoption people came to our home "to check things out", to make sure all was well. Mom and Daddy had to get medical checkups to make sure that they were healthy, and they had mounds and mounds of paperwork to fill out and turn in. It was a long, drawn out, legalistic nightmare.
Then came the happy news that Mom and Daddy's adoption was approved. They were to be getting a little baby girl from China. The child was fairly healthy but had special needs; she was born with a mild case of spina bifida and was partially paralyzed from the knees on down. If she learned to walk, she would probably have to ambulate with crutches and braces strapped to her legs.
Xie Love was cute, I'll admit that. It was hard not to fall in love with this fat-cheeked little imp who would soon be our little sister. We looked forward to the day to where she would join us and we prayed for her every night. The day she came was a day of celebration, but that was cut short when she threw up all over Mom; she had a loose stomach and was sick from the long airplane ride from China.
Daddy kiddingly said that she blessed Mom. Mom was not happy with that statement. Yet we kids howled; we thought it was hilarious.
Our new sister was beautiful. We couldn't get enough of her, but we also knew we had to take it easy with her because she had come from halfway around the world and everything was still brand new (and probably very scary) for her. We had to take it one day at a time until Xie Love (soon to be renamed Morgan, as it was easier to pronounce, let alone, spell!) got used to her new surroundings .. and us.
There were days where little Morgan tried our patience, but we soon grew to love her as if she had always been a part of our family. She in kind got used to us and we delighted in her insatiable, unending zest for life. We delighted in her baby giggles and her strong spirited nature; she may have been disabled, but it obviously had no effect on her. If she fell, she would get back up and soon was walking for short distances on a wheeled walker.
Now the therapists are working with her on how to use crutches. She thinks they are to hit people with; I've already gotten smacked in the mouth once by them. Not fun. We are trying to teach her that crutches are to guide her with her walking, not to hit people with.
Well, I'd best go; Morgan has been napping for the past two hours so she should be rising soon. I will write in here again with another update on our family; this isn't the last time you will hear from us! Take care and God bless!
~Steve Jenkins, Ottumwa, Iowa.