Michelle….my bell…these are words that go together well…my Michelle. When I look into my Elle’s eyes I hear the Beatles song “Michelle” playing over and over. I love you, I love you, I love you. These are words I wanted to say. Until I find a way…I will say the only words I know that you understand….my Michelle.
Elle is adjusting well. She speaks Chinese to me, and I answer back in English. She is starting to speak some English phrases. Tonight we were in the lobby with our guide. Elle rattled off some Chinese, and I answered her in English. Our guide looked at me shocked, and said, “I didn’t think you knew Chinese.” I said, “I don’t.” She asked how I knew what she said to answer her question. Again, “I don’t know.” It just is that way between us. We speak different languages to each other yet we understand each other perfectly….most of the time. It is awesome, and I can’t explain it!
There are still moments that break my heart, and remind me of her heartbreaking, earth shattering past. Here are a couple examples. At night we have to be touching. If I move away to change my position, she wakes up to make sure I am not going anywhere. I smile at her. she smiles back, and we resume holding hands. Yesterday I stepped into the hall to talk to another family while Elle blew her nose. She freaked out. She ran out into the hall, and started sprinting for the elevators yelling for mama repeatedly. She literally was so panicked she ran right past me. I started yelling her name, Elle, along with the other family I was standing with, but she didn’t hear me. I finally yelled her Chinese name, Yue Yan, and she stopped and turned around. Her face was filled with terror. How could she think I would leave her? I suppose after being abandoned at 18 months old she thinks anything is possible. It breaks my heart to see her so scared. Tonight I was packing, so we can leave for Guangzhou tomorrow. She is afraid we won’t take her. She squatted by the door watching me. I kept showing her I was packing her too, but she wouldn’t relax. She still isn’t sure how much she can trust me. She wants too, but can’t. Time and a lot of love will hopefully heal these wounds. I hope some day she can’t even remember her pain of abandonment because it has been buried by so many good, fun, loving, tender memories.
Now for a fun story. Today MJ and I took the girls shopping. Chinese people were quite confused about the 4 of us. They would stare, and come up and talk Chinese to Elle. She would look at them like, “I have no idea what you are saying.” She refused to speak Chinese to them. Then when we would walk away, she would look up at me and rattle off a few sentences in Chinese. I would look down and say, “I know. It’s ok. Just keep walking.” She would smile, nod, and keep walking. We then went into a children’s clothing store, and Elle picked out an outfit she wanted. The wrapped it up, and put it in a nice red shopping bag that was half Elle’s size. She wanted to carry it, so I let her. A ten (or so) year old girl came up bedside us and started trying to talk to me. Elle stuck her chin in the air, and held me tighter in a possessive kind of way. It was as if she was saying, “Girlie this is my life. My family. Back off!” It was so fun to see her like that. We loved every moment of her little attitude shining through. Just writing this makes me smile. Elle is such a strong, proud, beautiful girl. I am not sure if i could have survived all she has endured in her life. I am proud to call her my daughter!
Tomorrow I will blog some stories about Mae Mae. For now I need to catch some z’s. I am going to bed tonight with a full heart, and a smile on my face….and with Elle’s hand in mine….of course. I can hear Mae’s breathing in the crib next to the bed. All is right with the world for these two little girl’s. Can you make world right for an orphan or two? Feel the pride of calling them your daughter or son? Fill the void in their life and heart with your love? I think you can! No, I KNOW you can!