We have received some wonderful news, however small and however uncertain.
Heather joined a Yahoo group, specifically one for people in the adoption community that have, or are about to, travel to Yunnan Province. She included a link to our blog in an email to the group. Out of the blue, we received an email from a woman stating that she thinks she met Ella! She recognized the picture on our blog. After an exchange of emails, we learned that she was in Kunming adopting an 11 year old girl, and was permitted into the orphanage with her guide. She was allowed to spend time with some of the infants. One stood out. She spent some time playing, touching, and just generally enjoying some one-on-one with this baby girl. Her words:
“There were many rooms I saw, but the one with the babies stood out because my heart went out to them. The person touring me saw I wanted to stay a bit so she talked with other workers while I looked at the little ones in the cribs. A few were crying, some were being rocked, and others were content looking around. The cribs were side by side in rows with isles in between. They were wearing the baby clothes that don't have closures on the diaper area, and were very bundled with puffy clothes. I would say she is a little small, but not alarmingly so. She just seemed dainty. She was also smiley, and cooed with me when I talked to her. She is wonderful! ...”
“The details I remember are shiny eyes, perfect little mouth, and very small hands. She appeared healthy and well to me. She was wearing puffy baby clothes, and I told her everything would be OK as I wondered who would come for her and the others. I will say, her features are especially pretty.”
Our email exchange occurred over the course of a few days. After revisiting the photo, our new email pal feels pretty certain that she's correct. She certainly “feels it”, if you know what we mean. The dates line up with the approximate dates of Ella’s referral photos, when she would have been at Kunming CWI, as opposed to foster care. These little shreds of history are so important to us, and someday to Ella. Of course, the fact that this little girl stood out comes as no surprise to us!
This post is really incapable of describing the joy that this chance encounter has given us. Even if it wasn't Ella, it's still a great story. This woman was able to brighten the day of an orphaned child, and it was such a moving encounter for her that she still carries it in her heart. If not this woman, then it at least gives us hope that someone else may have stopped, spent time, and showed Ella Man Li a little bit of extra love.