To Alexandra, on her first birthday

Today, you’re a year old.  Actually, daytime here is your night; your birthday is almost over. You’re twelve hours ahead of us; in a way, you’re in the future.  In another way, you ARE the future.

I hope the nannies did something special for you today.  I know they’re overworked, but people have told me that they are passionate about caring for you and your friends.  I wonder if they know that their time with you is drawing to a close.  Soon you will go to meet your forever family, leaving behind the only caretakers you have known.  I know that you will miss them; I think they will miss you, too.

You won’t be leaving EVERYONE you know behind.  The girl you know as Sheng Fu Zhu will be travelling to Connecticut with you, and her name will be Olivia.  She’ll be living only 40 minutes away.  Isn’t it amazing that, in all of China, our daughter and our friends’ daughter have been together for the past year?  Olivia’s mom just found out that Olivia can walk and climb; please don’t learn any trouble-making techniques from her.

And your friend Sheng Xuan Xuan?  She’s in Connecticut now, too!  Her mom brought her to her new home in March.

Soon you’ll have a friend named Katelyn.  Her parents, Pam and Jerry, are also new friends of ours.  They’ll be travelling to Jiangxi soon to bring her home.

Since we first saw your picture, people have been helping us fill in details about your life.  Cindy sent me an email after seeing your picture–that outfit you’re wearing is one she donated to the orphanage.  It’s a small world, isn’t it?  Maybe not, from your perspective.

We know that in July a group of missionaries came to Desheng to help take care of you and the other children.  One nice lady has written us, telling us that she thinks she recognizes you from your picture.  She says that you have more hair now than you did in the pictures we’ve seen.  She also said you love to be on the move and are an enthusiastic thumbsucker, so they couldn’t get many pictures of your face.

She told us that the nannies are kind and patient.  They feed you large bowls of congee for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; snacks include applesauce, apple slices, bananas, and crackers.  We can handle the snacks with no problem, but I think I’ll have to track down a congee recipe.  Your medical records say that you also like ground meat and vegetables.

We found out that you had chicken pox in February, and so did a lot of the other kids.  I didn’t get them until I was 17.  Believe me, you’re lucky to have it out of the way early.

We’ll be coming to get you soon, but not soon enough.  Your mom is working her way down her list of people to be angry at because of the delay.  Let’s just say that she’s eager to travel, and whoever holds things up will be sorry if your mom figures out who they are.  I don’t blame her; I want you to come home soon.  But I believe that things will happen at the time they’re supposed to.  There’s a reason that we were selected to be your forever parents, and that you were destined to become our daughter.  There was a plan that caused you and us to come together at just the right time to become a family.  We may never know what that reason was, or whose hand set out that plan.  As we have trusted in them so far, we will continue to have faith in them, knowing that we will be together when the time is appropriate.

Go to sleep, now.  Dream of a new home, with a yard to play in, dogs to tease, and a family that is yours forever.

Happy birthday.

3 thoughts on “To Alexandra, on her first birthday

  1. Jay,
    I just have to say how beautiful what you wrote to Alex is…
    She is a very lucky baby to have you and Lori as parents!
    Look forward to many years of happiness as we raise our little ones!
    Pam Parrott

  2. Happy Birthday Alex! We cannot wait to meet you! I truly hope that the diva Miss Olivia is behaving herself and not teaching you how to climb out of the crib! HAHAH
    Love Deb

  3. Happy first birthday, Baby Alex! I can’t wait to give you your birthday hug in person!!!!!!!! (of course I’ll have to get in line behind Grandma and Aunt Sherri).
    congratulations on your daughter’s (don’t you just love the sound of that) first birthday Laurie and Jay, the best things in life are worth the wait. ……Love, Aunt Joann

Leave a Reply