Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Underdog

It is wonderful to get to know our daughter.  I prayed that God would help me to love her unconditionally, but I have to tell you that it is even better -- I do love her unconditionally, and I love specific things about her.  To begin with, she is an absolute cutie, and I'm not just saying that because I'm the doting father.  Whenever we go out in public, the old ladies come up to her and tell us she has the prettiest eyes.
 
One lady asked me if she was three months old!  I told her no, closer to seven, eight months.  But it reinforced for me just how little Jada is.  We call her our tiny little booger, and she's hardly bigger than one.  Though the orphanage took as good care of her as they could, they couldn't have possibly have fed her or given her the moving around time that many babies get.  As a result, she is skinny little thing with sticks for arms and legs. 
 
But though sometimes I worry about her catching up physically and neurologically, I also find an attraction to this little underdog side of her.  Even among the other orphaned kids in our group of four families, she is the runt.  She hasn't been nearly as smiley or laughy as the others.  But those eyes . . . you can tell she recognizes her new daddy and mommy and that she is happy. 
 
I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it is to have her look at you.  There is an inquisitiveness and an innocence in the look.  Slowly, she is learning things -- that mommy and daddy aren't going away, and that through crying she can communicate her need for food or burping or changing.  I tell you, I wouldn't trade this little booger for the world.
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