|She eats cake like her Mama!!|
The greatest gift of all came in the form of a 27 minute Skype call with the Birthday Girl herself. I can't express how amazing it was to see her in real time. Pictures are one thing, but to see someone move, talk, wave, smile, and interact is so much different. At first, she was a little shocked and unsure. Heck, she's never seen a television, computer, telephone or any other electronic device so it was probably a little strange and hard to comprehend, but she gave us some waves and smiles. We have sent over two separate photo books (as our family has changed) so she has at least seen us before in pictures. It was incredible to watch her - I probably could've just stared at her all day. I keep replaying it in my mind - the way she moves her mouth when she chews, the way her tongue comes out to the left side only, the way she twists her wrist kind of silly when she waves, the little bounce in her step when she walks. She is such a unique little person, with her own sense of self. She showed us her ball, ate a cracker, blew some kisses and even called me "Mama" a couple of times - yeah, my heart is still melting. So, on this, her third birthday, a little girl who has known nothing but institutional life, knows she has an actual family who loves her!
|Esen and Kamila "discussing" their 'bouncy balls'|
|Sweet, sweet girl!|
It was an emotional, bittersweet day for us. On one hand, I feel relief to have seen her and know that she is as healthy and happy as she can be considering her circumstances. I will cherish those 27 minutes that we all got to share each other. On the other hand, I fear that we've left her wondering when we're ever going to come for her. If months go by and we still don't, will she think we've forgotten about her? I hope she feels special and loved, I hope that the US and Kyrgyz Governments can set aside their bureaucratic BS and let her come home.