Oh, those chubby cheeks! When the world stopped spinning on April 21st (the day we saw Lily's face for the first time), those sweet cheeks were one of the first things we marveled at! Honestly, we were quite surprised by her rolls...babies that look well-nourished are not the norm in orphanages, and all of our "parent training" up to this point had prepared us to expect a low-weight baby with the assurance that she would catch up when she got home. Many of the adoption stories I've read confirm this. After converting from kilograms to pounds, she has not been a large baby. At 2 days old, she weighed 5 lbs 5 oz. At 3 months she weighed 8.6 lbs (still less than 3 of my children at birth!), and at 5 months she weighted 11.7lbs. The doctors tell us she is tracking consistently at the 3rd to 5th percentile. She is small in stature, but growing well they say. So, what is the explanation for those rolls and cheeks? Here is what the Lord has revealed since we first saw her face....
First of all, I have always prayed that Lily would be found quickly after she was abandoned (she was left on the doorstep of the orphanage...can't be found much quicker than that!) and that she would be well-fed and well-cared for...that she wouldn't be left languishing in a crib along with several other babies all waiting for one caretaker to get to them.
God (of course!) not only heard and answered these prayers, but He did so abundantly above all I asked or imagined. Below is a link to a newsletter put out by an organization called Love Without Boundaries that operates in China with orphans and orphanages. They do so much work there I couldn't begin to tell it all to you (check out their website: www.lovewithoutboundaries.com). Shortly after receiving our referral (adoption talk for: this is our baby!), I came across a Yahoo group for parents with children either in or formally in the orphanage Lily is in. From that group I learned that the orphanage Lily is in (Shantou City, Guangdong Province) is one with which Love Without Boundaries is highly involved. The more I learn about what LWB is providing the Shantou orphanage, the more blown away by how thoroughly God answered this mom's prayers for her daughter. The link is below. Go to p.2 of the newsletter and read "MinMin's story." This little girl was in the same orphanage Lily is in now receiving the same care! I am so blessed!
So, since arrival at the Shantou Social Welfare Institute, Lily has been provided with quality formula and now cereal through Love Without Boundaries' Nutrition Program! Our little one's chubby cheeks and rolls are an answer to prayer and He used Love Without Boundaries to answer them! What a humbling and amazing answer!
On another day, I will get to tell you more about how LWB and the wonderful volunteers have impacted our family, but for today I will end here.
One last note, LWB maintains a blog that is wonderful for learning more about the special needs orphans in China. Check it out!
Psalm 73:1 Surely God is good...