4 Months ago: 7.5 pounds, 21 inches
Today: 16.5 pounds, 26.5 inches
Those stats are only an outward indication of all the inward changes happening. We met Mila 4 months ago to the day. I can still picture it in slow motion in my mind. As the Assistant Director brought her to us with her arms outstretched like an airplane, I couldn't get over how tiny and pale she was.
She was not what I expected to see in so many ways. I don't really know what I expected to see, but it certainly wasn't her. I remember being so taken aback by how small and frail she was, yet curiously intrigued at how intensely her eyes were starting into my soul. Her deep, knowing eyes certainly did not match her body. Her entire body seemed to be in a stupor....her tiny size and awkward movements seemed to scream "distant" and "delayed," but her eyes contradicted everything else about her. Those eyes, once locked into mine, told a story the rest of her body was incapable of telling. I vividly remember her eyes just staring into the depths of my soul as if to say "I will be okay if you just help me...I am here inside of this body....I need you and...you dont' know it yet, but you need me."
These past three months have been so hard, yet so amazingly rewarding. Since the day I met Mila that connection between her eyes and my soul has gotten us through many difficult days. Although it did seem like love at first sight and every ounce of me loved that girl the moment I laid eyes on her and held her, I found that I was distancing myself from Mila at times after I realized her serious physical condition. After that first lightening strike of love, I got so scared. In my heart I wanted so badly to let go and just love with 100% of my heart, but I was terrified of losing her. I was so focused on researching and seeking out the medical care that she needed....that became my outlet for my fear as well as a distraction from reality and a distraction from focusing on just loving her....Doing those things gave me some artificial sense of being in control, when in reality I knew that I had no control over a damn thing.
Over the past three months Mila has endured three pretty major surgeries, along with her entire world being flipped upside down. She has persevered with strength that could have only come from God. She is a different child today than she was when we entered the United States 3 months ago, and even more different today than the day we met her 4 months ago.
Mila is continuing to come out of the "orphanage stupor." Those eyes still stare deep into my soul and it is then that I feel the greatest connection to her. It is that same look I got 3 months ago to the day...that look that says, "stick with me here, I'm getting ready to blossom....I love you and you love me." It is then that I see she's getting ready to break out of her cocoon and spread her wings. In the 7 months of her life prior to meeting us, I can't even begin to fathom what Mila went through each day, alone and so sick...bundled up in that cocoon with no light coming in or shining out...wondering if she'd ever get the chance to spread her wings and fly....Well baby girl it's time and we can't wait to see your beautiful colors when those wings open!
Happy 3 months home Mila bean!
I love you in a way I never knew existed!