It is Thursday morning here in China. Thank you all for your amazing support and encouragement, it has been such a huge blessing. We are almost 48 hours into having Haven. What a incredible journey it has been.
Yesterday Haven officially became Haven Maylin Salem! Praise the Lord. We went and did all the necessary paperwork and she walked out of the door a Salem 🙂 For a little girl abandoned in an orphanage twice, I looked at her and my heart wanted to explode with love. She now has HOPE and an FUTURE! She is no longer considered a child in an institution with a “mental disorder”….she is a child with a bright future ahead of her, however it looks. She is a priceless treasure, NOT a child pushed away from everyone in case they “catch” what she has. She is loved and adored, just the way she is. We feel sooooooo blessed. Hope will allow Haven to become ALL that she can be in this life. Some day she will know the unfathomable love that her Father in heaven has for her. He does make all things beautiful in His time. I am seeing it before my eyes.
We are slowly but surely learning about our new daughter. I have to say that she is just the sweetest, most adorable little thing. 🙂 Yesterday we took her to Walmart(Connor and Kellan…we tell DeeDee it is the New New Walmart!!!!). I was concerned about how she would do in a crowded environment. She amazed me. She just hung onto my hand and went where we did. She did the same as we walked to a restaurant last night. It seems that she is trusting us, something I really prayed for. She really attaches herself to certain things, sometimes a toy or anything that she can hold in her hands. She will carry it around for hours. She communicates with us by shaking her head for NO and nodding for YES. She gets very frustrated if she has lost something or if one of the kids takes something away from her.
On Tuesday I said that she was like a three year old, but after some time has passed, I think she is probably more like a two year old. It is just like having a toddler in the house. She is so very, very delayed. Dawn, she reminds me so much of Autumn when I first met her in Guangzhou. She has very low muscle tone. She kind of walks like a floppy rag doll. I don’t even think she is able to run. I know that, with time, she will gain strength.
Because of her extreme delays, it is so hard to know what is going on with her mentally–it’s difficult to separate the delays from autism, or even retardation. There is just no way of knowing. Once she is home, settled, and some time has passed, we will start looking into it more. It is just so hard to tell right now. In the meantime, we are just learning how to meet her needs exactly where she is.
Haven has made some major breakthroughs in just two days. She was absolutely terrified of the toilet (they use a hole in the floor here 🙂 ). So we bought a baby potty for her to use. Yesterday I found her sitting on the big toilet, without me even prompting her. She is also finally allowing me to change her clothes. Ooohhh, and she has discovered the bath….she loves water, and bubbles are the most fascinating thing to her… As small as she is, the girl loves to eat 🙂
Each day is a learning adventure, for us and for Haven. We are taking things very slowly with her. Thank you so much for your love and your prayers. Thank you for your continued prayers as Haven learns to trust us completely.