Back at our hotel, judicious applications of Gerber fruit puffs stopped the tears for longer and longer segments of time. She grieved, but she would come to me for comfort and more fruit puffs. One of Maya's most amazing qualities showed itself early -- the ability to INSIST on what she needed, no matter the barriers. She would put my arm around her to show me how to hold her. And that second day, she woke me up from her crib next to my bed by patting my cheek, and none too gently!
And here she is below, almost two years later, blowing kisses to the camera, a big girl of three, approaching our second anniversary as a family. That second anniversary was a very special one -- spent in China, and looking forward to going to see her foster family. Every time I look at this picture on the screen, I want to kiss that face! Don't be surprised if you see kiss-prints on my computer monitor one day. . . .
I love this black-and-white picture from her first Chinese Culture Camp in Tulsa, age 4. Her only interest in life was to PLAY PLAY PLAY! I was slightly despairing each day as I picked her up at pre-school to hear her teacher say, "Maya didn't feel like doing any work today." Sigh. But I knew what she'd feel like doing when we got home -- cuddling! My Maya is a world-class snuggler, and I can count on her to cuddle close and closer and closer. Whenever she shares my bed, I'm reminded of an old Groucho Marx routine, where a woman tells him, "Hold me closer, closer!" And he responds, "If I were any closer I'd be in back of you!"
And here she is at six years old, a happy-go-lucky girl, proudly sporting her school sweatshirt! She is LOVING kindergarten, and seems to grow into herself with each day as a truly big girl going to the same school as Zoe, not any pesky pre-school anymore! She loves doing the work. . . and still loves to PLAY PLAY PLAY!
Our family day is also Maya's half-birthday, so she is pleased to be OFFICIALLY six-and-a-half now! We had a quieter than usual family celebration today since Maya has bronchitis. We still managed a special breakfast at IHOP, Maya's choice. We also went to see the Three Little Pigs, a children's opera, with good friends. Maya was drooping after that, and we spent a quiet evening looking at Maya's travel scrapbook and telling stories of our first meeting, a day where she cried because she was sad, and I cried because I was happy.