When Lily was born in China, in Shangrao, in Jiangxi Province, she had a lot going against her. First off, she was a girl. Secondly, she was affected by what is called amniotic banding. At some point in her birth mother’s womb, her water broke. The long, stringy bands then wrapped around Lily in utero. Think of a chicken eggs with the long stringy bands in it from the egg whites. One wrapped around her left arm and cut of the circulation, and then literally amputating her arm. Another one wrapped around her right calf, but did not completely encircle it. You can feel it under her skin and we are happy it has not caused any issues as she has grown into adulthood. Most babies will die from this….but Lily was a survivor. However, her parents knew she wouldn’t have much of a life in China. When Lily was about 2 weeks old, she was placed in a box and put on the steps of a Guangfeng County government building on January 18, 2005. She was found by two women, their names meaning Sweeping Willow and Beautiful Cloud. They called the police and the police, when searching for her parents, found no one. They took her to the hospital to be checked over and then she was released to the Ling orphanage in Shangrao. Since there was no note with Lily, the doctors guessed she was two weeks old, counted back from the day she was found, and gave her the birthday of January 4, 2005. Since that year the Chinese New Year was later on in the year, she is under the sign of the Monkey of 2004 versus the Rooster of 2005. She is a monkey…like her dad.
While we were in China completing her adoption, we were approached by a Chinese business man during breakfast at the hotel one morning. He spoke excellent English as he worked in Los Angeles most of the year working on remote controlled helicopters. He asked us why we adopted from China…Did we know she only had one arm or had his government lied to us and tricked us into adopting her? I told him that we did, in fact, know that she only had one arm and asked specifically to adopt her. He got all teary eyed and said we were such kind people. He even called over the rest of the businessmen at his table to tell them about our situation. We already had two boys and then came to China to adopt a girl with one arm! We were later told that Lily would not have been able to go to a regular public school just because of her missing arm. She would have languished in an orphanage and then put out on the streets as a teenager. Whereas everyone we met in China thought we were blessing her….it was truly the other way around….she has been a blessing to our family.
Lily lived in China, Japan, Norway, and then moved to the U.S. when she was 5 years old. She, like the rest of us, love to travel. She has been to probably 2 dozen countries. When we went to Estonia in the summer of 2018 for a couple of weeks, she absolutely loved it. We are all looking forward to being able to explore again. We are heading to Colorado at the end of the week and we are all excited! Lily will be skiing on a real mountain for the first time (the 300 ft Mount Crescent doesn’t really count). She enjoys skiing and does so without poles as holding one just gets in her way. I can’t wait to talk to her after her first day skiing with Rich at Beavercreek!
A little bit about our Lily as a 16 year old….She is so funny. She is quick-witted and tells jokes with a somber face that makes you wonder if she meant to be funny at all….which is even funnier! She never wears shoes or socks if she doesn’t need to. We have 7 steps from our front door to our main living area in our house and she usually has her shoes and socks off by the time she is at the top of the steps. The girl can game! She has one hand to push all the buttons needed and she has mastered a lot of games that I would have failed miserably at. She hates sports…but got an A+ in her PE class this past semester. She talked about the class all the time…it almost sounded like she liked it….but I didn’t even go there with her, in case that scared her away from fitness again! She and Tallinn are like siblings. She pushes his buttons and he pushes right back. It is hysterical to watch. She loves to get him all riled up about 10 p.m….right before we are all trying to settle down for the night. The girl can sleep! She will sleep to 1 p.m. if I let her. She is really phenomenal at origami. She has made paper cranes that are only 4-5 mm tall. That is some really fine work, especially with someone with one hand! She is a great cook and likes to try new things. She is pretty good on a sewing machine! She made her family masks this year for Christmas. She also made herself a bag, several zippered purses, and a nice long-sleeved shirt. So as the quarantine continues, she is not having a birthday bash for her birthday, even though she doesn’t have school today. We’ll get take out from wherever she wants, and have some cake that I am getting ready to make. She is a decent driver but not anxious to get her license yet, so that will wait. Wishing this beautiful soul, the daughter of born from my heart, a very happy 16th birthday!