Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cora's birthday

Cora is officially 8-year-old #2.  Jack will be 8 next month, and then we'll have 3 of them!  Yikes!  She's pretty excited about her upcoming baptism, and as I'm typing this, I'm realizing that I have to find baptism dresses quickly!  

Every year on Cora's birthday, I can't help but reflect on her arrival in our family.  She got such a rough start in life; she didn't have good care in her orphanage, and when we first visited in Haiti, she was extremely delayed.  She was 12 months old, but she couldn't hold her own bottle, couldn't pull to stand or cruise furniture.  She was just a limp little noodle.  She could get up on all fours, but did more rocking than crawling.  She cried and cried every time we went outside because of the bright light, which made it very difficult for us to even leave our hotel room.  She was used to being stuck in a crib, all day, every day.  Thankfully, she gave us little glimpses of the person she was inside her neglected body.  She smiled and laughed and snuggled with us, and that helped quell some of the fears we had about her future.  But the real help came from a blessing from Curtis in which we were assured that she was our daughter, and that whatever challenges might exist, we could manage them.  We were also reminded that this life is very short, and that even if she had to live in an imperfect mortal body, she would live into the eternities as a perfect being.  After this blessing, every concern I had about how she would do and how we would manage was gone.

A few months later, when she was escorted home by some friends of ours who had traveled to Haiti to see the kids they were adopting, our friends were kicked off of an American Airlines flight because a flight attendant thought Cora was too sick to fly.  After a very expensive trip to a clinic and then the emergency room, plus a flight for me to Dallas/Ft. Worth to meet our friends, we learned that she had an ear infection.  That was it.  

What sticks out in my mind, though, is that our friends told me that before I arrived at the hospital, the attending physician told them that he hoped that we realized that the child we were getting was "mentally retarded."  He cited her nystagmus (which is a feature of albinism that almost everyone with albinism has) and her lack of interaction as the reasons for his "diagnosis."  I've always been annoyed that someone would make such a statement in such a callous way, and with nothing to base that opinion on.  Our friends tell us periodically that they wish that doctor could see Cora now.  So do I!  Although she struggles academically because of her visual impairment (20/400 vision), she is one smart cookie and can do anything she wants!  She dances, she plays the piano, she does gymnastics, she reads, she's independent with her equipment in her classroom, she has friends, she can sing beautifully, and she's hilariously funny!  I'm so grateful that we didn't let our fears interfere with bringing such an amazing blessing into our lives.

Happy birthday, Cora!  We love you!

Cora on 4/6/13 - her actual birthday

And finally celebrating on 4/7!

Her favorite Legos!

Cora's phone o' ponies

Thalia's crown o' ponies

Zoe gave Cora and Lily a "spa treatment"

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Cora! You are a beautiful, wonderful young lady. You were an adorable baby and caught my heart the first time I met you. :-)