Appointment Day

by Susannah Baker

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Today was a long day of doctors visits and passport appointments. Our guide who leads us through each and every day and step of the process is wonderful, and she makes each appointment as smooth and easy as it can possibly be. I think there is just an emotional toll the six of us are feeling, so that by the time 7pm comes, we are all practically falling asleep in our chairs at the dinner table.

Today Mia Grace had to pass her medical exams to be able to leave China and enter the U.S. No fever, infection, etc. And while she passed the exam and was a trooper throughout each stage of the afternoon, she was silent throughout each and every part of the examination. And while I have always prayed for my babies NOT to cry at the doctor’s office, this was the first time I was praying that I would hear my baby cry. Because tears at discomfort, pain, or unfamiliarity would show that she believes if she cries, someone will hear those cries…and respond with comfort. The lack of tears tells me at some point she learned, probably very early on, not to cry…because nobody would be there to answer.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic or overly emotional. It’s just factual. And while I’ve known that fact about institutionalized kids for a while now, knowledge has turned to compassion, empathy, and even grief today as I have watched Mia Grace. The knowledge that she already had her surgery when she was less than a year old and didn’t have parents there to comfort her in the hospital through surgery and recovery is really tough to think about. I’ve thought about today all of the ear infections, stomach bugs, coughs, runny noses, and downright strange viruses my three girls had their first 18 months of life and all of the late nights, rocking chairs, TLC, and doctors visits that occurred for each of them. And then I think about Mia Grace. It has been a teary day for me and a somber day for Jason as we contemplate the reality of her past.

I know, though, that the Lord has a plan for this little girl that will combine her tough inner strength and the healing I know will inevitably come in her heart to move her towards trust and attachment. I know the Lord will not waste her tears, or lack thereof, but will use all things in Mia Grace’s past, present, and future to make her into a woman who will fulfill all of God’s purposes for her in her generation.

Until that day of ultimate healing and strength, as her parents, we pray for her tears and thank the Lord for the opportunity to know her and love her in His perfect time.

Tomorrow we have a day off from appointments (hooray!) and get to go to the zoo. I am hoping the monkeys or giraffe will be a delight to our girl, and maybe tomorrow we will even get the first hint of a smile…

Much love,
The Baker 6

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