By Viviane Martini
Two years ago today, I traveled across Bulgaria, from the capital city of Sofia to the Black Sea coast, to pick up our little girl from the only place she'd ever known, the orphanage in Dobrich. The child I scooped into my arms forever that day was not well: significantly malnourished, severely anemic, scared, confused, and socially and emotionally starved.
Since then Emilia has found trust and love in a family that adores her. She has become confident, adventurous, loving, and full of joy. And yes, she has found her tongue and with that her voice (we'll kick you to the curb yet, apraxia), opening a steadily widening window into her mind.
Since that snowy November day, Emilia has found her bright smile and happiness. In those early weeks with her, we couldn't distinguish Emilia's cry from her laughter because it all sounded the same. Today, her giggles peal through our home every single day and tears are far and few between.
And Emilia has found her spark, her will to live, her zest for life. She has gone from frightened, resigned and withdrawn to a cheerfully determined, spunky preschooler who won't be slowed down by her tiny size or her developmental delays.
Happy Together Forever Day, my sweet and wonderful daughter. You are the sunshine in our universe and we couldn't imagine life without you. Keep following your own yellow brick road and I know you will bless and be blessed along the way.