There's no doubt that this trip to China is about R. E already had her near-two weeks of misery all to herself. But E has been an integral, irreplaceable part of this trip, too.
At times when things have been hard, E has made us laugh with her little "E-isms." Even though she's been somewhat rejected by her little sister, she tries and tries and tries to be kind to her. When we meet someone new, E proudly exclaims, "Dat Roe-rie! She my little sister! I'm big sister!"
After the potty debacle when I tried to put R on the potty, we made E go on the potty in front of R to show her it was OK and wouldn't swallow her whole. "Look at me! I love the potty! I looooove going poo-poo!" she screamed, unscripted.
E tries and tries again to give things to R, share things with her, feed her, and generally be sweet to her. When E gets swatted away, she'll just look at me innocently and say, "I don't think Roe-rie want that right now."
During our first adoption trip, during times of heavy grieving, we couldn't leave the hotel room, couldn't stop to eat, couldn't do anything fun. But that was OK...we were the adults and we signed on for that. This time, we've had a few very hard moments like that. One night, we promised E we would go out to a "big restaurant", but dinner became ramen and Cheeze-its in our room when R was screaming uncontrollably. E's first try at the pool was postponed because R was too miserable to leave the room. That's a lot to ask of a 3 year old, but E has taken it mostly in stride, saying, "Why she sad? Why Roe-rie cry again?" I am always proud of my first daughter, but now more than ever.
To say that E hasn't had her moments, too, wouldn't be fair. It's really hard for her to see her BFF (me) trying to show affection and bond with R. She's thrown herself on the floor in a fit that looks like she's in actual pain more than once when I've picked R up. Consequently, I've done a lot of picking up, holding, feeding, cuddling, and loving on E, too. If she needs that from me now, that's OK. She's my baby, too, and I'd do anything to make it easier for her.
So, if I had to do it again, I'd definitely bring E with us. Seeing her in the place where she came from, and having her be a part of the growth of our family has been very important for all of us, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
|The ever-excited E, with little sister looking on.|