We assume Ella had friends before she left everything in China. I mean she was in an orphanage full of kids so surely she made a friend or two.
I made a friend or two of my own before traveling. One of my friends, Angie, is leaving Tuesday and will travel along the same path we did just 4 months ago.
Angie’s new daughter, Hope, lived in the same remote orphanage that Ella did in Qianjiang. And then she and Ella moved together to the new place in Chongqing. While we knew they were in the same place at the same time we weren’t sure if they were together much. We assumed they were at least acquaintances since they are close in age.
So Angie and I decided they were going to be friends whether they liked it or not. I mean Angie lives close by (well, 2 hours….but that’s pretty close when you consider there are 50 states she could live in) there had some type of connection, right?
Fast forward to last month and Angie sends me an odd email asking about Ella’s sleep habits. I wondered if she was just preparing for Hope. Then I get a few texts and a few more emails
demanding saying I need to watch a video that instant. It’s a grainy, dark video and a bit hard to make out but it shows a short clip of the Qianjiang orphanage, a sweet Hope smiling in her crib and right next to her is a certain someone “picking apples” in her sleep. From what we can tell the apple picker is Ella! Both Chris and Hope’s Dad instantly thought it was Ella in that crib. And I absolutely want it to be her. And Angie feels the same way. I did show Ella the video and she pointed to herself on the video and said “Yeah Yeah” without any prompting. We did this over and over. (she did the same thing when I showed her the other videos of herself at the new orphanage) There is no way to know for certain, but it does look just like her, and my gut tells me it is her. I have to believe that God brought Angie and I together for a reason. We live one state apart….our girls are from the same remote orphanage….and suddenly we have a video of them sleeping side by side. I’d say it’s meant to be!
All that said, Ella and I want to travel south as soon as Angie and Hope are up for visitors so the girls can meet again. I have shown Ella a picture of Hope and she called her “Ya Ya” without prompting (that is Hope’s nickname). Angie plans on taking Ella’s picture with her to China to show Hope and see her reaction. Angie also plans on visiting the new orphanage and asking the nannies if they were friends. We’re praying they have an answer for her (Ella was only there for 3 months so we’re not sure if they will).
So for many reasons we are anxious and excited to watch their trip unfold. But most importantly we are very excited to see another sweet girl find her forever family!
Feel free to follow along (and say a prayer or two as their journey beings). (click the blue link/line, right above this……)
(we’re not posting the video….we don’t really want to debate “is it her or not?” All 4 parents have decided it is most likely Ella. And Ella decided it was her too.)