Eliot. My sweet Elie Mak,
You've been home now for one full year. And since your first "Gotcha Day" on April 8, 2008, you have changed our lives with your captivating charm and amazing resilience.
Your first few days on this world were miserable. Miserable for everyone involved. Your father and I used every bit of our beings, every emotional resource we had, every favor we thought an angel could grant us to bring you out of the pain and unknown, and onto this beautiful world.
And then, a week later, there you were - emerging from absolute preemie hell into this teeny-tiny ball of strength and courage that had everyone filled with awe.
You have certainly had your share of speed bumps along the way. But you are SO MUCH more than your past. You have refused to let your rough start define you, and I am convinced that you will always have that attitude throughout your life.
"Delayed in this or slow on that; she may never do this, or be less able to do that . . ." You have never listened to a word of it. You MUST hear them though, because you continuously work on all of your "issues," and you practice. And then you practice some more - and when it's perfect (and not until it is perfect), you do what they said you would never do, and you do it with the cutest damn smile anyone has ever seen.
People that don't know you hear your story and say, "Ohhhhh. Poor Elie." But you hate that. Because you believe that there is nothing "poor" or lagging about you. You try to make the most of everything you've been given, and you seem to be on a path to prove that you are on this Earth for a reason. You are definitely gearing up to do great things in your life.
Sweet Beans, you must spit up more than any creature in the history of the world, but when you're done tossing your breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or snacks, or piece of paper you have found on the floor and snuck into your mouth), you are the most delightful baby to be around. Your therapists don't want to let you go at the end of a session; your doctors hug you as if you were their own; your babysitters pat your butt to help you go to sleep because they can't bear the sound of your crying (although, they do the same to Owen, but only because they can't ignore him). You are just that kid. It's so easy to fall in love with you. One bat of those big blue eyes, one coy look in someone's direction, and you have them forever hooked.
Lover of reading books and spitting out Ritz crackers, of dancing to music, and anything daddy, of playing chase (but not understanding the rules of it, and playing "chicken" instead); lover of homemade tents, and audience applause, of g-tube chewing, and playing peek-a-boo, of watching people eat, and then HATING everything about food, you are undeniably stubborn - I mean, adorable.
And all of that is why we love you; why we are proud of you; and why we couldn't imagine our home without you. (Though the floors would probably have a little less puke stain.)
Congratulations, Eliot, on your one-year-at-home anniversary. We're glad we gotcha.