We will never know what really happened the first two years of Isabella’s life.
Isabella was born in a province in China that has one of the highest rates for female infanticide. And Isabella wasn’t just born a girl- somehow during birth, her right shoulder’s upper nerves were damaged, leaving her with a brachial plexus injury. Or, in other words, her right arm and hand were paralyzed. What could have happened, what does happen to baby girls with special needs like my precious sister Isabella, makes me tremble.
What actually happened leaves me speechless.
It is because of what did happen, that I know Isabella’s birth mother loved her deeply, passionately, unfailingly. She loved her so much, that she fought for her life. Isabella’s life did not end in tragedy, but instead she was brought safely to the gates of an orphanage, a place where she could be found, a place where she would be protected, until they day that we were so blessed, and she joined our family.
And today, Isabella has that same, passionate spirit. She is a fighter.
Isabella has been told many times in her life that she “can’t”. We were told by doctors at a very prestigious hospital she would never gain much movement in her right arm and hand. But she proved them wrong. She can now move her pointer finger and thumb, hold onto items, and lift her arm up to her shoulder. She has excelled in karate, ballet, and swimming. Nothing stops her.
Isabella loves Jesus. Another one of her proudest accomplishments was learning how to fold her hands to pray. You will never hear a sweeter prayer than the precious ones Bella says. (She also insists the entire family bow their head, one by one, as she calls out each persons name.)
Isabella loves to dress up. Isabella is one rough & tumble girl- but she would much rather run around outside in a poufy princess dress, high heels, and a tiara. Her current goal is to be a “mermaid princess” when she grows up. I wouldn’t put it past her.
One of the most amazing things I have been blessed to witness is how Isabella came to love and trust our Dad. Isabella immediately attached to Mom. But the first few days in China she was a little wary of Dad, never letting him get too close. Then slowly she would let him play with her, then let him take care of her, and today? Isabella is a complete daddy’s girl, and they are best friends. It’s adorable.
Isabella, you are light. You light up a room, you light up my heart, you light up our entire families life. You have taught me so many lessons lessons on perseverance, strength, courage, and joy. We love you more than you can ever imagine, and cannot believe God blessed us with the incredible gift that is you!