Most of Chinese adoption, prior to "gotcha day" is shrouded in mystery. By going to visit Lotus' SWI (Orphanage) we were able to clear up some questions. We still have far more questions than answers but I do have some answers and I am grateful for them.
5) We know she seldom slept by herself.
One of the places they showed us was the crib where Lotus used to sleep. We saw her crib. One of the nannies suggested we put her into it and because I felt like they knew better than I did, I did so. Lotus shrieked and lifted her arms to me. I snatched her up before she took a second breath and she quieted instantly. We left the room and I noticed one crib outside the room. I asked the guide what that was and she explained that the crib was for when a child was "naughty or sick". I understand why you would do that--especially if the child was sick, but it kept us from trying to get her into "her own" room when we came home. We didn't want her to feel like she had been bad.
4) We know she was premature.
They showed us the incubator in a corner of the infant room. They told us when she was first found they put her in there for nearly a month until she was strong enough to be okay in the cribs.
3) We know that she had a great doctor.
Lotus spiked a fever the day after we met her. I was a new parent and terrified and our guide suggested that we have her see the doctor at the orphanage. By then we noticed that Lotus never grabbed for our glasses. It didn't phase us, really, because we thought that there must have been a nanny with glasses who taught her not to. When we saw the nannies--none of them had glasses and we started to wonder. Then we met her doctor who had thick coke bottle glasses. The doctor picked Lotus up with gentle hands but payed no mind at all when she cried. She had the biggest DNFW (Do Not F** With) attitude I have ever seen. If I were Lotus, you couldn't pay me to try to take off this woman's glasses. The doctor gave her medicine. Then she asked for her back and kissed her on the forehead saying her Chinese Name. She handed Lotus back to us and smiled.
2) We know she could stand
Lotus could sit up from the moment we met her. She sat on the bed and played with Sophie The Giraffe giving us some amazing smiles. She didn't stand though and we thought she couldn't. When we said that to her second favorite nanny, she plucked Lotus out of our arms and put her on the little barre and she stood up. She was crying, but she was standing. I said, "She's crying." She replied through our guide, "Yes, but she's standing."
1) We know she was nursed and loved
Okay, technically I found out she was nursed away from the SWI. I was changing to get into a bathing suit and she saw my breasts. Quicker than I thought possible she grabbed one and tried to latch on. We were able to deflect her because we had a bottle ready and fed her quickly. The next time she saw me bare chested she was quicker and more determined. She latched on and I was thankful for all the times I had seen my non-bio sister break a latch so I knew what to do.
I talk about this because of the woman we didn't see. I knew her picture. I knew her face and I looked for it, Lotus was looking for her too. I had a picture on my smartphone and asked my guide. She asked and we were told she was sick today. It was on the way home when our guide said that since they knew we were coming, the other nanny couldn't say goodbye again. I understand that, I only hope that she knows how grateful we are for the love she showed her. So very grateful.