The infant struggled through the first 10 months of life. Because of her traumatic birth and lack of oxygen at birth, the infant had Cerebral Palsy. Weighing under 2 kilos at birth, the infant battled many upper respiratory infections and fought through every one. After spending ten months in the hospital, the staff deemed it was time to send the infant to the baby house.
At the baby house, the infant spent much of her time in a bed in a room with children deemed as invalid. She was given enough nourishment to survive. Once she proved herself to be strong willed and ready, the staff at the baby house placed her in a room with typical children and one other child with special needs. Here she was the lone three year old in a room with children much younger than her. Though the children were much younger than her, they showed no mercy. The little girl learned to fight for what she wanted. Though she didn't speak much, she understood much of what the caretakers said.
Two months after her third birthday, a nanny was told to dress her nicely and bring her to the director's office. A foreign couple was here to meet her and were potentially her new parents. The nanny talked to the little girl all the way down the long hallway from her groupa room to the director's office. The nanny repeated the words "Mama" and "Papa" to her as she carried her and her little walker.
Right before entering the director's office, she put the little girl down and put her in front of her walker. She then opened the director's door and motioned for the little girls to enter. The little girl hesitated, so the nanny scooped her up and carried her in. The little girl looked at the big man sitting in the chair, and in a very small voice said "Papa?" And at that very moment, that man and his wife knew that this little girl who defeated all odds was their daughter.
When we brought Hannah home, we questioned if she would ever have intelligible speech. We questioned if she would ever walk independently. What we have learned from the very beginning is that our daughter never takes 'no' for an answer. She wants to be like everyone else, even if it takes her twice as long and double the effort and strength. She talks--oh my, does she talk. Some days I wonder if I over did the prayer for her to talk! She is one that speaks her mind, and will tell you what she thinks, whether you wanted to know or not! She is small and mighty. She is independently walking, and can stand still (which is a big accomplishment due to her legs) in a line with her classmates. She runs. It is different than any run that we have ever seen. It is Hannah--small, mighty, and resilient.
Hannah is a great lover, a super cuddler, and Mama's shadow- always wanting to help in any way she can. She is a loving big sister, and adores her big brother. She is an animal lover. She tries her best and fights the good fight. She tries hard to be like everyone else. There are days she asks why her legs aren't like everyone else's or why she needs to sit in a special seat at school, wear braces on her legs, or why she has to go to PT and OT. But most days, she is happy being Hannah.
She is our miracle. Our fighter. Our October Baby. We love her more and more as each day passes. She has accomplished so much in the last 5 years. We can't wait to see her flourish and mature into a beautiful young lady, perfect and uniquely made in every way.