After much debating and hand wringing Jenn and I shipped a care package to China. We were not convinced it would make it to Penelope and thought the shipping would cost around $50. We decided it was better to spend the money with the potential to lose it than not send the package and never know if she would receive the items. Included in the package were two Kodak disposable cameras. We’ve read that if the orphanages take pictures they are usually all taken at one time. And that’s if they are taken at all.
On Gotcha Day we got the camera’s back, with only 5 shots not taken. Every day when we went through our luggage I made sure those cameras were in the bag. Before we flew back I was concerned about putting them in the carry on baggage due to X-Raying. I was also concerned about the checked bag getting lost, along with these irreplaceable pictures. We settled for checked bags.
The week we got back we dropped the film off at Walgreen’s. After a full week of no contact I went to the location to find out the machine had been down the entire time. (Thanks for letting me know Walgreen’s employees!)
We dropped the film off at Wal-Mart and Friday evening we got the call that the film was ready.
Saturday I picked up the pictures. I stood at the counter, wishing Jenn could be with me to review the pictures for the first time. I went through them with joy and anguish, looking at what once was our daughter’s life and will now live on only in these photographs. I perceived a shift in the photos also. The initial photos show a happy child, laughing and smiling. We see pictures of her being shown pictures of the family she will soon be united with. The girl becomes more contemplative and appears to be aware of a change as the pictures progress. When she’s with her roommate and friend, Heather, or when she is eating, she is happy. And finally she stares at the camera. As we were crossing oceans and countries, to graft in the newest member of our family, the first chapter in her life was coming to a close. I swear when I look at these photos I can see it in her eyes. You be the judge.
Here are the best photos from the lot in chronological order.
The shipping ended up being $25. She had our photo album and saw us before she met us. We got pictures. Worth every penny and then some.