Our daughter is beautiful - there's no doubt about it. Yes, I am biased - I fully admit that. But others think she is beautiful, too. The caregivers at the orphanage know that she is beautiful. They favor her because she is a pretty girl. She gets special treatment and extra attention. Exceptions are made for her behavior. She is well taken care of and everyone in the orphanage knows our daughter. On the CDC growth charts, Maia is in the 50th percentile for height. She is above the 90th percentile for weight. For a child who has spent the first three years of her life in an orphange, that is very unusual. Most children are tiny for their age. That was what I expected when I packed clothes for Maia. But as I said, she's beautiful. Her pictures show it. The light blonde hair, the big blue gray eyes, perfect nose, perfect lips. In fact, if she didn't have the strabismus (crossed eyes), I would guess that no one who saw her would have any idea about her medical issues. Because by the world's standards, she is beautiful.
"Matthew" is a little boy that I first saw a picture of several months ago. The Ukraine has a waiting child website and he was listed (along with our Maia) as a child available for adoption. So, when I walked in to Maia's groupa - I immediately recognized "Matthew." He's not so beautiful by society's standards. His deep chocolate eyes are crossed. His soft, straight, black hair is cut short. There are spots where it doesn't grow because of the scars from past surgeries. A raised area is on the side of his head from some undetermined condition. He's a skinny little boy who weighs probably half of what Maia does. If you saw "Matthew," you would immediately see that he is not a perfect child. There is NO question that he has special needs. Many would turn away from him because of his appearance. "Matthew" doesn't receive extra attention. Yes, he's cared for - his basic needs are met. But he's not a favorite. And it breaks my heart to know that his chances of having a mommy and daddy of his own are limited because someone out there will have to look past his lack of physical beauty. But, if you spent a minute with "Matthew" and felt those sweet arms wrapped around your neck holding you tightly, you would see what I see - one of the most beautiful souls that I have ever encountered. So while Maia's beauty is apparent to all, "Matthew" is "beautiful" on the inside and that makes his outside just as beautiful!