The other little boy at our table

Today is Orphan Sunday.

Full Plate Mom wrote a nice post on the love-hate relationship, I too, feel when I hear this word.

Eli has been home for three months. He’s a brave, funny, and smart little boy who is adjusting so well to his new world. There’s so much to update on Eli: his love for puzzles, his hard work to learn the alphabet, our concerns as we receive more medical results, and his first Halloween ever!
Today though, I want to share about another little boy who it often feels like is with us-especially at the table.
Eli doesn’t often feel like talking about China. We’ve tried to take his lead when he’d like to talk and when he’d rather not. He seems most reflective and talkative about China when we eat together and there’s one person who has never left his heart….and now will never leave mine.

Apu is 4 years old. He was Eli’s best friend in the orphanage. They shared a bed. Eli took care of him. Eli has shown me several times how he said goodbye to Apu on their last day together. He left Apu his bag of suckers we’d mailed him. Eli looks at his pictures several times a week and smiles as he touches Apu’s picture. Eli sometimes becomes sad as he connects the opportunities he’s enjoying and Apu is not. He suddenly became tearful a few weeks ago as he colored. I asked him what was wrong and he answered, “Eli color. Apu not color….no mama, no baba, no color.”
Eli sometimes seems to feel guilty as he’s said, “Eli mama, Eli baba (Daddy), Eli mei mei (sister)….Apu no mama, no baba, no mei mei.”

Hannah, too, is touched by Eli’s worry for Apu. As we ate last week, she said, “I think we should find a mommy and daddy for Apu.” So with that-we’re on a mission! This little boy-like so many others-needs a family.
Apu is on the “Shared” list, which means his family could work with any agency they choose. It also means he’s waited for a long time. Apu’s diagnosis is listed as cerebral palsy. While I don’t have access to a full medical report, video and pictures indicate a very mild case of CP. Interested families could access Apu’s file right away to learn more. As we still work to help Eli adjust, we know we are not Apu’s family. Eli has actually clarified this! He very much wants Apu to have a family-but not his;) While we know that we are not Apu’s family, we would love to help anyone who steps out to bring him home. We learned a great deal from writing grant applications and could also help plan fundraisers. Apu is the closest connection that Eli will ever have to his past and it’s my hope that we could somehow keep these two, sweet boys connected.

If you’d like more information about Apu, please contact me at


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Apu is right behind Eli in this picture.