We first introduced you to the 100 days concept when we showed the scrapbook that I gave Justin to celebrated our 100 day anniversary in South Korea. 100 days was significant then because it signified the beginning of our incredible journey together. Today is another day that we recognise an important 100 day milestone because today our little boy is 100 days old. Here in China, that is a very big deal!
Here is a bit of cultural background on the subject: 100 days after a baby’s birth, relatives and friends will send gifts and bring fish and chicken to eat. This is an important day for the baby because the 100 days birth celebration represents the wish that the baby will live 100 years. This is also typically the time that the child is allowed to go outdoors.
Yes, you read that correctly, this is when most Chinese babies are allowed to leave the house. They might have left for very short periods to visit the doctor, but they were not allowed out of the house for 98% of their first 100 days on this earth. Our little Elijah has obviously been all over the place, and therefore he has received plenty of attention from Chinese people who either think, 1) he is incredibly cute but too small to be out, or 2) his parents are wildly irresponsible for exposing him to the outside world before his first 100 days have passed. Either way, ignorance is bliss over here in the Esser household, and much of what they say falls on deaf ears. Justin and I smile and wave as people point and stare at us, sometimes whispering (but more often than not, loudly voicing their concerns to all their friends in Chinese) about how small Elijah is. We understand the cultural confusion, and for the most part, we are okay with the comments and the glares. We tend to take it all in our stride, and keep reminding ourselves that WE came to live in THEIR country. A country filled with deep set beliefs and a culturally rich history of traditions. For the most part, I am glad that I do not understand what they are saying because it helps me not to be offended. I do understand and appreciate that they mean well, even though they might not express their intentions in a way I would normally prefer. Now that Elijah is bigger (and getting chubbier by the day) we receive less and less comments about his size, and more and more comments about his big eyes. Those comments I understand, and obviously they are quite flattering since I tend to agree that he is, in fact, pretty darn cute!
In 2010, I put together an incredible scrapbook filled with receipts, photos, tickets and even a few candy wrappers (stalker?!). However the first 100 days with Elijah has been somewhat different and comprises mostly of precious memories, photographs, kisses, cuddles, 250 hours of nursing, and just over 1,000 diaper changes (yes, I know the numbers thanks to the Baby App that I use). I would like to make a scrapbook on Elijah’s first 100 days, but I have not yet got around to it. When I do, there’s no doubt about it, you’ll know.
There won’t be any cake, candles, or family coming over (sniff, sniff) to celebrate with Elijah, but we are especially proud of our little boy today. He is everything that we prayed for, and so much more. It’s amazing how all of our prayers for a healthy happy child, for a smooth delivery, for provision, for grace, and for guidance, were all so abundantly provided for by Our Father. We are more than thankful for everything that He has given us, and we feel His love every time we look at each other, and then at our son. God is Good!