• Contemplating

    Date: 2013.05.09 | Category: China 2013, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang) | Tags:

    I’m awake most mornings at 3 am here. I wish that would stop but at the same time it’s quiet, just the sounds of the city, and I have time to think about what I’ve seen.  What I’ll take home with me. It’s easy to talk about the things you miss from home: ice, water from the faucet, familiar faces, privacy, smiles on the street.

    But there’s more. We are in a relatively small city by their standard and it’s huge. I haven’t seen the end of it yet. There’s just so much anonymity going on. No greeting people. No smiling hello. Just staring and glaring and scowling. You’ll probably never see the person again so it doesn’t matter.

    I want to take Min shopping. I want to buy her something new, show her the city, but every time we go out they surround us, big circles of people – way inside your personal bubble, and they stare and the mama bear in me is none too happy. It’s not a “oh there’s a girl in a wheelchair” stare; it’s hard to even explain the animosity felt.  Yesterday, while waiting for the van, a gentlemen glared (not stared) at her for 20 minutes. And her little heart hurts from it. She hangs her head in shame. It just breaks my heart.  She’s been through so much. I try to contemplate what your little soul must be like to know that is how your community thinks about you and yet your first thought is still to care for others. Friends of mine have asked to have a get together so others could meet our new children after we get home.  At first I thought no, then maybe, now I think yes. I would love to show her the love of complete strangers. I would love to show her how many people have supported her and care about her.  What a gift that would be for her.  Just look at the outpouring of love she has from the LWB community alone.

    She is much sicker than we thought. We went into this prepared for anything. It’s ok. We knew no matter what we could give her the love of a family and she so deserves that. But it’s been a little bit of an adjustment. I’ll share more after we have a confirmed diagnosis. Being married to a pediatrician has its pluses, like no running to the ER for an ear infection in the middle of the night, but it has its downsides, especially for Dan. He knows too much about what can happen and what will happen to our children. That’s a blessing and a burden at the same time.

    Back to my girl, she’s so very sweet. She’s so excited to go to the orphanage tomorrow and hand out clothes to her friends. She asked me if we could bring soccer balls. I told her when we go home we’ll send some. I’ll take her shopping where people will smile at her and not make her feel less than.

    She is so very bright. Jack, her english tutor taught her well. She can count to 20 and write the numbers. She knows colors and loves pink! She says all her brothers and sisters names.
    She is picking up on more English so quickly. We are teaching her sign and English and she is teaching me Chinese.  She spends a lot of time giggling at my inability to say the words right.

    We, as a family, are an oddity here. We laugh and giggle a lot. Well, Dan doesn’t giggle but Linda, Cassie and I do.  We find lots to laugh at everyday. Yesterday at the registration office, Bill our guide, told everyone there about us being a very happy family. I asked him why that was noteworthy and he said most people aren’t like that, which led to more contemplating. Did he mean here or families in general? Our family laughs all the time. The kids are silly. Dan, who can look so serious, could be a stand-up comedian. I’m happy I live in rural Iowa where it’s okay to laugh together and be silly. I didn’t realize that silly was such a big deal.

    Well, my mind knows I should try to sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a big day. A five hour drive there and five hours back. It will be worth it so we can see where she has lived for the past six years. They cried over her leaving. People have loved her and I am so thankful for that. I’m sure there will be even more to contemplate after tomorrow.