Wednesday, July 30, 2008
You Know You’ve Adopted from China When:
1. Your bathroom is stocked with shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and slippers from the White Swan Hotel (and, in our case, Hong Kong Disneyland)
2. You want to laugh when you hear someone whine about traveling from the east coast to the west coast. Hello - try 20 hours with a child who just lost his only child designation and a baby who's only known you for 2 weeks and having to run to make your last connection after taking forever to get through customs at O'Hare.
3. You start conversations with “Rumor Queen says…” or “Someone on one of my Yahoo groups said….”
4. The number of China-related Yahoo groups to which you belong spans 2 pages (while I don't get individual emails from all of them - just some- I can't bear to unsubscribe).
5. You know what DTC, LID, LOA, TA, and CCAA mean.
6. You’re stalked by waiting parents while shopping.
7. You have garnered and memorized from various Yahoo groups and fellow Rumor Queen subjects a list of come-backs to intrusive personal questions asked by strangers.
8. Your child squeaks when walking (got to LOVE those squeaky shoes!)
9. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.
10. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
11. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who are waiting or have experienced the blessing of adoption.
12. It drives you crazy when people ask about your child’s “real” parents.
13. You know what the word “dossier” means and you can pronounce it.
14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you have adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.
15. You own at least five of the following, all purchased on Shamian Island: a set of chopsticks, a granite etching, a calligraphy wall hanging, a chop, a tea set, a Chairman Mao watch, jade, pearls, a calligraphy set with brushes and ink, squeaky shoes, silk dresses in multiple sizes, hand-painted combs or hair clips, paper-cuts, paper or bamboo fans, porcelain and Chinese stamps
16. You have a quilt in your home made of completely mismatched squares and a fat scrapbook containing fabric swatches and sweet messages from total strangers
17. You stop and pay attention whenever you hear China mentioned on the television or in a public place ... even if they're just talking about the weather there
18. You're solo in the mall/ grocery store/ park and notice a cutie from China, so you begin doing the "is she from China dance," following the family around, looking for an opening, but not wanting to intrude
19. You have felt and witnessed the heart-wrenching sobs of Forever Family Day grief from a very small child
20. You've got your browser bookmarked with FCC, ChinaSprout, Tapestry Books, the CCAA, one or more Yahoo! internet groups related to China adoption and the Rumor Queen
21. You have a White Swan Hotel Barbie. (Jess’s sits on her bureau next to her Chinese New Year Barbie).
22. The suitcases you took to China still have duct tape on them.
23. Your children are already planning what they want to do when you visit China again
24. When packing for a trip, you never stress about supplies ... after all, you can always run to the store and at least this time you know you'll be able to read the labels (in Jinan, we bought a carton with a cow on it thinking it was milk; thankfully our daughter liked what turned out to be drinkable yogurt)
On Monday Mike and I took the kids down to Hyannis and went on the Duck Boats. These boats take you on a tour of the city and then into the harbor. The weather was gorgeous. We sat at the back of the boat which I was a little nervous about doing. Years ago, I'd taken my friend's daughter on the Duck Tours in Boston and we sat in the back. We hadn't realized quite how hot it was going to be and there's no coverage back there. This time, thankfully, it was quite nice. No one sat across from us so Jason went there and sat by himself. Jess wanted to sit with him but there was no way she was sitting without Mike or me with her. Afterward we went to Sam Diego's for their taco bar.
A happy bunch
You can drive your boat right up to this restaurant and get out get seated.
Jess looking out at the harbor
Jason with his hair blowing in the breeze.
Our tour guide pointed out this one floor ranch house and said that if it were put ont the market, it would go for about 1.5M. She said these houses are rarely on the market and are usually passed down from generation to generation.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
My brother gave me a gift certificate to Amazon.com and since I couldn't find this book in my library or the virtual library catelogue, I ordered it. I received it yesterday and began reading. I think it will take me a very long time to complete this book. Don't get me wrong - it's well written and very informative. It is written by an American who volunteered in a Chinese orphanage. The first thing the author depicts is the story of a woman who is faced with the hardest decision I can ever imagine making - keep her daughter or leave her where she will be found and brought to the orphanage thereby hopefully insuring she has food and shelter. This part of the book made my heart hurt. It is impossible to know why each child's birthparents were unable to raise them. I have my ideas about Jess's birthparents' reasons based on the little information I have but I will never know for certain. While reading, my heart hurt for the mother and for the innocent baby. It is a decision I cannot imagine having to make. I only read another chapter after that which dealt with their move to China. I am usually a fast reader but I think this is a book that, while I want to finish it, I will be going to and leaving off and on until completion.
An American volunteer in a Chinese orphanage learns to pull from the hidden strength within her to improve conditions for the children. If you have ever wondered what day to day life is like in a Chinese orphanage, this will tell it. If you have ever wondered what it is like to love a child so deeply, even though they aren't yours, this will tell it. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to move to a third-world country, this will tell it.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Sunday I took the kids to NH to bring Jason to camp. This is his third year at Calumet. I went there as a kid for 8 years. He wanted to go the first week this year so that he'd be there for his birthday because he'll get a small present (I think it's a camp water bottle). Before we dropped him off, we stopped at one of my favorite rib places in the world - Yankee Smokehouse (other favorite is Rendezvous in Memphis). The ribs were great as was the berry pie I had for dessert. After eating, we got to camp and got Jason registered. Once we got Jason settled, Jess and I headed for Storyland. They have a good deal where you go in after 3 and pay full price but get to go the next day for free. We got there around 3:15 and stayed until it closed at 6. The last thing we did at Storyland was go to the ballpit. I don't really like them and she's never been in one but she saw it and wanted to go. There were a couple of kids in it and she didn't know what to make of it as she tried to walk through the balls. After the other kids left, she didn't want to get out since she had it all to herself. Afterward, we checked into our motel and went looking for dinner. We ate at the Muddy Moose which was really good. I wanted to do some shopping at the outlets but since it was Sunday, everything closed at 6. The next morning we got up, checked out, ate at Peaches (awesome raspberry crepes!) and got to Storyland at 9. We went to see an imagination show with singing and dancing. Jess surprised me by getting up with the performers. She didn't want to go at first but as soon as she saw other kids going, she ran up. We stayed until about 12:30 before heading home. I discovered that I cannot go on tilt-a-whirl type rides anymore. I was fine until we did that; after going on the twirling turtles, I never felt the same for the rest of the day. It's a good thing Jess's big brother enjoys wild rides so she'll still have someone to go on with!
Kids outside the Yankee Smokehouse
Jess in a cage on the Safari ride
Chasing bubbles at the imagination show
Feeding popcorn to the panda bear
She wanted to know why she couldn't turn the pages of the book
She loved Humpty Dumpty
Riding the teacups (this ride I can still handle)
Riding a unicorn while waiting for the pumpkin coach to bring us to Cinderella's castle