Friday, August 1, 2008

When we were in China

Our experience in China was very memorable. Actually being in China defies all of our preconceived notions and stereo types. In general we tended to think of China as this huge country full of drones without any concepts of what's going on in the "real world". We think only of abject poverty and fear of the "outside" world. What we found was a country (crowded yes, very crowded) of beautiful people, who were open, friendly, and curious. When you walk around NY, you're told not to try to engage people because you get into trouble like that. People don't make eye contact, and everyone is in their own little worlds as they drift through the masses. Not so in China

In Guanjo, a city of about 4 million people, there were countless people who stopped to talk to us because they realize we're adopting babies from their country. It was neat to see how they wanted to try out their English, even if it was only a few words or sentences. What was amusing was they don't have the same cultural inhibition of not staring. You know when you mom said, "Don't stare it's not polite"? Not in China; whole families stopped and stared trying to figure out why a white family had a Chinese baby with them. In our case it was a Black man and a White woman with a Chinese toddler. This is so the norm with adoption groups that our agency provided us a laminated card that explained in Chinese why we were there and how we loved China and will be taking care of this new baby in the US. When families stopped and stared long enough and we had sufficient time, we gave them the card, they'd read it and they got the broadest smiles on their faces. This actually brought joy to them. So much so that several took pictures of us and with us and the babies.

Fujian (Now DJ) actually took to us fairly quickly. He was so tiny at the time, that Juan had to carry him if we didn't have the stroller. At over 3 years old, DJ weighed just over 25lbs. He had spent his entire existence in a crib, so he couldn't walk very quickly or very far. Not that 3 years want walk that far anyway, but he couldn't walk as far as the average child his age. When we had an opportunity to let him run in the halls, it was painfully apparent that he had never run before. His tiny legs were extremely uncoordinated and lacked average musculature.

His that was not a problem (at the time). We were told that at the orphanage his diet consisted mainly of rice, egg and noodles with some vegetables. At the hotels everyday he ate like it was his last meal. Which in retrospect, he probably felt that way subconsciously. We started to worry that he'd eat us out of house and home and become obese. He was eating as much as any of us adults at the table and was pointing at the plates of others for more when he was done. BUT, when we got home with him, showed him the pantry...that apparently fixed his internal alarm system. After that, we couldn't get him to eat anything. It took over a year to get his diet anywhere near the norm of kids in the States. And he still loves rice!


Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

I found you through the CF Husband blog. You have such a beautiful family! This post reminded me of our time in China! Your dolls are lovely and I am going to order one for my daughter.

God Bless. I'm going to bookmark you blog and follow along (and pass it on to my friends with children from China & Ethiopia!)

Anonymous said...

i like the site photos......

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