Saturday, June 6, 2009

Highs and Lows

Saturday started off well. I caught the kids looking together at their photo albums that they each received, comparing the pictures. We got ready, had breakfast, and then headed out for the Minority Village. (Like Epcot, basically...not a "real" minority village.) It features typical architecture and costumes of the 20 or so minority groups, all in Yunnan. Anyways, we pay for our tickets, and are just inside of the park and see you can either hire a costumed guide for the day, hoof it, or rent one of those 6-seater family bikes. We opted for the bike, since the kids thought that would be fun. Bo and Jane were at the counter paying for it, and XiaoMei and YunLong were goofing around and pedaling the bike forward, while I was goofing around and holding them back or letting them get a little ahead and then pushing the bike back to its original spot. Two ladies walk up, one with a small child, and in rapid-fire Chinese start talking to me, and I could tell I was being thanked. Then the woman says she is "......(can't understand)........Mama," gesturing to herself. Now, we've many times in China, especially with Ellie's adoption, had people thank us for adopting, usually getting across the point that the children will have a bright future in America. But, this time it seemed different, and I gestured back, and in my limited, mangled Mandarin asked if she was his MaMa. She started nodding her head yes, hugging me, and then went over to YunLong, trying to hug and get him down off the bike to see him. He kept his head down, but I could see tears starting, and he was getting very upset or mad. I called Jane over and told her I thought this was his foster mom. She quickly came over and found out that indeed, she was. We aren't sure if YunLong had mentioned coming here the next day (although Jane didn't hear him say that) or if they took a gamble, knowing that adoptive families usually visit this tourist spot. Anyways, we hugged, said our thank-yous, to her for loving and caring for him all these years, and to us for giving him a family and a future. (The other woman was her sister, I believe, and the child was like YunLong's cousin.) Jane was quick to get us on our way though. It was very distressing to YunLong, and we got him down off the bike for a quick, face downcast picture, but then he got back on the bike and would not speak to them. Clearly, he was hurting. Within about 15 minutes though, he was enjoying himself again at the park. Absolutely crazy, but it did allow for some more closure, we believe.
After resting in the room for a few hours, it was time for a walk to Green Lake Park and the boat ride we promised the kids yesterday. We took a paddle boat out on the lake for about 50 minutes, and had a very pleasant time. The kids took turns paddling, and when we were in areas where there weren't other boaters, they both steered and paddled. Then we were off to a Sichuan style restaurant across from our hotel.
Now, YunLong is incredibly smart. Although he is the younger of the two, he is the one who speaks and explains things to XiaoMei. Now, this is not to say she is not bright! She definitely is! It's just that her cleft lip and palate were not repaired till she was much older, and she never received any kind of speech therapy. Her orphanage basically felt she couldn't do much in the way of schooling due to her lip, so there you go. She will definitely have a tough row to hoe, but we'll do what we can to make sure she receives the help she needs. YunLong has definitely got a sweet side, but the "little emperor" side can come out, too, and it did tonight. He was the youngest in his home, with sibling far, far older. The Chinese tend to be far more permissive than we are anyways, and because he was the baby of the family, we don't believe he had any discipline. The kids tease back and forth and have fun, but tonight at dinner it went too far. YunLong was really making fun of XiaoMei. She laughs it off, usually, or swats at him, but he took it even farther. We let him know, and then had our guide explain that making fun of her lip and saying derogatory things about her because of it are completely unacceptable. He (begrudgingly) acknowledged this rule. Back at the room, however, he started up again. So, he got told (in Mandarin), "NO!" with gestures about her lip. He took off to his bed and pouted. He did allow me to go in and rub his back though, and I told him (again, in Mandarin) that we love him, but we also love XiaoMei. I sent the kids in to get their showers, and XiaoMei came out without her hair washed. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that she had done that yesterday, as well, so I told her to go back and wash her hair. She shook her head no. So, I said that yes, she needed to go wash her hair; again, no. One more time, then I told Bo to tell her. She AGAIN said no! And he, more firmly told her to, and she did! I actually take this as a good thing. I think she's comfortable enough to risk NOT doing what we say! Oh, and after YunLong came out, I could tell that he had just run the water for enough time to have taken a shower, and then came out, un-showered.....
Sneaky little monkey.
We'll deal with that another day :-)

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