Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Mommy, I miss Lineker..."

Those were the words out of my 5 year-old daughter Emma's mouth after a few hours in the air on our way home from China this past summer. We were bringing home our son, her baby brother Owen. Full of joy, and utterly exhausted after our two-weeks of travel. I smiled because this did comment did not surprise me. Prior to our trip, I'd asked Emma what she most looked forward to seeing in China, and she said, "All those Chinese people." I was amazed at how our Emma, who usually needs a warm-up period with people, took so quickly to our wonderful guides. Sherry and Lineker in Beijing, Dimple in Changsha, and then Amy and Lineker again in Guangzhou. I realized something that our daughter was missing in her life...adult Chinese role models. Through our wonderful church, she's become acquainted with families who have adopted internationally and she's got a special friend there who was adopted from the same province as her--another "Jiangxi Jewel". She also has a friend in her kindergarten class now from China...but no adults. Our guides were funny, wise, efficient, articulate--she watched them switch back and forth between English (Sherry joked about her "Chinglish") and Chinese and lead our groups as we all depended on them and laughed at their jokes...our girl is very perceptive and I think she was blessed to see these wonderful people who looked like her in these leadership roles. I know she also enjoyed seeing the ladies in their stylish outfits each day...Emma is a girl who enjoys getting up each day and picking out her clothes...she loves "being a girl". Each one of the guides took time to get to know not just Emma but all of the children in our group.

So, because of this realization, Emma is taking a Chinese class! For one hour each Monday evening, she sits in class with 5 or 6 other girls who, I realized last night, are hard to tell apart from the back when you snap a picture. She doesn't stand out because she looks so different, and that alone has got to be a good thing for her...to sit with other lovely little girls who look like her. And the class is taught by Ms. Salina, a dear woman from Taiwan whom I had the pleasure to meet the year we adopted Emma because her son was in my third grade class. Salina's daughter Frances comes to class and helps. Frances is a senior in high school...stylish, smart, talented, and very good with young children. Emma was very nervous about this class at first, but after she got her feet wet, she is loving it and looks forward to going. She's learned colors, and we are working on counting, some names of family members, basic phrases, animals, and some little songs. A bonus--I put the CD on in the car and when the Chinese came on, Owen lit up like I'd put it on just for him! So we'll see how it goes. It's a long haul for us and I know when I start back to work it will seem longer, but I am glad we are doing it. We have two China blessings. I want to be sure they have a sense of the awesome place they are from.

1 comment:

  1. "Emma was very nervous about this class at first...." uh, YEAH. Care to be more specific??? Hee hee. Love you, love your words.