Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bonaparte is very sad

I got dumped half way through a long post and was cruelly reminded that I should type in Word and cut and paste. Here goes again, sheesh.

After Nora’s nap, we walked over to the big park close to the hotel. People’s Park, but aren’t they all in China? Terraced walking path around a big dirty artificial lake, amusement park rides, newer looking, but you just put your kids on them and hope your luck holds. The carousel horses don’t have belts, but how fast do those ponies go anyway? Nora held my hand nicely and was very brave. There was a kid roller coaster that YuYu LOVED and Nora did not love, but she was brave, no tears. I asked her if she liked it, yao han ma? And she just calmly shook her head no. We rented a little fiber glass electric motor boat for half and hour and circled the lake, the kids loved it. I am so careful to ask people if I can snap photos (e.g., beautiful older women playing mah jong smiled and said no), but I was just giggling at the number of people who were running, running, to the edge of the lake to take photos of us in that boat. We went back to the rides and YuYu wanted to go on the coaster again and the wonderful ride operator spoke to Nora and then I was so touched as I watched her get in the ride with the girls and Nora just grinned and rode off happily. People are good. The kids would have stayed there all day, but at 10 yuan a ride, I wasn’t holding enough cash, so we ran out of money and had to turn back. We will return I’m sure.

Had an early dinner at the hotel coffee shop equivalent and was reminded of the odd dinner menu, spaghetti with conger eel, weird stuff like that and why we should find a different place for dinner. I ordered two sandwiches and they came with chopped apples in mayonnaise on the side. I got Nora to sit up straight (she just wanted to squash down in the chair and all you could see were her hands coming over the edge of the table to pick at the food) and say apple please for each bite. Or if it even sounded close she got the bite and a lot of praise. Mom, can you imagine, a child of mine eating apple with skin on in MAYONNAISE! Huge deal. We went back to the room and she LOVES the tub with YuYu, loved the lotion, loved having her hair dried with the limp blow drier and at 7:30 YuYu was history, she was so tired. She was doing her best to be a good big sister all day. Sometimes it was too much for her and I would remind her what Ellie would be doing and YuYu would soldier on, holding hands, letting Nora push the elevator buttons, etc. Ellie, I miss you so much but I know you’re at home being Mimi’s best friend and that’s so important.

But then there was no YuYu and just me and Nora discovered the pictures of her foster family in the little purse she had been packing around all day (souvenir purse from her SWI), and oh good heck, I could hear her heart break. She scooted as far away from me as she could and wailed, Mama, Baba, Mama, Mama, Mama until she had no voice. I covered her, dimmed the lights and sang Skinny Marikina Dink (sp?, thank you Kelly and Todd, I never learned that song until you taught it to Ellie in Chongqing) and she faded out, sobbing in her sleep. Oh good heck, she’s in pain. YuYu didn’t display her pain last year. I don’t know how she did it, but she did. I read these reports from other families about the grieving their kids experience and I just couldn’t relate, now I can and it’s horrible. There is nothing you can do for them, nothing. I know it will fade, but for now, at night, I’m the devil and she’s hurting and I can’t comfort her and it’s horrible.

We’re going to try to video with Ellie and Mimi this morning before we go to Green Mountain Park with YuYu’s family. I am frustrated by the internet access in the hotel, it might not work, but I hope we can swing it.

Got an interesting email from CHI this morning. The government has requisitioned all the rooms in the White Swan this weekend so we’ll be diverted for a few nights and that’s fine, but only in China, sigh. What a vast fascinating place.


Holly said...

Oh Marji ... You made me cry with the account of Nora missing her foster family and her previous version of Normal Life. As you know, both of my girls were in foster care and both grieved. Vastly differently. Deep and hurt. Hang in there! It does get better. If they loved before ... they can love again. Remember that. Love you. -Holly

Mary Y said...

Marji - I am so late catching up with your blog and am so glad that I finally read it. It brings back many happy and sad memories of your recent trip to Nanning to get LiuLiu. LiuLiu had been in the same very loving foster care home since the age of 4 months to her adoption at age 4 years, 3 months and oh, how she grieved. I felt so helpless and at times as if we were doing the absolute wrong thing in taking her away. That was my broken heart talking, not my head. She grieved tremendously for the first 6 days and wanted virtually nothing to do with me. Sound familiar? She tolerated Mike but preferred anyone else to me. All of that changed and changed quickly and now, I can't imagine her not being a member of our family.
I konw she must still be grieving at some level but we don't see that day to day. What we see is a happy, laughing, exuberant little girl who fits into our family like a hand in a glove.
Hope it's already better for you and your beautiful new girl.
Mary Y.