Monday, January 16, 2006
If its Saturday, it must be Guangzhou
Our flight from Nanning was delayed, who knows why, so we arrived in Guangzhou about an hour late, but it was okay because the other families flying in from the hinterlands hadn’t arrived yet either. We were met be Connie Er, our wonderful Guangzhou guide from last year, and again, what a relief to see a familiar face and have complete confidence in her ability to drag me through the last stages of the paper work. Then we met Heather (Park City) and Heidi and Marcus (New York City), their other sister Rebecca and mom Gloria fresh off the boat from Nanchang with two of the cutest cousins (Heather and Heidi are sisters) you’ve seen. Then Coni and Keith Gann, their daughter Jaden and new daughter Jadra from list 10? Very beautiful girls. We wound our way through the Guangzhou airport (HUGE airport) to the bus and as we boarded, Connie called the White Swan to see what day we could move back in from the other hotel we were being diverted to and found out that we did not have to be diverted, that Elvis had left the building (and hey, that’s pretty close, have you seen Kim Jong Il’s hair cut?) and we drove straight to five star heaven instead, whew and yay. I am SO glad we didn’t have to check into a different hotel for two nights, that would have been a royal pain. I cannot BELIEVE that I’m in the White Swan again. When I left here in 1998, I truly never considered a return trip, didn’t cross my mind, at all, really, not a hint in hell that I’d be checking it with my fourth daughter eight years and many gray hairs later. And I know that was only last Saturday, two days ago, but as I sit here and type, good lord, what did we do with the rest of that day? It all runs together. Well, looking through the photos, we must have eaten at the White Swan deli and wandered around a little and then crashed. But she didn’t cry for her foster mother that night, so we’re making progress.
Nora is tolerating me by now, but sure hates to be corrected. I’ve got the bu yao(no), bu yao pun (don’t touch), bu yao le (yuck, don’t touch), bu yao na yang (you can’t do that), and ting (stop) flowing trippingly off my tongue by now. She really knows no boundaries. But after I’ve corrected her, and especially if I make her apologize, she wants as far away from me as possible. Four years in the orphanage and then just five months with her foster family took some of the edge off her, but not by much. In the Nanning airport she was talking to everyone and one man in particular was trying to keep her engaged and entertained. She climbed up on his lap and talked to him and pinched his stomach for whatever reason. A few minutes later, after she grabbed a sticky treat from our bad, she walked back over to him and wiped her fingers on his pants. I just died. I made her sit in a chair until she would say sorry (dui bu qi), but she did NOT want to capitulate and when she finally did, it was mumbled and VERY insincere and I was persona non grata for a long time after. The people watching us in the airport probably thought I was a monster, but that sort of stuff really can’t be tolerated even though her world is topsy turvy right now, that kind of behavior will never be right under any circumstances. Judge Hornak, if you’re reading this, please consider mitigating circumstances when she stands before you in juvenile court about ten years from now, e.g., very hard beginning in life, deprived childhood, controlling mother, you know the drill. Your understanding and tolerance will be very much appreciated, but don’t go to light on her, she needs to learn that there are consequences for bad behavior and if I haven’t driven it home by then, it’s up to you. You’ll have to pick up the baton if it turns out I managed to drop it and we’re looking at you from the wrong side of the courtroom. Of course, all in jest. Kim would have to recuse herself if Nora showed up on her docket. HA, you thought it might be in jest because Nora won’t ever land in juvenile court. HA, guess again. I’ll be totally gray by the time this last little bird flies from the nest, totally and completely gray and exhausted.