Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I’m still the devil

We tried to Yahoo video this morning and I could see my beautiful children in Utah, but they could not see us. We talked on the phone while I was trying to get the damn thing reconnected and I wanted to reach into the screen to hold Ellie and Mimi, they are so dear to me and I'm so homesick for them. It was so so so so good to see them, but frustrating that they couldn’t see Nora. Nora grabbed the phone and told each of them hello jie jie (big sister) without prompting. There are no shy and/or quiet bones in Nora’s body. She is a force of nature and she's not 100% yet, watch out when she's feeling safe and secure.

YuYu’s mom and dad went with us to this massive park, Green Mountain Park. No rides, just vistas and areas of quiet contemplation if it weren’t so overcast and chilly. Nora and YuYu fed MASSIVE carp, they loved it (all that roiling and fish mouth gulping really creeps me out). There was a “U Pick’Em” kind of fruit farm, very cool and certainly trapped this tourist, by the side of the road on the hill going up to the park (green yes, but mountain is relative). We picked star fruit. Each fruit had been wrapped and tied into a small plastic bag on the limbs to protect it from bugs (?) or help it ripen (?), I don’t know, but what a hell of a job that would be. YuYu just let her dad pack her around on his back and looked like the cat who swallowed the canary: no u pick ‘ems for pampered princesses.

Matthew assumed I would need a break about now and asked if I wanted to approach YuYu’s mom about letting YuYu stay with her during the afternoon. I thought it would be a nice gesture to give her exclusive access to YuYu, I don’t really need a break, all we do is eat and go to parks. However, YuYu would only agree if Nora went with her. So they dropped me at the hotel around 2:00 p.m. and promised to be back around 6:00 and they were and I’m not crazy, really. I felt there was absolutely no risk letting YuYu go with people who love her as much as I do. Probably only a parenting blunder as it relates to Nora because she wanted nothing much to do with me when we met at 6:00 in the hotel lobby. I have no significance in her life yet. She can really just take me or leave me, but mostly the push me away, shake her head, and stick out her tongue at me kind of leave me. YuYu’s mom said she never stopped moving for a minute and that Nora is very different from YuYu, oh yeah, that’s the truth.

Nora had memorized her foster parents’ phone number, so I let her call them from my cell phone in the hotel lobby hoping that might help her with the “closure” thing. Not to be. She darted around the lobby, YELLING at them and seemed very pleased all the while. She could have talked all night although it sounded like she was just repeating the same words over and over. We ate in the restaurant next door, really good food, unique concept: you get a ticket and walk down a long wall of windows into the kitchen areas where the food is being prepared and pick your menu from the numbered pictures of food on the windows. Nora let me help her with dinner and YuYu’s mom bribed Nora into eating a ton of congee (rice gruel prepared with preserved eggs this time). A huge tureen that came out AFTER we’d eaten a ton of food, but even without mine or YuYu’s help, it all got eaten. YuYu's mom told Nora that I’d let her talk to her Guilin foster mom when we got back to the room if she ate some soup. But when we got back to the room, YuYu was konked out (she fell asleep at the restaurant) and there was just me and I’m the devil so she was lost and alone and so sad. Nora was wailing and I was fumbling the phone dialing and when I finally figured it out, she couldn’t talk because of the big crying and gulping for air and I had to just say sorry in Chinese and hang up. Nora was bereft and I’m the devil. I’m curious how this is going to play out. I wouldn’t put any money on her liking me or even needing me any time soon, what with me being either persona non grata and/or the devil. Ouch.


Jill said...

I just wanted to offer encouragement Marji. Ginger hated me the whole time we were in China. She started screaming and wailing anytime I entered the room. If she forgot I was there for a moment and then looked up and saw me, same thing. Now, no one except me can put her to bed or comfort her. It just takes (a lot) of time.


Darlene said...


I'm sorry things are hard for Nora. I do know how you feel. It's a very helpless feeling to watch the little one you so want to love and comfort feel so much pain. As Lulu sobbed for her foster family and pointed to their picture and then the door or out the window, I really thought about what I had done to her. I was prepared for the reaction and I knew it would be hard, but it's hard to really understand that feeling of having destroyed someone's little world. But it does get better and usually pretty quickly. She sounds like she has a lot of that Guilin spunk in her, so I'm sure all will be fine given a little time. In the meantime, hang in there!