Sunday, January 08, 2006

Meeting the parents

I better catch up with events quickly, or you’ll be getting the rest of this story out of order a couple of months from now. Matthew told us to be in the lobby at 6:30 and from there we would go to the Dumpling King. We came into the lobby expecting only Matthew and YuYu’s parents were waiting there too. The smile across YuYu’s mother’s face was the picture of pure joy. Just as I was realizing that they were here, she was jumping up to take YuYu out of my arms. She, Xiao Zhen, was BEAMING, she was so happy to hold YuYu again. YuYu’s father, maternal aunt and 8yo cousin were also waiting. As I was taking all of that in, Xiao Xiao called from across the lobby where she was waiting with David Huang and Matthews wife Echo, Matthew’s 5yo daughter Angela. Xiao Xiao also had a little blind boy from Guilin with her. He looks to be about 6yo and I remember him from last year. He was so friendly and curious and was trying to figure out what was in my fanny pack.

I better fill in the blanks better. YuYu was fostered by Wei Xiao Zhen (mama) and Huang Fa Xuan (baba) from the time she was 9 months old until I adopted her last year when she was 4.5. (We had lunch at their home today and I’ll write more of what I learned about them and some of YuYu’s history later to keep it in order in my mind). Xiao Xiao has been involved with helping orphans in Guangxi Province for over a decade. She was an adoption guide for a large agency and she helped establish and supervise the Nanning SWI foster care program. The very program through which YuYu was fostered. I don’t know all the details of how, but now Xiao Xiao is the Chinese center of a charitable foundation initiated by American adoptive parents called Grace & Hope for Children (link at right) and she is spreading foster parenting programs to all the orphanages in Guangxi Province concentrating on children with special medical needs who will really benefit from fostering and family life. David Huang works with Xiao Xiao and he does the foster care updates and was the person who wrote the reports for my Xiao Ye (link at right). I met Xiao Xiao last year when I was looking for a contact to help distribute all the cleft bottles we carried over as luggage. Xiao Xiao is parenting the blind boy because so many foster placements have failed for him and she can’t stand the prospect of sending him back to the Guilin SWI where I gather he was not getting good care (a lot of animated conversation during dinner, all in Chinese of course, about the boy. But when I tried to pry, she said it was very sensitive, I guess not for adoptive parents ears).

So we had a large contingent at the Dumpling King (and still, dinner for 15 (driver included, for $22). YuYu was so very tired, I had to wake her up for dinner, she was a little weepy in the beginning, but I knew that was just tiredness and she was acting extra shy, but clearly in total bliss to be back in her mother’s arms. Her mother fed her like a bird and stroked her face and couldn’t take her eyes off of our beautiful girl. YuYu is so lucky to have three parents who adore her. My feelings are so mixed up. I am so lucky that YuYu is mine to raise and enjoy and be with daily, but that arrangement caused her parents so much grief. And YuYu is happy, but she misses them all the time. She is always aware that she is not with them, but also happy to be with her sisters and me. It was hard to find out much during dinner because there were so many of us, but I found out a lot during our long lunch today. I have to get that down on paper before it escapes me, but I’m going to be someone else’s mother today and I really need to start preparing for that meeting one hour from now. More typing later.


Chantal said...

Marji- It's fantastic to journey along with you on this amazing trip! Lots of laughter, goosebumps and tears! Can't wait to read more!

Holly said...

Wow, Mari! I never knew YuYu's fosterparent story. It is wonderful that she is so well loved on both sides of the planet. How GREAT to keep these connections! She is loved in Colorado, by May ... who still talks about the fun with Mimi and YuYu in UT. :-) XXXOOO, -Holly