Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Treasure Treasure

The thing about blogging is that even if it takes me weeks to get around to writing, I feel like I can/should write and my kids will have (a heavily edited) journal to read when they are much much older because sure as hell they won’t ever have any pretty scrapbooks to look at unless they make their own. I get the cold sweats just walking into craft stores, huge anxiety, no crafty bones, very discouraging, especially growing up in the prevailing culture. Crochet? Cross stitch? Knit? Why yes, but only just enough to earn that damn diamond on my bandalo, wonder what happened to that damn bandalo?

So, the point of that pointless paragraph? Well, I just celebrated two years with my darling YuYu on 11/15. And because I blog, I have more of a reason/motivation to try to record my feelings about what it has meant to me that I have had the privilege of spending these past two years with my YuYu Bee, my heart’s delight. Without the blogging, and for these many years, I have not been sufficiently motivated to write down anything much. You’ve just got to love the advice I got from several people when I first became a parent; keep a notebook by your bed, write down all the cute things she does before you go to sleep. Snort, yeah not bloody likely, I just get close to a bed and I’m out in a NY second, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. So there may be snippets of my voice on the camcorder, but there isn’t much that I have created to let my kids know how I was feeling about being a mom, their mom, and there isn’t much about how damn entertaining they have been.* When my mom days are behind me and I’m the grandma or gone, maybe I can leave more than a hard disk full of photos. And no, I’m not sick and not usually morbid, usually, but that’s what I’ve been thinking about the blogging. Some kids get great scrapbooks, my kids will get this blog.

I have been YuYu’s mother for two years and no, it doesn’t feel like a lifetime, and no it doesn’t feel like she’s always been with me, not in the slightest. Her life changed drastically two years ago and she didn’t come as a blank slate. YuYu came to me at 4.5 years old with a history, with a real family, a family who adored her and still does. I feel her history deeply and I’m aware of her loss constantly. I have the big guilt of taking her from their loving arms. My guilt is more for her parents’ pain and not for YuYu’s loss of her foster family. She hasn’t really lost them, she knows where they are and that they love her and that I love her and that she loves us all. I don’t think she yet comprehends why she had to leave China and I know she doesn’t comprehend the birth mother idea yet, that’s way too confusing for her. But I see how she continues to live with her love for her Nanning parents right on top: their photo in a frame by her bed, her Nanning mother’s cooking is the measure of all food that she eats, her memories of her patient father who taught her dozens of Chinese songs and rhymes, her adoration of her big brother who taught her to count in English using playing cards, they are with her every day. I am so utterly grateful that my little love sponge was placed with them for so many years, in a home where her ability to give and accept love was encouraged to grow and where her spirit thrived.

After two years, I am pretty much this child’s love slave, she owns me, and I know her foster parents feel the same way about her. The longer she is with me, the more I empathize with the pain they must have felt when she left them and it must have been almost unbearable. It would simply be a loss that I could not survive, pardon the melodrama, but there it is. YuYu’s name means auspicious treasure and that is no exaggeration. Sometimes she is the spaciest cadet in the academy, and I have to pin notes to her shirt with picture money, field trip permission slips, messages for her teacher because she is not capable of remembering in any way shape or form that she has information to share. But that just makes her more charming, doesn’t it? She calmly waits while I pin on the note, no shame, zips up and skips away. I have clocked two glorious years with the best natured, most gentle, flighty sprite any parent was ever lucky enough to tuck into bed at night. I must have done something good.

* For instance, Ellie, last night, riding in the back of the van, holding Lucy the froo froo dog;
Ellie: Oh No!
Me: What? What? Did she pee on you?
Ellie: Mom, do dogs sweat?
Me: um, no.


Eliza2006 said...

Awww! What a sweet post about your little YuYu! My blog is pretty much what my child will get as well...no scrapbooks here.


Yes, Minister... said...

Ditto on the scrapbook - it would end up look like a piece of legislation or a legal memo if we scarpbooked here. Just the honest truth in black in white for me!

I love what you wrote - and the is a slight AWE - because our I just posted about LiLi being -most likely - in the same room as you were with YuYu in Nanning.

Cheers to you!

Marji said...

Debbie, I would love to read LiLi's blog but I can't get to it from the link that yes, minister creates. I can read the profile, but there's no blog link? So if you see this, would you mind sharing your link?


Laura said...


I don't know your stance on receiving "advice" from strangers. And I NEVER do this...but.

I am a therapist who works with kids who have been through trauma. There is a treatment out there, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, that might really help Nora. The treatment has 2 goals: to increase parent-child attachment, and to decrease children's disruptive behaviors (e.g., tantrums, not listening, etc). There is a TON of empirical support for this intervention. A useful web site is: www.pcit.org.

I really, really do not mean to interfere. Please do not be offended by this suggestion.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...


Did you just add an icon to your profile from your "Crap Attack" post?

Is that scarecrow s'posed to be *you*? Bwahahaha!

OMGoodness! Too funny!!!

Yes, Minister... said...


I think you may have already made your way to our blog, but here is the link.


Holly said...

OMG, Marji --my SISTAH! I do not scrapbook, either. I have Big Plastic Bins full of drawings, ticket stubs, programs, notes scrawled in child's hand, a few photos, schoolwork, etc. etc. I have LOTS of digital photos. All on hard drive, and backed up to many CDs that are stored in the fire safe. I do keep a journal that I write in each night. But, it contains things from everyone. Good luck to my 2-soon-to-be-3 girls in dividing all those journals up. hahaha. You are not alone in your non-scrappy-ness. Bet you've never been called NONscrappy before. ;-)
XXXOOO. You are doing great! -Holly