Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Her feet are long fellows

At the end of the school year last spring, YuYu's second grade class invited their parents to an Author's Tea. The wonderful Mrs. G compiled the poems into a book and each child scrambled up to the front of the classroom (literally, scrambled, Mrs. G had 28 second grade students and I think each child had at least one adult there for the tea, plus lots of younger siblings, so it was wall to wall humanity) to read their own poem out loud.

So you know that YuYu was in foster care with a family in Nanning for a little over four years and that they adored her and would have given anything to adopt her but could not afford the domestic adoption fees and were compelled to deliver her back to the orphanage on the morning of November 15, 2004, so I could meet their daughter, our daughter, a few hours later. I still cannot think of how painful that must have been for her foster parents to have to let her go that morning. Sure, sure, they knew what they were getting into when they agreed to the foster arrangement. But YuYu was their first placement and she stayed and stayed and stayed with them year after year and they had dared to hope that she could be with them forever, and the news of her impending adoption, which they heard first from me, actually, in a letter I enclosed in a pre-travel treat package, rocked their world. They told me the news of her new family really set them back on their heels, but they were grateful to have as much advanced warning as they could get. They told me that some foster parents who live in their apartment complex don't find out until the day before they need to send their foster child back to the orphanage, harsh, very harsh. But they wanted me to know that even in their sadness, they were so pleased and excited about YuYu's chance for a different future. I admire them for being able to see the positive aspects of having their beloved daughter torn out of their arms. I don't think I could have been so generous about losing an angel to a stranger.

So you also know that we are breaking the bank and all five of us are traveling to China next summer to attend her foster brother’s graduation from the military college in Guangzhou. I don’t think the idea of the trip is ever far from YuYu’s mind. Don’t get her wrong, she is a happy, well adjusted child who loves me and her sisters and she just feels lucky to have two mothers (the concept of her first mother has not seeped through her consciousness yet) who love her best.

So think of me, a sentimental softy on even the best of days, sitting with my knees under my chin in a tiny plastic chair, listening to my angel read her poem to her classmates. Imagine the odds looks I was getting from other parents as the tears leaked down my face. Good lord, they’re thinking to themselves, pull yourself together, it’s only a second grade author’s tea. Yeah, only.


The sun warming my body
The soggy fog goes away.
The sun comes out shining on the city
Rain drips from leafs
I feel you though you’re far away
But I can visit you another day.


Denise said...

Well I cried and she's not even my child. What a precious little angel you have. How exciting to be able to go see her "other" family again. We miss those little girls of yours. Give them hugs and kisses for us.

Lisa and Tate said...

How sweet and tender. What a treasure you have in YuYu.

Nancy said...

It made me cry, too! Wow!


Holly said...

I keep telling you, Marji -- quit making me cry! (socks you) I swear you have one sweet, smart, centered kid there. That is due in large part to her Mama. I mean you. Love you. -Holly

Terynn said...

Awww..you're killing me, Marji. That is the loveliest second grade poem I have ever heard.

Jane said...

YuYu is such a gift! I'm so glad I know all of you!

Global Girl said...

Oh, wow!

Anonymous said...

Tell YuYu she is amazing.