Wednesday, May 29, 2013

China Day Sixteen - Small Miracles

We had a free day today and we have another one tomorrow.  We met in the morning and went to a local park.  It was beautiful.  There was a small lake full of goldfish and you could feed the fish for 5 yuan –about 80 cents – and watch the fish clamor all over eachother like wal-mart shoppers the day after Thanksgivng.  Then we took a walk to the top of a hill where there was an observation tower.  It was eight flights of stairs to the top—a spiral staircase.  I should have skipped this, because looking back, it was really stressful   The stairs would have been fine, but ZiXuan would not let me put her down and she is still too afraid of men to let Bill or Matt hold her without causing trauma.  She also has a perplexing habit of putting her short arm down the front of my shirt so I’m usually reaching in to take it out, which is a little awkward in public. 

The top of the tower was an observation room, about 12 feet in diameter.  It was already filled with Chinese when we got up there and our family of eight added in made it a little tight.  I was holding ZiXuan, repeatedly taking her arm out of my shirt, monitoring QingBei, who was so excited, she was hopping all over and dangerously near the spiral stairway, plus monitoring my other kids, so I didn’t get a chance to look out of too many windows.  In fact, I was just edging over to one, when Bill got my attention and said, “take QingBei over to the left.”  I had no idea what this was about, but I grabbed her hand and went left, still hoping to get a glance out the window. But then, Bill immediately said, “now, go to the right,”  which seemed a little odd, until I finally looked up and saw that 80% of the cameras in the room (including video cameras) were pointed at QingBei. 

That was enough.  I said, “Ok, we’re leaving,” and took her right down the stairs.  I know I am becoming obsessive about this but I wanted to scream, “What the Hell is Wrong with you people?” Reilly came down after me with a completely bewildered look on her face and said, “It’s like they think QingBei is part of the exhibits!”  I realized as I was spiraling down that there is no way I am going to win this little war of mine.  There are 1.3 billion Chinese here against my family of eight.  I’m a little out-numbered. 

The miracle here is that QingBei is completely unaware that there is anything wrong with her face.  Thank you God!!  She bounces all over the place and she is actually very curious about people who stare at her.  I suspect she thinks they are being friendly.  She has never shown even a hint of embarrassment.  It might be easier if she was a little shy because then we wouldn’t be chasing her all over, trying to shield her from the paparazzi, but I know it is better that she is oblivious.  I don’t necessarily mind the staring, but I MIND the picture taking.  She is a little girl.    What are these people thinking??

Unfortunately, ZiXuan, who is two year younger than QingBei is a little more aware of her particular "special need."  I made the connection later that day that she is putting her short arm in my shirt in order to hide it.  I don’t know why I took so long to realize this, but she only puts her hand down my shirt when we are in public.  They told me that she was shy about her hand and I noticed she will sit with her good hand covering over her small one in public, and, when I pick her up in public, the hand goes right into my shirt.  It’s a shame, because I love that little hand.  If her hand was perfect, she would be stuck here and I would have to live my life without her.

The rest of the day was full of other small miracles.  During that walk to the tower, QingBei actually ran over to me and held my hand and held it off and on for the rest of the morning.  We went swimming at the hotel pool and QingBei went INTO the pool and played in the water.  Bill stayed in the room while ZiXuan slept and actually got to hold her after she woke up.  I came back from swimming and they were as cozy as Chinese on a city bus.  All my kids took showers/baths, including QingBei, who seems to be over the water aversion.  We also found a nice restaurant in the less-finer shopping mall that served both spaghetti and pizza for the price of an ice cream in the states.  ZiXuan sat by herself at dinner, instead of on my lap, and Paul, who drank a full glass of tap water without thinking is NOT running to the toilet every ten minutes in a total panic. 
Miracles never cease!


  1. I am seriously addicted to your blog and I am evangelistically sharing it with my friends! You have such a way with words! I love your heart too and I really wish I had the energy you have, training while traveling with a few kids, adding more is simply amazing to me. Know that you truly have a gift! You both do. I have been praying for you all! Hug and kisses to all your kids:)

    1. Thanks for reading! I think though, that the word "training" should be in quotations. Bill is training. I am trotting. Although, now that I think of it, carrying two little girls around China is a bit of a workout in it's own right. Pray that they take a liking to Bill!!

  2. I like your blog, but this really gave me pause.

    "If her hand was perfect, she would be stuck here and I would have to live my life without her."

    I understand that you're speaking with a light tone, but..."stuck here"? China will always be your daughter's birth country. She'll always be Chinese. It's likely that her grieving process over what she left behind will be lifelong. If it wasn't for her hand, she would probably have been kept by her first family -- and even at her age, she's probably all too aware of that fact. There are many beautiful things about your daughter's heritage; they should be celebrated, not disparaged.

  3. Yeah.... I appreciate what you are saying, but the "stuck here" comment is fantastically accurate. All of my daughters have come to me malnourished and suffering from various amounts of neglect. Sharon's stomach was swollen and her hair was so red and unhealthy from protein deficiency that I finally just cut it off. Harper's teeth are so bad from sucking on endless bottles of sugar water that she has TEN cavities and we are just going to put her under anesthesia since the fix will take SO long. My daughter Laura has a NASTY burn scar on her arm that the doctor speculates was a third degree burn. She lived in the filthiest city I have EVER visited. The air pollution is so bad you can hardly see past a city block and your snot turns black after a few weeks in country. These are people who regularly abort or abandon babies who are stupid enough to be female and/or disabled. This is a culture where women are so devalued that the boy to girl ratio is 3 to 2 and even 2 to 1 in some areas. Yeah, she would have been STUCK THERE. While I have no problem telling my daughters about the many beautiful aspects of their country, the bottom line is it is very healthy to both celebrate the good things and disparage the bad things in ANY culture and believe me, parts of their culture are VERY BAD. If you don't understand, spend a month in China and then we can talk.