Thursday, December 6, 2007

All of China at Her Feet

Hello, everybodeeeeee...

Tonight for the first time, our little pipsqueak has allowed her dad to put her to bed - what a treat for him. Unfortunately she is hogging my bed so I think it's the rollaway for me. Oh well. Mark and Xiao-Ling are sound asleep which gives me time to put in my two cents.

We were pretty pooped physically and emotionally after this morning at the orphanage, and then the celebration lunch in town. So we took it easy in the room this afternoon and had a late supper. By this time it was dark and all the pool lights and fountains were on. We got a table outside and our daughter was as delighted as we were to watch the "dinner theatre" aspects of the sights and sounds on the water. Then our menus came - in Chinese and in Russian. This was a hoot for two reasons: Mark's ancestry is mostly Ukraine, and there is a huge Russian clientele in Sanya. I think we are the only non-Russian Caucasians there, and certainly the only Americans. So we burst into laughter and chortled "Wo men Mei Guo" (probably very bad Chinese for We're from the U.S.!) They fetched English/Chinese menus for us posthase.

Well, the waitresses couldn't get enough of our little lady. She was a huge hit. They fed her jasmine tea. They fed her boiled peanuts. They fed her some delicious noodles and wiped her perfect little lips after every bite. And she happily, calmly, naturally let them. The waitstaff did everything but chew her food for her, and every few bites she would bestow upon her subjects the widest grin she could muster. She got more attention than the pool fountains did.

Getting back to this morning - Sabrina had let us know earlier that, with only thirty kids at the Sanya orphanage and eleven aunties, the ratio was quite good for personal care for the children. However, on the way over there in the van, she warned us that our hearts would ache. She was right. I sat on the floor in the baby room and stroked the arm of one little fellow who was lying on a cushion. He began to howl and I was told he has cerebral palsy and fears strangers. He was eight months old and smaller than Harry was at 4 1/2 months.

Then a very little fellow was placed in my arms. He looked at me for all the world like he was trying to impress me with his great talents and strengths in spite of his size. We talked for a bit (well, I did) and rubbed noses. He, too, was eight months old and had weighed only a pound at birth, but he was clearly trying to say, "I'm still here and I'm not leaving quietly!" Sabrina translated for the aunties that his name is Dian-Dian (little spot) because of his birth weight. As if to contradict his physical boundaries, Dian-Dian then chose that moment to lift up his head - all by himself! I cooed praise for his special moment and promptly told the aunties that his nickname from me would be "Shtarker." I made muscles to demonstrate the meaning of the name and they nodded appreciatively.

Before we left we took a couple of group pictures of the bigger kids, some of whom remember Xiao-Ling. Some of them held up two arms, brandishing two "peace, Baby" symbols. I cracked the kids up by drawling, "I am not a crook!" whenever they did this.

I'm literally falling asleep over this so I'm gonna stop now. Tomorrow is a free day. We'll meet Sabrina for breakfast and then take our girl to Butterfly Cove. I can't wait to see a butterfly perch on that bonny wee nose!

>>snorrrrrrrrrr...<< style="font-style: italic;">Lailah tov, all.

1 comment:

susmom said...

The picture of Mai-mai in front of the Hanukkiah is breath-taking. Just as your daily descriptions of your adventure. I sent you an e-mail regarding the orphanage. You can adopt a few for me.....I have 3 empty bedrooms. Love you all!!