Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"A Boy for You; a Girl for Me..."

It's legal! It's done! We are now a family of four. Long Xiao-Ling is now officially, legally and irrevocably our daughter and Harry's sister. If you're wondering why we aren't posting the Shuchat-Marx version of Xiao-Ling's name, it's because we are observing a tradition of many Jews who don't publicize their child's name until the b'rit milah (if it's a boy) or b'rit bat/naming ceremony if it's a girl. So you'll find out her full name (which will include Xiao-Ling) on or after January 20, the date of her naming at Temple Rodeph Torah.

We know that her original last name, "Long," means "dragon." Furthermore, she was born in the Year of the Horse, and there is a Chinese legend about "spirit of horse and dragon." We'd like to find out more about that tradition so we can wrap our daughter that positive image, among others.

Yesterday after arriving back to the hotel from the Department of Civil Affairs, we took a breather. Our daughter wrapped herself up in the window curtains (she likes to look out at the stunning view of Evergreen Park from the "tai-tai", as she calls the window sill) and began to sing a sweet little ditty to the words, "Wei, wei, wei (her version of tra-la-la)" in a flutelike soprano. It was soooooo sweet and Mark recorded it on his cel phone. She loves to listen to it over and over and over again and so do we. At the height of a good mood she will sing, either alone or with me, and it's heaven.

She understands everything we say to her in English but continues to answer us in toddler Mandarin. We know it's toddler because we can't find certain words in the dictionary, and when we later ask Sabrina to translate she looks at us like we're talking baby talk - which of course we are. She then tutors Xiao-Ling in diction, and we've jokingly told her not to let her get too good. As I type this, Xiao-Ling just said, "du-ah,du-ah" for the eleventeenth time. We can't find it in the dictionary and Sabrina doesn't know what it is. I guess it's just one of the many mysteries about our little beauty.

Mark just took out the sugarless gum and Xiao-Ling went over to him to ask him to give her a piece for Mama. What a love.

Tonight we are lighting candles for the first night of Hanukkah. We have asked Sabrina to join us and she has accepted. Sabrina has become a member of our family too.


hautboisnyc said...

Jacquie and Mark,
I am so happy for all of you. Words can not describe the emotions that I am feeling for you all right now. Lots of love. Frank

susmom said...

Maybe she is saying da-da for daddy. Mazel tov....I could not be happier for all of you. I am now waiting impatiently for you to return home so we can name her in Temple. I love you all!! Karen