So, 5 phone calls to f-mom today and she has fallen asleep peacefully, no tears, tonight. I am so tired. I'm at that point in the China travel where your body clock still hasn't adjusted so you're waking after only a few hours sleep and your hungry at wacky parts of the day/night. I'm also getting punchy...at the taxi driver's, the organized chaos on the roads, the language and translations errors, the food... After surviving so long on hand gesturing with Eliza as a vehicle for communication, I'm amazed that so many universal signs are just not understood here (even with Meiying). We took a walk, just Meiying and I, to find the People's Park and I took a wrong turn. I walked along the congested sidewalk holding her hand, all the stares from the locals and I just started talking out loud to myself. I knew Meiying couldn't understand me, but I felt so alone. The conversation that I was having with myself was pretty funny.
We did go to the pool and Meiying seemed to enjoy it. The Oregon dad was so great to play in the water with her and his boys. Keep checking Shutterfly for all the pics. Blogger loads to slowly.
A few things that I wanted to mention in recalling the day. During the "emphatic no" conversations w/ Meiying at the Adoption processing today, the official said that she noticed Meiying yesterday during Metcha and that she seemed so happy to be with me. She said that one day Meiying will be grateful to us for adopting her. She was a wonderful woman. I remember at Eliza's appointment, the official spoke no english and it all seemed like such a silly meeting that they just needed to check off. This was different today. This official did speak english, quite well, and we had a conversation about Meiying's life here in China and what her future would've held. It was very poignant.
The other thing is that Meiying (I can't bring myself to calling her Ava yet, tho she definitely looks like an Ava to me...I just feel that I need to honor her name because she is so deserving of respect from me, I just can't get over it.) ...I digressed...Meiying is something. She is genteel, she is strong, but so scared too; she definitely is a child who doesn't like change and knows what she wants. Her face shows her heart and soul; when she's happy, the world knows it. When she is sad, the expression on her face and the heaviness of her heart feels like you can see the weight of the world in her. She is all girl. She told me today, "only skirts and dresses". Though she loved running and jumping in her new sneakers. She has enjoyed dressing her stuffed bear and putting her sunglasses and watch on the bear. That's been fun to see. I've caught her a few times singing so sweetly. She really wanted this big electronic keyboard today in the store. I had to keep reminding her thru the guide that we can't take things like that back on the plane. She is definitely looking at me and watching me. She is smart and remarkable. She seems so mature to me, but also so very childlike at other times. When she does something by herself that I showed her how to do, she yells "Mama" then does a thumbs up and signals for me to take a picture.
Also, I don't remember feeling like Eliza was an "orphan", but rather my baby right away. With Meiying, I keep looking at her hands, her toenails that seem to have this dirt that doesn't even come off in the wash, her thin body that appears almost gaunt when she is sad and the word "orphan" cuts through my heart. I don't know if I explained that right? I mean, I do remember visiting Eliza's orphanage and walking away shaking, so thankful that was in my arms now. Maybe it's just the age of Meiying vs Eliza at adoption...the obvious. I can't really explain what I mean. The "firsts" seem so much more relevant with Meiying; not necessarily exciting and a wow moment, but more like she's just taking it in and processing it. She's very tentative in trying anything new. And how she takes care of her things is amazing. She has been wiping her sunglasses clean and then she will wrap them up so gently and place them in the holder. She puts all her things away, folding just right and with such an elegance about her. But when she has pushed me away, it has been so purposeful, so abrupt, so unlike these other characteristics. It's astonishing to observe all these personalities in this young lady. She doesn't let me hug her and my touches she will only tolerate for so long before waving her hand at me to say "no more". She looks right into my eyes though when she is telling me. It's wild. I nod and say okay. It's hard for me not to just smother her with love, but again, because she is making that eye contact, she is asking me for the respect she deserves.
I have a feeling that Meiying's going to be a complex girl, but I also have a feeling that she is brilliant and has an accomplished life ahead of her. What other 7 year old do you know that can go thru this and stand up straight,smile, cry, all while looking the adults around her right in the eyes?
I can't believe it's only been 1.5 days together. I'm whooped. Tomorrow is a free day; no guide. I'm kinda happy about that, no interference so to speak. I'm kinda nervous too though. Well, I'm hoping to sleep thru the night tonight and get my luggage tomorrow. I think one thing that keeps resonating is that I don't feel like I love her in that mother way yet, like I did right away with Eliza. I love her for what she's going thru, but I respect her more than anything. Does that make sense? That is weighing on my heart. Maybe it's also because I feel like she's not ready to accept my love and so I'm keeping my love at bay. I don't know? Very complex...
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
End of A-Day
Posted by The Ordinary Horse at 10:06 AM