Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pictures from ZhongShan Orphanage

I think I've posted some of the pictures from the ZhongShan Orphanage, but it was mostly to show off the orphanage. When we were waiting for Ping, we had sent 3 cameras to the Orphanage for them to take pictures.
I figure there are probably a few adoptive parents out there who may want to comb through the photos in hopes of catching a glimpse of their child in the background...

Hope this helps some...

ZhongShan Orphanage

Click on the Photo above to open the Album - many pictures of the younger children there!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Little Miss Potty Mouth (now with Video Goodness!)

Me: Hey, so Ping keeps saying something over and over again to me...
Co-Worker: What?
Me: Well, I donno. Its Mandarin... I think. Its not English. It sounds like "ba po la".
CW: Hmmmm... how is she saying it?
Me: She says it very forcefully, and then laughs her head off.
CW: Hmmmm... I don't know, it doesn't mean anything. Why don't you record it and bring it in.
Me: Aye, will do.

... a few days later, I take Ping out on one of our "date nights". While we sit there, talking, eating Chocolate Cake, she starts saying this "ba po la" and laughing. I grab the camera, and take a quick video of it (I should post the video later).

Me: Hey, when you've got a moment, I've got a video of Ping saying that "ba po la" thing.
CW: Great, let me see it.
Ping: BA PO LA!!! Ba ba BA PO LA! HAHAHahahahahahaha!
CW: Oh. *blushes* That means... no... she can't be saying that.
Me: What?! Whats she saying!?
CW: Its probably nothing.
Me: Oh no. Its something. Whats she saying!?
CW: Well... its kind of like... going to be bathroom.
Me: What?!
CW: Its a bad word, a girl her age should not be saying that. She must be saying something else.
Me: What?! My adorable cute little previous daughter is saying "you're SH*TTING me"?!
CW: No no... it probably is something else... I just... cant... think of anything else tho.
Me: Oh no, that makes sense...

... fancy flash back wavy screen thing again ...

Me: Ping, come have some supper! You'll love it!
Ping: Ba po la!

Me: Ping, come to bed.
Ping: Ba ba, ba po la!

Me: Hey, Daddy loves you!
Ping: Ba po la!

... end flash back ...

Me: ... I think you may have figured out what she was saying.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What a difference a Few Weeks Make

Last night, me and my youngest beautiful daughter went our for some "Ba ba" time.

Every Wednesday night, I take out one of the children and go grab some Ice-Cream or Chocolate Cake just to have some quality "one on one" time with each kid. I love it, and the kids get Ice Cream...

This Wednesday, was Pings turn. And she knew it! She had been asking all week "Pings turn? Pings turn? No Gemma. No Dawson. No Kole turn. Pings Turn?" This was our 3rd time going out on our "date night", and what a difference from the 1st one!

  • Our 1st time out, she was not too sure about... well... anything. I'm not sure she trusted me, and it wasn't too long into our cake that she was already asking for Ma ma and wanting to go home.
  • The 2nd time out, was a better. No tears during the cake, had fun colouring on the menu... but when we left there were huge tears! Not over anything important... simple, she didn't understand that we had to "pay" before we could "leave". Now, I know enough Mandarin to explain to her that she had to "wait", and that we would in fact leave. We would go see Ma ma. And that I understood what she was telling me.

    It didn't matter.
    She cried.
    And cried.
    And cried.
I think it really came down to trust. We could communicate, but she just didn't trust that I would take her home, take care of her, meet what ever need she was having right then and there, or what-ever.

  • This 3rd time out tho, was absolutely great. We had our cake, laughing and chatting the whole time. When it came time to leave, yes, we had to pay... no she did not want to late. But this time, when I told her that she had to "wait", and that we would in face leave, and go see Ma ma (still all in Mandarin), she looked at me, said "Ok", settled back down into her seat, and continued colouring.

Ahhhh, sweet trust! Ping is finally getting to the place where even if she doesn't agree with my decisions, that she is "trusting" that it is the "right" thing for her.

See, I think last week she may have loved me when we went out, but that didn't mean that she felt safe, or that she trusted me. There are many people in our lives whom we choose to love, yet know that maybe they are not safe, and NOT necessarily the best people to trust.
  • I love my wife, but give her a big knife, and I don't trust her.
  • Thats just common sense.
  • I love my children, but I don't trust them with my car.
  • Again, common sense.
  • Love my cats, but I'm pretty sure they would kill me while I slept if I forgot to feed them...
Ping may have loved me last week, but not trusted me.
That was her common sense.
And really, who would trust someone they "just met" a few backs to take care of them...

So what did I have to do to earn Pings trust?
Well, nothing.
Nor could I do anything.
I could show her the most love,
the most care,
the most forgiveness,
but I could not make her love, nor trust me.
She had to choose that on her own.
I just needed her to loose her "common sense".

... but hey, thats how I got my wife as well. :-)

So here is to women with a "lack of common sense" and "poor judgement"!

Without you... I'd be a lonely-lonely man*.

* = albeit a lonely-lonely man who did NOT have to: Pick up his dirty socks, Help with the Laundry (which I forgot about this morning - sorry love!), Clean... (ever), Shower... (ever), etc. etc. etc.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I might be a little slow...

... but I'm figuring this Daddy thing out. :-)

I shaved this morning.

I know, its an interesting thought for me... I don't often shave.

But I did.

And oh my word, Ping was hunting me down for kisses!

Apparently, not only did she NOT like long hair, she did NOT like my permanent 5 o'clock shadow facial hair.

If ONLY she had given me a clue earlier that she did not like my long hair, or scruffy facial hair... instead I had to figure this ALL out on my own.

(insert really cool flashback type animation here, like where the screen goes all wavy and theres like "woo-tinkly-tinkly-woo" music playing)

10 Weeks Ago:
Co-Worker: *in Mandarin* Hi Ping! Do you like your new Ma ma and Ba ba?
Ping: *in Mandarin* I like my Ma ma. Ba ba has long hair. I don't like his long hair.

8 Weeks Ago:
Friend: *in Mandarin* So Ping, how do you like your new family?
Ping: No Ba ba no long hair.

6 Weeks Ago:
Me: Bye bye Ping, Daddy is going to work. Give me a kiss.
Ping: No kiss! No kiss! Owie! *rubs my scruffy cheeks* Owie!

4 Weeks Ago:
Me: Look Ping! I got my hair cut! Wu bu yow chung to fa!
Ping: Hug Ping!
Me: Ba ba kiss ping?
Ping: No kiss! Owie! *rubs my facial hair again*

2 Weeks Ago:
Ping: Whats dis? *pointing to my facial hair*
Me: Thats Daddys beard.
Ping: No. No Daddy beard. No Daddy long hair.

1 Week Ago:
Me: Good night Ping! Let me give you a kiss.
Ping: *hides under her covers* No kiss! OWIE! Yes hug!

Today 8am:
Me: Good morning Ping!
Ping: What dis? *points to my face*
Me: Daddy shaved. No hair!
Ping: Daddy KISS!
Me: Sure, Daddy can give you a kiss!

Today 8:15am:
Ping: Yes, kiss?
Me: Uh, sure.

Today: 8:20am:
Me: How is your breakfast Ping?
Ping: Daddy, kiss!
Me: Sure.

Today: 8:25am:
Me: Alright, I'm off to work. Good bye!
Ping: Daddy! NO! Yes KISS!
Me: Daddy would LOVE to give you kisses!
Ping: No one. This! *holds up her hand with all 5 fingers spread open*
Me: Oh you want 5 kisses?!
Ping: Yes! 5!
Me: Daddy would LOVE to give you 5 kisses!

Why are women SO complicated!
Why can't she just give me a SIGN as to what she wants... *siiiigh* :-)
It may take me a bit of time, but I'll figure out what she's thinking.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ummmmm, no.

We have some great friends who are white, who have adopted a black girl.
Their picture hangs on our fridge, with pride.
A Shining example of how adoption can work!
Should work!
Does work!
This family is close knit, loving, their adopted daughter has flourished and grown and never seems to be in doubt or questions as to her place in her family, or her place in her parents hearts.
So I found it quite amusing when this last week, Ping finally noticed the picture on the fridge... :-)

Wife: *pointing at the picture on the fridge* Thats your friend!
Ping: 朋友!
Wife: Yes, you play with her at Sunday school!
Ping: Yes, school.
Wife: And that is her Ma ma.

Ping looks at the picture... black daughter... white mother...

Ping: No.

And with that, the conversation was done. With the utmost certainty, she has assessed the situation, and brought resolve to a conflicted messed up world.

Wife: Yup, that is her ma ma.
Ping: No Ma ma.
Wife: Yes Ma ma. She is adopted. Like Ping is adopted.
Ping: No.

It was irony defined as if our precious little daughter could look at another child and say with such certainty, that black daughter and white mother did not make sense... yet blissfully unaware of her current family. :-)

At least, I hope it was a picture of irony.

Because if it isn't irony, then the truth may be that Ping looks at herself, the same way she is looking at her friend.
  • Is she looking at herself as obviously different than the rest of the family.
  • Is she looking at her Ma ma and thinking in her head "Not the momma!".
  • Is she looking at her brothers and sister and thinking, "not my family".
  • I'm already pretty sure of what she thinks of me.
What IS going on in that little head of hers.

We make so many assumptions that we know what is rattling around in the heads of our children. Ever meet a teenager? I think its pretty apparent that at times, we as parents can totally miss the signals by our children as to what is really going on in their lives.

For example, looking back at the Referral Photos we got of Ping, we thought initially that she looked "Happy" and could not look more "Excited". But now knowing her, looking back at those same pictures, I think we see it more clearly and can tell that there was some hesitation and reservations in her look.

Were our "filters" affecting the way we were viewing her at the time? And if so, are our filters affecting our view how she is fitting INTO the family? We think she is doing great... but what about what she thinks?

I know she loves being with us, cuddles, playing, crawling into our bed every night when she wakes up at 1am and is scared.
  • She knows safety.
  • She knows vulnerability.
  • She knows joy.
  • She knows grace.
  • She knows peace.
  • She knows rest now.
  • She knows love.
  • She knows UN-conditional love (or at least is figuring it out).
But, dose she know Family?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1st Official Family Picture

Our good buddy Joel took a great Family Portrait for us - our 1st official "family photo" with "everyone" in the family. See that! Everyone! We're done... no more... 6 is enough... silly crazy people wanting more kids... :-)