Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I met Reese's Foster Family!
I met Reese's foster family today. The last one she had, that she stayed with for roughly 6 months before we got her. And all I can say is wow. Those people are now a part of our family. The mother was the most loving woman I have ever met. And I know she loved Reese. She worked at the China Care Children's Home, and met Reese when she came back from Beijing, back to Taiyuan at just under 2 years. She fell in love with her and decided to take her home (I'm sure it wasn't quite that simple, but yeah). This woman took into her life, her heart, her family, a girl whom she knew would be leaving from the beginning. She loved her and cared for her and for that I can never repay her.
We cried together as we looked at pictures of Reese then and now. She misses her terribly, and that's obvious. She loved her. Loved her very much. Picked her out. Reese was not just a child she was assigned, she was wanted. She was very grateful that Reese now had family that could care for her and love her.
Reese lived with her foster mother, father, brother, grandmother, and grandfather. We didn't get to meet the father, he was at work, I believe. The brother came home for lunch from school, so we did get to meet him. He was very fond of Reese.
The only emotion I can compare it to is Gotcha Day. That surreal, 'omg, this is really happening.' feeling. A flow of emotions you almost can't elaborate on, can't describe. I honestly believe it's one of the purest feelings you can have, where you feel so much that no words can describe.
We asked for stories of Reese. She liked to sing and dance (still does), loved the TV (still does), loved cell phones (still does). She used to watch TV, and they would give her food, and she wouldn't eat it, just keep watching cartoons, so finally the mother took the bowls away and said 'fine, if you don't want to eat, you won't eat', and Reese decided very quickly she wanted to eat. That she could eat and watch TV at the same time.
She also used to go to sleep with a play cell phone. And if she woke up and couldn't find it, she'd throw a fit, calling for her cell phone. So very Reese.
The mother also gave me a gift for Reese. A knitted sweater that I am 98% sure that either the mother or grandmother knitted, and a light blue outfit that has pants, a jacket, and a white t-shirt. I'm pretty sure it'll fit. I'll take pictures when I get home. I only opened the package to see if I thought the outfit would fit, because her foster mother folded it with such care, such love, packed it in a little bag with such love, I don't want to ruin it more than I did. And they also wrote a note, to my parents, that they said out loud and our guide translated it and wrote it down, and they signed it. They also got my email, and they are going to make an email address so they can email me.
The grandmother and grandfather very obviously loved her very much, as well. The grandmother, Nai Nai (Chinese for Grandmother) kept grabbing my arm and telling me things, like "is she still very smart?" and "this was her favorite spot to play". We weren't hungry when we went there, but they'd made lunch, lots of dumplings (any of you who read about our adoption trip know how I feel about dumplings, but these didn't make me feel nauseaous just looking at them, maybe because of the love behind them, but I still was not hungry), and some spicy (la in Chinese) noodles. Fortunately, they had apples- FUJI apples, which are my FAVORITE kind of apple, and I ate one of those, explaining that I wasn't very hungry, but I would eat one. We were kind of concerned that it might make me sick, but it hasn't, and I took 2 pepto this morning before we left, and I took 2 after I ate it, in the car. Delicious apple.
Reese's favorite place to play was a little balcony they have, a garden type thing. Where she apparently liked it, I can understand why. It was nice. Very Reese-ish.
I'm trying to think of other things, and I just can't at the moment. They did say we were more than welcome to come and see them again whenever we came back to China. They would love to see Reese, but the mother said to do whatever was best for Reese, not to rush her back if she wasn't ready. The mother and I hugged, and she was always hesitant to let go of my hand when we were close, like she was having to let go of her last connection to what I'm sure she considered her daughter. I told her we'd come back, we'd bring Reese back. They had pictures we'd sent China Care, that had some how gotten to them. Easter pictures from last year. It had the date written in English, Mar. 2008, so she wanted to know what month it was taken. I told her March. San yue.
I'm sure other random things will come to mind as I live on it some.