Friday, April 27, 2007

Well, it's finally happened, . . .

. . . and I certainly wasn't expecting it!
Today was the last day of my vacation. At the last minute I decided to ask Erin if she'd like to take a day off from school & spend it with mama. I told her exactly what we would be doing & that I would expect her to behave the right way. Erin immediately said she wanted to spend the day with me. I called David to let him know, & he wasn't too happy about her missing a day of school but finally got it.
Our first stop was the nail salon. I had to cancel my last appointment due to a bad stomach bug that lasted way too long. Anyway, it was going to be a very long visit since my nails were in bad shape. The people who own the salon & the people who work there are from Viet Nam & China. They've met Erin before & are very nice to her. A few of the ladies started to ask Erin if she was from China. When she said yes, they asked her if speaks Chinese & then started to speak to her in Chinese.
From the minute we adopted Erin, she would get very agitated whenever someone to her in Chinese. She had definitely gotten better with her reactions to hearing Chinese. After all, we've spent the last 3.5 years telling Erin how beautiful China was & how proud she should be to come from such an amazing country.
When these ladies were speaking with Erin & asking questions, she got visibly shy & upset. Being her mother, I noticed that her reactions weren't in the norm for her. After we left the shop & got into the car, I asked Erin if she was upset. When she said yes, I asked her if she was upset about the ladies asking us questions.
Blow me away! My child said yes it bothers her!!! Since Erin is 4 & not always able to communicate in the way adults do, I asked her questions to make sure I understood her. It turns out that my daughter doesn't like to have her adoption discussed with people. It bothers her that people expect her to be able to converse in Chinese but she doesn't want to go to Chinese school. We did talk about this some more. It turns out that Erin is very comfortable talking about being Chinese with our FCC family & our family. She didn't want us to discuss it at the Great Wall adoption workshops that my friend Susan holds occasionally. I explained to her that the workshops were held so that other people could bring home little boys & girls so that they could have families also. She's okay with that.
All this said, my daughter shocked me. I had no idea that at 4 she had these feelings. She's never asked questions about a birth mother or why she doesn't look like her mama & daddy. She's always been content to accept her life the way it was. In fact, I've even discussed this with my friend Sandra. Her daughter Jazzie is always asking the most amazing questions. I guess it's my turn to figure it all out.


mpeffly1 said...

Tammie, I knew it was only a matter of time before Erin would start questionning. Funny about the Chinese people asking her those question. We almost had an identical situation at the restaurant the other day.


The Katie Starr Team said...

Tammie: Your little girl is growing up and quite beautifully I might add. You are handling it with great sensitivity and I know you will continue to do so.


C.J. said...

Wow, we never know how deep those little thoughts go sometimes I suspect.

I just saw the comment and, yes, it reminded me a what Sandra described in the restaurant. I'm glad I've got some great mommy role models to learn from.