Yesterday was the best day! A co-worker at my second job mentioned a few months ago that she has a Chinese friend. She thought it'd be exciting for us to meet. So I finally got to meet her yesterday. Her name is Qin (pronounced Ching) and she's not much older than I am. She has a 7 year old son named Zhu (pronounced Za) and has been in the US for about 6 years, I think. She is wonderful! Just the sweetest lady ever. She's so excited about my adoption plans and wants to do whatever she can to help me. I had to explain to her how the process works because she had no idea. So after I tell her all about it she wants to know where the CCAA office is located. She's planning a trip back to China in May to visit relatives and said she'll go to the CCAA and ask them to give me my baby soon. While I greatly appreciate her enthusiasm and willingness to help, I explained to her again that it doesn't work that way and I had to wait my turn in line. LOL!
We talked for several hours getting to know each other. I met her son. He's a doll. He came here 2 yrs ago not speaking a word of English. Now he sounds like any other American kid and loves Sponge Bob. He called me "Aunt" because Qin said that in China this is what the children call their mother's adult female friends. I brought him the book of "Shaoey and Dot". He was very excited because it was about China and he said he was happy that I was adopting a baby there. He told me about his classmate, Grace, who's also adopted from China. He's just adorable!
I had the best time just soaking her in. She said she'll teach me all about China, the culture, the customs, the holidays, the language, the history, anything I want to learn. She even said she'd teach me how to make dumplings and other traditional Chinese food. She was as excited as I was to be able to share these things about her homeland. She told me that I will be a "wonderful mother because she could tell that I had great love in my heart for my Chinese daughter". We both got a little teary when she said that.
It was so interesting to get her perspective on the government and how it feels to be a woman in China. It sounds like she grew up in more of the middle class although she said she has traveled to the "countryside" and explained to me the great poverty there. Her mother is an OB which I think is very, very interesting in terms of the abandonment issue. Although we did speak of this somewhat when she told me the story of a friend who found a baby by the side of the road and kept her, we didn't discuss the experiences of her mother. Her father is a mechanical engineering professor at the university. She was raised by her grandparents until the age of 12 when she went and joined her parents. Qin was a librarian and worked for a time at the British Consulate. She learned English in China but said that when she got here she had to basically learn it again because her pronunciations were different and very few could understand her. She still speaks somewhat broken English but I didn't have any problems with it. She laughed and told me that if I ever couldn't understand to stop her and we'd try to figure it out. She works here locally as a translator. She speaks Mandarin and the dialect that was where her parents lived but I can't remember now what she called it.
When it was time to go, she walked me to my car, told me we'd be great friends and gave me a big hug. But she was sure to also use it as an opportunity to educate me and told me that "in China you no hug". She said that Chinese are not affectionate people and I'd embarass and offend them to do the hugging thing. It was a great day! This is another reason to be thankful for the wait because it'll give me more time to educate myself and get to know Qin. I feel so very blessed to have met her.