Sunday, March 11, 2007

I Made A New Friend!

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.

29 comments:

Mark & Michelle said...

How fantastic for you!!

What a great wealth of information you can receive from her!

We are all going to be getting China tips from you!! Already, I didn't know about the hugging thing!!

Dawn and Dale said...

Hi Krista!!

My hubby has a new chinese co-worker who's only been in Canada for 3 yrs.

They were over the other day too and speak very little english yet but we did have a great time together!!

Same thing happened here...they kept saying they would go tell China we should get our baby now...and that they would "testify" to them that we are good parents!! lol If only it took that hey??!!

I'm sooo happy that you had that chance to meet and that it went so well!!

Blessings!

Dawn

Robin said...

What a great friend to have during this long wait and afterwards. To me, this is a total God thing! She was placed in your life at just the right time. :-)

a&mg said...

Sounds like a wonderful friend! I'm glad you had the opportunity to meet!

Joannah said...

What a wonderful friend to have for yourself and Mia!

Jennifer "Jenny" said...

That's very cool!

Stacy said...

How wonderful! Qin sounds like an amazing woman. What a gift she will be to you and Mia.

Kathy and Joel said...

I am a huge believer in the whole "there's no such thing as a coincidence" philosophy and I think that this is a prime case of fate. So happy for you to have met someone with such a giving heart and willingness to give you info. I met someone with similar good-heartedness a couple of weeks ago and I also felt blessed.

chou-chou said...

Wow, Krista, this is so so cool!!

You are so fortunate to have found this woman, who sounds just fantastic. And so generous! Sounds like you are doing what I would do, which is to be a giant sponge and learn as much as possible.

So happy for your that you found this new friend.

wzgirl said...

Krista - What a beautiful gift, this new friendship. I am so happy for you. Sometimes it is hard to make new friends once you are out of school and doing the work thing. I get so darn happy when I meet someone new that feels like such a potential friend.

Such a lovely gift...for both of you. XO

Mariah said...

How exciting!! You are so blessed, as is Qin to know you!

Shannon S said...

Loved reading your post. You sound so delighted- just like one of my kindergarteners! S'wonderful!

C.J. said...

Now that's a cool post to come back to!

I'll have to ride your coattails on that friend one of these days. She sounds fabulous and I'd love to meet her too.

Note to self: control hugging instinct in China.

Norma said...

Sounds like a great friend!

Lee-Anne said...

WOW! Fantastic! I hope that you can get together when you get your referral, so Qin can translate for you!

I was actually hoping that our daughter's name might be Qin - (cept I'd pronounce it Quin) I think it's a great name!

Donna said...

What a great thing...she'll be a wonderful resource for you and Mia!

Stephe said...

Your new friend sounds totally AMAZING! What a blessing for you and MIA!

Now that we know this info, you must educate us on all you learn! :)

Doris & Dan said...

Sounds like the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

Keep smilin!

Catherine said...

What a precious gift!

It will be exciting to see how this friendship grows. Wanna teach us Mandarin? Let us know when you're throwing your Chinese dinner bash and we'll be there. :o)

So happy for you...and Qin too!

Lisa Branson said...

Can you believe all the beautiful friendships you've made since beginning this journey? Qin sounds like a wonderful woman and will have a wealth of information to share with you. How exciting. You are truly blessed.

Mommy-To-Channing said...

WOW.....what an excited post!! That is so amazing and I'm so happy for you!! Too cute that she wants to go to CCAA...hey have her look at my status too!!!
I sure hope your friendship only blossoms from hear. That would be great to have her around for a long time!!!

Anonymous said...

That is AMAZING! I am so jealous! I would love to meet a friend like that! You'll have to teach us everything you learn!

Janet T.

PS- Could she put in a good word for me too? :-)

Sandra said...

Krista, that is wonderful! We have a family that just moved in on our street a few months ago. The man is caucasian and the woman is Chinese. Her girls just moved her from China to live with them and they don't speak much English. I would love to have a special kind of friendship with them; for myself, but also for my girls. I am so glad you got to hook up with this woman. She sounds fantastic!

Headmeister said...

How awesome is that!!!!! So great that you have someone like that to bounce things off of, and to be so nice too? That's an angel in your path, girl! Oh, and if she goes to the CCAA, tell her to speed my referral up too ;) (how sweet of her to even think it!)

Jill and Jaap said...

Always nice to make new friends!

eggrolls and chopsticks said...

We are really lucky in that department to. One of our closest friends is Chinese and she even came to CHina with us. It is so wonderful to be able to share their knowledge with our kiddiewinks.

Carol said...

The longer I am home, the more I know that these types of relationships are as important as adoptive family relationships. Way to go.

Just last weekend, Kate and I were at a playground and another mother asked how old Kate was. I told her she'll be 2 in April. Her nose wrinkled, and she said, "but she's so small".

"she's average for Asians", I replied.

ever since then, I wonder what someone who is Asian would have said? Maybe they wouldn't make that comment to someone who was Asian, I don't know. but I keep wanting to ask someone how to handle that.

Colleen said...

OMG - that is so exciting. A new friend is always so nice, but of course the knowledge that you can gain is also a plus. Enjoy the new friendship (and her cute little one!)

Elise said...

What an awesome connection and she sounds like the sweetest lady. I chuckled at the part about asking CCAA for your baby...if it were only that easy. Can't wait to hear more about your new friendship!