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In a Grocery Store by jqj67390


									                                In a Grocery Store                                                                                     A Quarterly Newsletter on FOI Adoptions from China                                       Fall 2001
        Beth VanSickle of Paris, Ontario, adopted Emilee in November 1998. She travelled in a group of 16 families who keep in touch
                                                                     through a monthly newsletter that each family prepares in turn.
                                                                  She gave us permission to publish her June 20001 newsletter here.

            he other day, in a grocery store, we saw a             We made an emergency flight to Vancouver in
            little Chinese girl shopping with her mom.             February to visit my dying nephew one last time, so
            Emilee and this little girl were quite                 Emilee had her first plane ride that she remembers.
            interested in each other and a lot of staring          She didn’t mind and she was very cooperative, but she
was happening on both sides. Finally I said to Emilee              likes to sleep in her own bed, so she doesn’t want to                                                                                             China Adoption
‘why, She’s Chinese like you are.’ Emilee replied ‘Yes,            try to do that again any time soon.
but I’m not that Chinese!’ So our girls start their lives –        Sometime in the last year, I printed off some pictures
Chinese but not that Chinese.                                                                                                                                                                                            is a publication
                                                                   of Emilee’s orphanage from the Lanxi website, and e-                                                                                                    of
The time has flown by, hasn’t it. The last two and a half               mailed the woman who had posted them. Turns out
years a flurry of all the sweetness of life – sticky jam                she was in China two or three weeks before we were
                                                                        and adopted her 18 month old from the same                                                                                                            Outreach
kisses, training wheels, dozens of trips to the park,
Calillou and Arthur videos, a little helper for cooking, a              orphanage we did (Lanxi). She had sent a camera                                                                                                         International
sleepy warm body cuddling with me in a rocking chair.                   ahead and had actual pictures of her daughter in the                                                                                                     Ottawa ON
I am in awe of how children grow and change, and                        orphanage – I got copies and I’m sure Lianna is in                                                                                                       (613)789-
develop their own personalities, blended with aspects                   some of them. It was one of those spooky moments                                                                                                                8677
of ours. My Emilee is much tidier than her mommy.                       when you realize that there are ties out there for our                                                                                                    foi@ottawa
She has a keenly developed sense of humour and she is                   girls to dozens of others, not just our group.                                                                                                            com
an excellent negotiator.
                                                                                                           We watched the video
She has not worn                                                                                           we took while in
more than 3 dresses                                                                                        Chine, and Emilee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Issue No 17
in public since she                                                                                        was so interested in
turned 2 last year                                                                                         herself as a baby. It                                                                                              Printed
(dashed      are    my                                                                                     was very cool to see                                                                                              December 2001
dreams of making fril-                                                                                     the babies arriving
ly dresses for my                                                                                          again – it happened
grateful daughter!) We                                                                                     so fast, and our lives
have a great selection                                                                                     have been forever
of T-shirts, shorts,                                                                                                                   It's generally ac-
                                                                                                           changed by those
jeans and sweatshirts                                                                                                                  cepted that folding
                                                                                                           moments in time.
– shades of China –                                                                                                                    began sometime in the
every day it’s a lay-
                                                                                                           She says to me, ‘I’m        first century AD in China,
ered look with one or
                                                                                                           going to live with you      where people discovered the
two of each item. She
                                                                                                           forever,   except      if   enjoyment of folding paper into
went through a phase
                                                                                                           you’re very bad, I’ll go    various shapes and forms. Many of the
of wearing 3 T-shirts
                                                                                                           live with Lala (Linda)      early methods have survived to this day as basic folding shapes and moves.
                                                                                                           or Mary Joan (another
and peeling them off
                                                                                                           good friend).               Some seven hundred years after its start in China, the art became popular in Japan where it melded with
                                  Seven of the families get together for the third adoption anniversary.
one-by-one through-
                                       Emilee, Lianna, Tian, Susannah & Emilee’s sister, Sophie                                        the culture and religion at the time. Soon the Shinto religion integrated various “origami” (“ori” means
out the day.                                             Kyra, Kayleigh & Emma
                                                                                                           So I’ll try to be very,     folding, “gami” means paper) shapes and creations in their ceremonies where they remain until this day.
Emilee loves to sing, and we do so all the time –                                                                                      “Origami” became the popular term by which Europeans came to refer to oriental paper folding.
                                                                   very good!
songs she’s learned and ones she’s “adapted” to fit
                                                                   Linda and her family are well. She sends her hellos, too.           In times past paper was expensive and rare, so paper folding was a hobby for the rich. As paper became
the activities of the moment. She has friends of all                                                                                   cheap and available, more people began to enjoy paper
ages everywhere she goes. We got a “class picture”                 I have seen some of you this past year, but not often               folding as an art form and as a craft.
from the preschool she attends two mornings a                      enough. There’s a play group that meets once a month in
week (it’s a the school where I work – I’m so lucky!)              Cambridge (20 minutes away) but we’ve only been once –              The photo above shows a pair of elaborate paper folded
And she could name all but one of the other 23                     something’s always come up! We’ll keep trying!                      swans of a type that might be used as decorations for a
students and teachers. She’s cautious – she                                                                                            wedding (swans are thought to mate for life).
                                                                   Please come and visit Emilee and I in the prettiest little
watches an activity for a long time before she joins               town in Ontario!                                                    Zhu Peijun, who many of you have met in Beijing,
in, but then she’s wholehearted in her participation.                                                                                  volunteered to fold enough cranes to satisfy the
Recently she has started talking about having to do                Until then, take care, and may your lives be filled with love
                                                                                                                                       distribution of this issue of the newsletter. The crane is the
her “homework” – usually drawing circles and lines                 and laughter.
                                                                                                                                       same figure you might have folded yourself in grade
                                                                                                              Beth and Emilee
on copious amounts of paper.                                                                                                           school.
                                                                 Journey to Our Children                                                                 Double Trouble                                                   The Children’s Stories

                                                                 Patti & Robert McGhie of Oakville, ON adopted Lily on the
                                                                      October trip. Patti offered her reflections on her trip to

                                                               On Sunday, October 7, our large group, comprising
                                                               singles and couples, including those who had
                                                                                                                   Nanchang.                      October
                                                                                                                                                  Jim Beattie and Eunice Dong of Toronto split from
                                                                                                                                                  the main group and travelled to Wuhan to receive
                                                                                                                                                                               their twin daughters

                                                                                                                                                As Eunice and I reflect on our recent
                                                                                                                                                Wuhan trip to receive our phenomenal twin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There were six children on this trip. We asked the older
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      children to give us their impressions of the trip. Two stories
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                were contributed by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Liia, 11, of Oshawa, who travelled with her parents, Judy &
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Alan Tamm, and by,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Abel (16) & Marline (11) who accompanied their parents,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Val & Jerry Penner of Winkler, MB.
                                                               adopted before and those who had embarked on                                     daughters, Madison Margaret (Da Shuang)                               Liia’s story
                                                               this amazing journey for the first time, as well as at                           and Chynna Mei (Xiao Shuang), we can’t
                                                               least six children and other assorted family                                     help but smile with complete joy and total                            I thought China was really interesting. The people in
                                                               members, arrived at the Gloria Hotel in Nanchang.                                                                                                      the group were nice. While we were in China I had
                                                                                                                                   Chynna       relief that the sheer overwhelming nature of
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Tara           bought a lot of stuff. I bought a silk shirt, an art set,
                                                               It was misty and close to dinnertime; the hotel                                  the trip was so successfully completed.                               candy and two purses.
                                                               lobby was spectacular, with sky murals overhead                                  This wonderful journey and its expected
                                                               and marble everywhere we looked, but we were so                                  emotional roller coaster truly came to                                Mostly every morning we would have to get up early to
                                                               excited, we could barely eat, or devote much                                     fruition in mid August when Bob Stevens of                            get breakfast and to make it to the lobby of the hotel so
                                                               attention to admiring the facilities. Fifteen babies                                                                                                   that we could go sightseeing. Near the beginning of
                                Monday, 26 November, 2001                                                                                       FOI informed us that our proposal from the
                                                               and their foster mothers were on their way to the                                                                                                      our trip in Shanghai we went and saw Shanghai
                                                                                                                                                CCAA had arrived and we were indeed                      Theadora     harbour during the day and night. Then, a few days
  Timmins Families Turn to China for                           hotel to be united with their forever families that                    Madison   offered twin daughters! What a                             after when we got to Beijing we went to Silk Alley, the
    Adoption of 'Polar Panda' Kids                             evening! We had navigated the complex sea of                                     careful what you ask for! Within the week                             Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall
Charlotte and Clark [MacFarlane] … who adopted their           paperwork, achieved the seemingly impossible and                                 our social worker Michael Blugerman                                   and the Lama Temple. Last, but not least, some of the
first child, Hannah, from China more than two years go         survived the long wait with our sanity intact. We                                presented us with our proposals. This was                             other things we did were go grocery shopping, and go
… [and who are ] … hoping to travel to China again in          had even shaken off the jet lag as anticipation of                               the point at which we instantly fell head                             to many different restaurants for lunch and dinner.
the spring … join at least 10 other families in Timmins        what was to come overflowed and energized us.                                    over heels in love with our girls, all this           Sarah           The food was really good! I got to try a lot of different
who have adopted children from China. The families             We planted ourselves in the doorways of our
belong to a group called the Polar Panda Club. The club                                                                                         from some 4”x 6” pictures.                                            foods, from sweet bread to Chinese French fries!
                                                               rooms and made casual conversation with our                         Willow
started in the home of Joan Francis and her husband                                                                                             The timeframe between acceptance of our                               Also I happened to make five new friends. Their names
Brad Fennuk, who have adopted three girls from China.
                                                               neighbours, listening for the unmistakable sound
                                                                                                                                                proposals and our travel to China was a                               are Marline, Abel, Issac, Shelley, and Shunli. When we
Their daughters are Clara, 5, Carolyn, 3, and Risa, 16         of elevator doors and baby pandemonium. When
                                                                                                                                                wonderful yet exhausting whirlwind. The                               were in Beijing, at the hotel many nights I would go
months.                                                        those first long-awaited cries drifted down the                                                                                                        swimming with Marline in the hotel’s pool.
                                                               halls, we rushed out of our rooms, eager for the                                 pinnacle of the trip occurred on Monday,                      Faith
There are currently 13 children from China adopted into                                                                                         October 8th, 2001, when Xiao Shuang                                   But the most exciting moment during our trip was
                                                               first glimpses of those beautiful faces. The
the local families. Another three children from China are                                                                                       Meng, and Da Shuang Meng, eleven                                      getting my sister Mei Li. Yulin, the lady who was with
                                                               moment had arrived at last! Our children were

expected … [soon].                                                                                                                     Penole                                                                         us for most of the sightseeing, told us to come to the
                                                               placed in our arms and we had the chance to speak                                months old, 12.5 and 13lbs, respectively,
The Polar Panda Club has been meeting for at least the                                                                                                                                                                elevators on our floor, and all the people from the
                                                               to their foster mothers, with Shirley our translator,                            were lovingly placed in our arms. In our
last three years, Francis said. "With Timmins being a                                                                                                                                                                 orphanages delivered the babies to each family.
                                                               present. The joy was indescribable. We marveled                                  anticipation of this moment Eunice and I
small town, we got to know each other quickly. Polar                                                                                            had expected it would be emotionally                   Jada           It turned out to be a really fun, exciting and interesting
Panda welcomes any [adoptive] families … not
                                                               at how well the babies had been matched with each
                                                                                                                                                charged. What we had not expected was                                 trip going overseas, all the way to China!
exclusively families with children from China. The             and every one of us and at the way the bonding
group's focus is to look into shared cultural issues such      and closeness began to develop. What resilient                                   the sense of calm we both felt! Everything                            Abel & Marline’s story
as the Chinese culture and Chinese food. "From the             and amazing children!                                                            felt so wonderful almost like a pre-ordained
                                                                                                                                    Xian                                                                              In 1991, we, Abel and Marline, were adopted from Haiti
children's point of view, we feel very strongly that we                                                                                         moment. Our state of com-plete physical
                                                               For the next three days, we visited the official                                                                                                       by Jerry and Val Penner. Now, in October, 2001 we got
want them to understand and appreciate their shared                                                                                             and emotional exhaustion was totally
                                                               government offices to finalize the paperwork,                                                                                             Bethany      to go to China and adopt Bethany Joy, our sister. We
cultural identity and this is certainly the best way that we                                                                                    eradicated with one loving glimpse of our                             met really nice people on the way. They were all very
think to promote the common heritage. We want them to          shopped at the porcelain store for spectacular                                   two bundles of joy. The memories of                                   excited to get their babies.
know there are other children out there just like them         figurines and vases, experienced awe as we toured                                endless planning and tiresome paperwork,
who were born in China but grew up in Canada and that          the Pavilion and Cultural Museum and were                                                                                                              In China we noticed that most people were very
                                                                                                                                                and the hurry up and wait syndrome were                               curious. They would come up to our group and ask a
they are available to each other later on for friendship       entertained by the children at the daycare center                       Xiang    gone. All our efforts were so worth it!                               lot of questions.
and support. The group is just as important for the            we visited. The Chinese people were wonderful,
parents. We share a bond in the fact that we have gone                                                                                                                                                Mei Li
                                                               and friendly—admiring our children, or scolding us                               The trip to Wuhan in many ways paralleled                             We liked climbing the Great Wall, seeing all the sights
through the adoption experience.”                                                                                                               most trips abroad, with the obvious                                   and finding out how the Chinese people lived. The food
                                                               unabashedly, but kindly, for the way in which they
                                                               were dressed. Yulin, her brother, and our guide                                  exception! Following the FOI packing list,                            in Nanchang was really awesome. We found out that
                                                               Shirley, took excellent care of us—counting                                      researching on the internet, having lots of                           Bethany loves to eat everything, especially
                                                                                                                                                tolerance (not my strength) and not leaving                           watermelon.
                                                               baggage, telling us where to shop for water, food
                                                               and clothing, taking us to fabulous restaurants and                 Marin        your common sense at home were key. The                               We met Shelly and Shunli, both 5 yrs old, who were
                                                               making sure we were everywhere we should be at                                   success of the trip was highly co-related to              Alyssa      adopted 4 yrs ago from China. They were a lot of fun. I,
                                                               the right time. We were so very fortunate to have                                flexibility, pre-planning and to the excellent                        Abel Penner, was adopted when I was barely 6 yrs old.
                                                                                                                                                advice and resources of FOI. Our facilitator                          My parents remember me saying that I wanted to get
                                                               them with us as our long journey reached its
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      adopted. Bethany wasn’t very happy to see us in the
                                                               ultimate conclusion. China is truly a different                                  Yulin’s sister, Yufen, was indispensable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      beginning but now we’re home and she’s really happy.
                                                               world, but we will be linked to it and to each other                             and our ability to actually enjoy the sights
                                                               forever, because of the lovely children who                                      and tours available on the trip was totally                           We thought that the whole adoption experience was
                                                                                                                                        Sarah                                                         Alison          extremely interesting and we’d like to do it again
                                                               brought us there.                                                                due to their collective efforts.

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