Saturday, June 13, 2009

No Translation Necessary

We Skyped with the foster family.


No translator needed.

This morning I again awoke around 5am. In the midst of attempting to catch up on email I received a message indicating the foster family wanted to Skype. We "chatted" a bit, with me having to translate (both English to Mandarin and Mandarin to English) in between each message. They desperately wished to see GG. At the time (now 6am), he was asleep, but they assured me they would wait.

I figured this would be a good trial run. A short chat with video. Just to see what his reaction would be.

He woke up in his usual unhappy state. (BTW, the foster family wrote this morning, "Graciousness, he early morning gets out of bed does not have any spirit generally." That explains what appears to be sadness upon waking.) I fed him, dressed him and got him in a playful mood. Then I drew a picture to show him that auntie was going to be on the computer to say hello and that Mommy was going to hold him and sit in a chair by the computer. He VEHEMENTLY shook his head NO. It was clear he understood and he wanted nothing to do with it. (Edited to add...he HAS Skyped before and HAS enjoyed it. He laughs and laughs when the kids do it with their friends. And he enjoyed talking with BigSis and Grandma & Grandpa from China. This was different.)

Lizzi went back to the computer where they were waiting. I let him listen at the door and peek in so he could see them. Two aunties and a well-loved cousin were present. I again asked if he wanted to talk to them. NO.

This may have been horrible, but I carried him in front of the computer so they could see him. Less than two minutes, tops. They were very excited to see him. Laughing and talking. I had previously asked them to say positive things about him being in his new family and to keep it happy. They were great.

He looked ready to cry. Refused to speak. I told them we'd have to say goodbye. At my request he did say "goodbye" in English.

After we left the computer he was sad but very quickly snapped into a playful mood and tossed a ball with me and Daddy. Suddenly in the midst of playing (maybe 15 minutes later?) he got very sad and buried his head on my shoulder. But he again snapped right back out of it.

I sent a message to the foster family apologizing for the short time with GG and saying we'd try again sometime with a translator.

Several hours later he found the picture I'd drawn. He launched into several sentences in Chinese. Then he took a pencil and ERASED auntie's picture from the computer screen. (My original drawing is at left in the above photo. He added everything else, including the marks on and around the chair and computer. He tried to erase auntie but seems to have scribbled out her head instead. He said the two circles--big and little--in the middle of the page were Mommy and said a lot about the whole scene. In Chinese.) I called my friend Doris to see if she could understand any of what he was saying. When he heard her speaking Chinese, he immediately left and went to another room.

The foster family then wrote back saying they want to try Skyping again tomorrow. I had to reply telling them that he refuses to talk on the computer right now.

The best I can figure is that he's upset with them for abandoning him (in his eyes) and his way of processing grief is to not think about it. The good news is that he does ask to see their photos, so small doses must be's the "real thing" that is just too much at this point.

All that to say I didn't need a translator. At least not yet. His message was very clear. No words needed.

I wish we had an adoption therapist who speaks Chinese and lives within driving distance. It's too bad that he cannot process his feelings with someone right now. He tried to tell us this morning, but all I know is that auntie got erased.

Speaking of powerful drawings...

LilDude continues to struggle with big-brotherhood. He brought home a book from school yesterday containing drawings from the year. It included a recent drawing of his family. Mommy was laying down at the bottom with everyone else standing above her. GG wasn't included at all, but LilDude added him after the teacher asked where he was. He's a scribble off to one side. This morning LilDude clearly said that he is mad at Mommy because he does not like sharing Mommy. We had a long talk. Things are better. For the moment.

1 comment:

Ansley said...

Hang in there. It will get better. They are both processing, and I know you know that is a good thing. I could probably get in you in touch with a fluent Mandaran speaker if need be...

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