Friday, July 10, 2009

China Foster Family Skype #2


We just spent the last 45 minutes Skyping with GG's foster family. Big change from last time. In the last week or two I'd say, "Do you want to talk to Auntie on the computer sometime?" He'd nod and grunt in reply. This, in stark contrast to vigorous shaking of the head "NO!" when we asked initially.

So I asked again today. He did the whole grunt/head nod thing. So we tried it.

This time we had a translator. I am immensely grateful for the help of a very bright 13-year-old girl who lives two minutes away and is fluent in Mandarin and English. (If you want to do this with your child's Chinese FF, it's worth looking close by. Before I started looking, I had no idea that such talents were less than a mile away.)

Tonight, GG's Auntie, Foster Mom (Granny) and niece (age 4 and his live-in playmate) were on the other end. Unfortunately (I thought at first), the video of us worked but the video of them didn't. So they could hear/see us but we could only hear them. At first, GG was very serious. Didn't say anything. Just listened to them talk. But when his niece started talking and laughing, it broke the ice. He became very animated for parts of the conversation, even doing his "monkey face" for them. When we heard that they were eating goodies on their end, GG got a lollypop and offered it to the camera several times and got a "thank you" from China for his efforts. He never said more to them than "ni hao," but he was relaxed, smiling, sometimes laughing, and definitely enjoying himself as he listened to them.

Toward the end of the session, their video worked. He could then see everyone (though not well, as it was pretty slow/blurry), plus the new foster baby who had arrived the day before we visited in China. As soon as he saw them, he was done. He clearly indicated that he was ready to leave the computer. They were gracious and asked if he was tired. I said he was tired of the computer. They quickly brought Grandpa in to say hi as well. GG said goodbye to everyone and ran out to ride tricycle.

After the session, he played outside, happy and carefree. He was concerned about me coming back (I took the translator home), but as soon as he saw me, he gave me a big grin and went back to tricycling.

I'm so, so thrilled that this is working. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a relationship that we can continue, longterm. No one else can tell him about his first three years like these folks can. Even tonight, they were telling me little bits about him. He loves to drink milk. He learned Cantonese first, as a baby; then they gradually began to add in Mandarin. So he knows more Cantonese than Mandarin. (I hope that regular contact with them will help him keep the language.) They keep a candy jar in the living room and he'd always hurry to finish his meals so he could have some candy. Each day he'd want to go outside right after breakfast so they could drive him around in his car (presumably a push car toy.) I mentioned that he loves to pick out his clothes; they said that he would want to wear his favorite clothes again and again.

Odds and ends of info? Sure. But all a part of who he is...who he was before his life began here. And they love him so, so much. It was obvious that they just wanted to look at him, watch him, see that he was happy and healthy and loved.

What a gift for all of us!

Who could have ever guessed we'd be so lucky?

P.S. At some point in the conversation, GG's Foster Mom said, "Listen to your mother." It was just a random comment. But what a powerful thing...for him to hear that from the person who raised him from infancy. Incredible.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails