Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Three Names of Me

A long time ago, or within the last 7 years I came across this book. I bought it to save for just the right anniversary, so yesterday I gave it to G yesterday for referral day. We read it last night. G said it was different for her because she wasn't from Zhejiang like the character, Ada, in the book and that Ada had a DAD and a mom not just a mom. Oh and that Ada has a goldfish and we have cats. Have I mentioned that G is literal and relates literally?

I really liked this book. This "Ada" explains all of her names even the one she doesn't remember that was spoken to her heart by her China parents. G really wants to know what that is because she is a literal child and doesn't yet understand allusions or ideas like a lost name given by parents who could no longer parent.

Ada talks about her being a Chinese girl and an American girl and those things are different but make her who she is. Also she talks about noticing how people stare at her when she is out with her family. This book treated some of the big things delicately and openly. I think it is a really good resource for adoptive families.

There is a section of the book that "Ada" shares her personal journal and one of the pages is of things she would like to know or see and most relate to China like meeting the ones who took care of her or seeing the Temple of Heaven etc.

So I asked G if she met her China parents what would she ask them. G is a very private person and it very much shows in her reserve around people. She is also extremely modest even though she is at that age where body parts (everyone's) are so funny and fascinating and she wants to see, talk about, and touch which makes her kind of a cunundrum.

So when I asked her the question about what to ask her first mama, she said she wouldn't be able to talk to them because she doesn't speak Chinese. I told her she would have a translator. Then she took her big 2 ft care bear and laid it on top of her where I couldn't see her face. I have noticed that she hides her face when we talk about her beginnings in China but she shows an excited embarrassment in her voice and expressions.

She asked me what I would say and I told her that I would tell them how sorry I was they were not able to raise her, what a smart girl she is and what a joy it is to be her mom. I would tell them about her growing up here and about her house and life here.

She said she would tell them her favorite color is green because they might think it was red since red is important to China. Then she said she would want to know if there were other children and asked me if I thought her China mom gave her a name. I said she may have or she may have called her "baby." She said she would ask her if she gave her a name.

Then she asked me if I thought she had any brothers or sisters, and I said that we of course don't know but that G could be the oldest or the youngest. She asked if I thought the China mom was a Christian and I said I didn't know but that we would pray that Jesus would find her and bring her to Himself.

Then at some point G got really quiet and I heard her sleeping breath. She had fallen peacefully asleep under that bear.

I had to read the book first to make sure there was nothing that would make me cry while reading it to her. Yes it can be a tear jerker and maybe one day it will register to G that she does have a 3rd name and that only that one person (maybe family) knows it. I told her that God knew it though and He prepared her for this journey in life and that He was and will be always with her.


Vivian M said...

Kerri's favourite book was "I Love You Like CrazyCakes". She truly believes it was written about her. Every now and then she pulls it out to read it.
We really don't talk that much anymore about Kerri's adoption, since Kerri started asking questions earlier on, so she is pretty satisfied and secure now with the information she received. But I always wonder if she thinks about it and just doesn't tell us. :o(

The Byrd's Nest said...

Wow....sometimes I am certain that G and Lottie came from the same womb:) Lottie used to hide her face when she talked to me about her beginnings also, I had the hardest time hearing what she was saying. Now, after a few months of it being such a struggle....she seems to talk (only with me) freely about her first mom.

I have seen this book and wondered about it, thanks for writing about it and I will make sure I get it for Lottie. It should be good for Emma too. Lottie HATES people staring at her and she is super duper private with all of her thoughts. This weekend we went to Puebla and were swimming at the hotel and there was an American girl there named Anna Ruby, she was from DC. What are the odds of THAT? Anyway, she immediately started asking the girls who their real mom's were etc etc etc. We have not had English speaking friends in so long that we are out of practice. I told Greg we better start having some talks about what we are going to say to people because it is NOT cultural here to ask such questions. It would be considered rude to ask someone about their adoption. Poor Lottie was a wreck by the time that little girl left the pool and Emma was so sad. She wasn't mean or anything she was just curious. (sigh) The hardest part is keeping their story to themselves. I told Lottie this weekend that her story is "her story" and she doesn't have to share it with anyone if she doesn't want to but we have to find a way to not be rude about it either. So since they have been missionary kids for the last three years, they are so sheltered and naive. I noticed when we went home for the wedding that they seemed more like 5 year olds around the children their age...but I would like to keep some of that innocence:)
(sorry I wrote this book)