Today, she chatted with some officials from the orphanage, I think, about her life in America. Somehow, I missed the whole thing, though I would have liked to speak with them. I asked her if she told them it was horrible here or all right. With a sheepish smile, she admitted she had said it was all right.
A few days ago, we were having lunch with the chairman and some teacher...fifteen or twenty people in all...and they asked her what was different about America. What she chose to speak about was church. She felt this was one of the biggest differences. I do not know what she said, but she spoke confidently and with cheerful energy for several minutes and had the whole table laughing twice.
Right now, she is sitting here with her meimei and her didi...her little sister and her little brother--the two children she claims a family connection with. Her little sister shares a foster grandmother. I am not sure how her little brother came to be her little brother, but they are enormouly fond of each other.
Having talked about and prayed for these two for two years now, I really enjoy watching her play with them. The girl is aways looks as if she is about to cry in a sweet puppy-like way and the boy is full of mischief and cheer. He is surprisingly polite, though for a young man of somewhere in the vicinity of thirteen.
For my part, my job is to strike a proper balance between being available and being out of the way. Sometime I am needed. Sometime, it is better if I am off somewhere and the children get their own time together. Thi is new to me. My boys are different from this. They interact with adults more like other adults. These kids are, welll, like kids. So far, I think I have been doing a pretty good job of following Ping-Ping's cues and being present or not as needed. I also try to be welcoming and friendly to everyone she brings by.
Being here has given me a much better understanding of her life to date...particularly when it comes to food. I thought when she came that we would be providing her with better food than she had before...but now that I have eaten at the school...I think she used to eat better than my sons! The meals are all rice, really nicely steamed vegetables, and a tiny bit of meat. She could use more meat than they gave...but otherwise, it is a very nice meal!
Tomorrow, if all goes well, we will go to the bookstore, a four or five story place. Ping-Ping has gift money to buy books. I want to get a map. In the meantime, she is participating in her favorite of all activities...she and her meimei and didi are watching Chinese TV.