The first week with Catherin was difficult. We were all, all 5 of us, adjusting to life with each other. She was adjusting to a new country with new customs, a new language, a radically different culture. It wasn’t easy for any of us.
The following weeks were difficult because she did get more comfortable and the “honeymoon” phase was over. I’m not saying Catherin is in any way, shape or form, a bad child. Not at all. But she is your typical 11-year old. For all our differences the Chinese children are still children and incredibly like their American counterparts. Things I see in American children that I don’t like, I see in Chinese children. Things I see that I like in Chinese children, I see in American children as well.
It seems the world over children are children. It doesn’t matter what their culture, country, and skin is, they are children.
I mentioned here that the past few weeks were very difficult and painful for me. There were things Catherin did that didn’t anger me so much as hurt me deeply. Added to this pain was words from well-meaning, well-intentioned people.
On Monday of this past week, Catherin was out of school for Spring Break and I needed to run out of town for some grocery shopping. (We shop once a month at Sam’s Club and it’s an 1.5 hour drive one way.) I am not yet brave enough to take all three girls there by myself. I asked a couple of friends to help with Catherin and the other two girls and I took off.
I was quite shocked when I picked Catherin up that afternoon by her demeanor. It was completely changed from the previous weeks. She was happy, cheerful and open. She voluntarily told us about her day. We talked about one of the ladies was a grandmother and “she looks too young!”
The happy attitude lasted until we got home. Then we were back to our silent, sullen self. Until Tuesday morning. And the happy girl was again in residence.
On Wednesday we didn’t have any trouble with her about AWANA. That is a first.
All-in-all this week has been pleasant. And we’ve all needed it.
On Friday Catherin went to school with a bloody nose. The school was not able to get it stopped and so they took her to the emergency room where they cauterized it and packed it. She will go to a doctor on Wednesday to have the packing removed and looked at. She really wants it out now as it is painful. It has been a good teaching tool for us to use to teach her about choices. I am constantly telling her to drink more water and she is constantly fighting/arguing/or flat out not obeying me. She knows it is in there by her choice.
It’s a tough lesson to learn, one I wish didn’t have to be taught this way.