Well, enough for tours, etc. Let’s talk a bit about why we are here: Macy. The time in Zhengzhou was traumatic for her. She had lived with a foster mother since she was born, rather than in an orphanage, so that no doubt made the change in family and environment especially wrenching. She spent the time in Zhengzhou mostly close to Valerie and Jeff. For some reason she didn’t like being in their hotel room. She would be calm and bubbly outside, but as soon as they got off the elevator and started down the hall to their room, she would start fussing. That gradually eased, but we were all still glad when we could leave Zhengzhou. (Hot, sticky, smoggy, and the hotel’s A/C didn’t work very well.)
Malia was uncomfortable with Macy at first and our main role was to provide a place she could come and play and watch her videos. But now she is easing into her big sister role. This morning, Sunday, six days after Macy arrived, she was proudly telling us how she helped “feed the baby.”
Macy is 13 mos. old, healthy, and strong. She’s a good eater. She weighs 18 lbs, while Malia weighed 13 at about the same age. She’s standing alone and about to start walking. Crawls around all over and explores her surroundings. (You may have read this and more at Jeff and Valerie’s blog: http://youbelong.net/pages/htmlos/ybnet/site.html?site=easterling)
Macy also comes willingly to us now and lets us carry her around. That may come in handy on the flight home.
In Zhengzhou we had three outings with Macy – to the market one day and to the Henan Province Museum and Wal-Mart another. Chinese babies with American parents are always of interest to the Chinese people. I remember with Malia that if we were out on the street and one foot stuck out of her blanket (this was December), a Chinese lady would rush up and tell Valerie to cover that baby properly right now.
With a Chinese baby with a visible special need, the situation is intensified. Whereas we might look away or studiously avoid acting as though there was something out of the ordinary, many Chinese stop and stare as long as we’re in sight. This especially bugged Susie. She tried staring back, but, you’ll be glad to know, stopped short of provoking an international incident.
Here’s a scene at the airport. It was like a scene from The Birds – first one, then two, then … a bunch.
Here’s what Susie wrote to our kids:
I actually shed a tear in the airport [more than one – Rob]....the people cannot stop staring at our children and especially Macy who has a definite cleft palate. They bring several of their friends and gather round and grimace and make comments. Valerie tells me to cool it because it is not unusual for the Chinese to stare and gawk at foreigners and especially anyone who is out of the ordinary. Macy is such a sweet-tempered baby and just laughs and when she does her mouth is really misshapen, but Valerie patiently tries to explain (to the onlookers) that we are taking her to America to fix her mouth. (One of the parents in our group, who works for Sandia Labs in Albuquerque, speaks Chinese and was very helpful in translating what Valerie said to the ladies.) Oh well, we will soon be out of here and Macy will begin her rehabilitation.
Here are a couple of Macy shots this morning (I can hardly wait until she’s old enough to realize they are holding a Thanksgiving parade for her in New York city): She and Susie are both smiling, and talking.
(Oops! Another picture that Blogger decided should be rotated.)
Macy’s upper lip has three clefts in it. People who know, such as parents traveling with us who have children who had similar problems, say that this situation is quite fixable.
We ask for your supporting thoughts and prayers as she and her family go through it.
And here’s a (rotated; Blogger Help site indicates this is a complicated problem and so is the solution - more than I've got the patience for. Thank you for your indulgence.) shot of our two little M&M girls (Jeff wonders how many years he can put off dressing them as M&Ms for Halloween).
Susie and Rob
September 12, 2010Guangzhou, China