Monday, July 23, 2012

Jie Jie's Had Enough!

Today at the Safari Park, Jie Jie accidently bumped into Sissy. Sissy always makes a big deal of things like this and Jie Jie always apologizes immediately on her own. Sissy was still griping about it and being mean and Jie Jie finally just had had enough. She broke down and cried and told me she couldn't stop.

You have to realize, in case you don't already, that Jie Jie rarely, and I mean RARELY, ever cries. She can usually sort herself out using other means, but she's always been able to share her feelings with me before she needs to cry so that we can fix whatever is going on.

Jie Jie told me that Sissy is acts so bad that she doesn't want to play with her any more or sleep with her. Last night, Sissy started coughing and got so dramatic with it that she forced herself to cough hugely over and over despite my warnings that she's hurt her throat, which she did. Needless to say, she woke Jie Jie up four times! I finally gave Sissy some Benadryl in case the irritation that started the cough was real, then left the room door open and pushed Jie Jie in her stroller up and down the hallway to relax us both. It was after midnight by this time.

While still difficult, Sissy is, at least, trying. She is so clueless about so many things and doesn't have a natural sense of curiousily or problem solving to work it out. For example, she didn't even know how to open the door of the taxi from the inside. She didn't even try, only banged on the window and shouted. Yesterday I bought her a book in Mandarin and English, A Little Princess. When I handed it to her, she looked at it blankly, shrugged and handed it back to me. She didn't read anything about the animals today at the Safari Park until I insisted, then it seemed she just skimmed or pretended.

I have shown Sissy that Chloe and Paisely are sisters. Honestly, she doesn't get it. She doesn't get the adoption thing. If my guess is correct, I think she believes there is a Zhuhai SWI in America where all her friends have gone and that, somehow, beloved Teacher Yang is able to be there, also.

She doesn't realize that while she and I communicate on the computer translator for two hours straight, Jie Jie is left all alone. Jie Jie has been so good to keep herself amused, but even I'd had enough of this. Tonight, my guide came to deliver Sissy's passport and notary booklets and I had him explain that Jie Jie has had enough and doesn't want to play with her and needs a break from her. I didn't turn the computer on at all and made dinner right away. Sissy saw that I had apples and said, "No," as usual. Then I asked, "Orange?" and got another, "No." So I told her that she needed to pick one. Again, another insolent, "No." So I said, "Okay, no fruit, no bread." This meant no dinner.

In case you think me horrible, remember that this child has never known deprivation. She also had a HUGE lunch, for a change, so she wasn't going to come to any harm, physically or psychologically.

About 15 minutes later, I get, "Wo er le," which is, I'm hungry. I ask, "Apple or orange," and she said apple. I told her she had to eat it before her sandwich and she did. Then she exclaimed, "Hao chur," which means it's really good.

The Safari Park was all I remembered it to be. Jie Jie and I rode the elephant again and loved it. Sissy was afraid of the height of the platform we went on to mount the ride and freaked out, so she didn't ride the elephant with us. All three of us pet a Koala, and he was amazing! He liked me a lot and looked me in the eyes and responded to how I stroked his back, but with the others, he turned away. They have such pointy faces!

So, while Jie Jie ate, I put on a movie for her on the portable DVD player while I washed Sissy's hair. Sissy was to wash her body first and she had plenty of time to do so. I told her about six times, I kid you not. After the hair was done, I turned off the water and Sissy starts to dry off then stops, motioning that she needs to wash herself. I shook my head and said, "Too bad, first wash, second hair." I used some Chinese, of course, so she'd understand. She did and dropped it, and this is progress, because she knew I'd told her. After that, she also watched some of the DVD, which was the movie Up. We'd never seen it before and we were watching it in English as per Jie Jie's preference. It's super easy to follow, though, and the beginning doesn't even have words. Sissy started sighing, going on about how she couldn't understand it, etc... Finally, she realized I wasn't going to change anything and the moment it was over, I sent her to bed. She tried to argue, then I reminded her of her coughing the night before and she didn't give me any further lip about it. Within moments, she was asleep and Jie Jie and I worked on the puzzle and finished it. It was something we were all supposed to do, but Sissy just isn't interested in anything. If, later, she complains that I dragged her around China, I'll be able to tell her that it sure beat staying in the room watching her sit doing absolutely nothing but huff at us. Culture shock doesn't begin to describe what Sissy is going to go through in the US.


happymama said...

You are doing a wonderful job under very difficult circumstances. I can't even begin to imagine how frustrating your current situation is. I have adopted internationally 4 times, and two of those were 10 and 11 year olds, but fortunately I never had to go through what you are dealing with. You have my admiration. So does Jie Jie! I have loved always reading your updates on that sweet little girl. She is definitely one in a million! I am so glad you have each other to weather this difficult adjustment. Best wishes as you complete your trip!

Jenny said...

I've been following your blog and I am keeping you in my prayers. We adopted our 2nd daughter from China last year and our 1st daughter was very similar in temperament to yours so there were some difficult adjustments but it helped me so much that I had read the "Well Connected Child" by Karen Purvis. It encouraged me so much she also has a website you can go too! You are doing great and you do have to take care of yourself and JieJie it is such a
big adjustment for everyone!

Vickie said...


You are doing great! Stand your ground. Now is the time to get her to see where she can not go. It's a huge adjustment but you clearly are handling it well and you will see progress, even if slow with Sissy.

Hugs to Jie, Jie, it's such an adjustment at times. You all are in our prayers and anything we can do to help just let us know.

Anonymous said...

kimi, you are amazing.
Little Jie Jie, you are a jem.
I'm so sorry and yet so proud of you.
I thought of you all day, and prayed as I did.
I agree, the purvis book is helpful.
Press on and keep your eyes on the Lord. Loving the unloveable is a valuable life lesson for Jie Jie. It's the gospel, lived out in your little family.
God bless you 3

Sherri said...

I second Jenny's advice...that book might give you more insight. Sounds like you are already doing well though. I really think it will be easier when you are back on your home turf and Sissy can begin the real adjustment. This inbetween period is so's not "normal" for either of you...