We have several children's books about China adoption and have been reading one of them lately. Last night, the boys really talked back to us about the subject for the first time.
The particular book we were reading last night was a gift from a friend. Made In China is a story told from a little Chinese-American girl's perspective as her blonde sister teases her for being "Made in China" just like the toys and clothes they have in their room. The Chinese girl runs to her adoptive dad and asks him to explain. (I feel like he should scold his other daughter for teasing, but he doesn't, so I add in that she gets in trouble for being mean.) The dad explains that she is "from China," but not made like a toy or article of clothing. The story tells about the birth mom who was unable to keep her, but cared for her enough to ensure she was safe and then about the family who waited for the girl. The book is beautiful, although I do change up a few things here and there that aren't my favorite.
The boys have been enamored with the book and have asked for me to read it the past two nights. The reading of the story is always followed by looking at our own photo albums of five of us flying to China and seven of us flying back to the USA.
Last night, after story time, Tian looked out his window saying, "I see China!" In the last 24 hours since our story time, he's been constantly asking when we can go to China again. Guess it's good we are going to the Chinese New Year celebration at Chinatown Center tomorrow. While he's asking to visit China, he's also repeating to us what we've told him, that "Tian Travis stay forever and forever and ever ever."
Just this afternoon, Tian was asking about China so much, that I took out MORE photos as well as the globe to help him understand why we can't just go there to see China right now. He asks by signing and speaking, "China in Earth?"
"Yes. Well, it's ON the Earth, way on the other side."
"China far far far away?" Then he uses ASL classifiers to show the earth and that China is on the other side compared to the US.
Travis was able to retell a bit of the story we told them about us waiting for them, then flying over to meet them and bring them home. He signed to us, with a lot of excellent expression that makes the story flow:
Daddy, Mommy, Hannah, Mackenzie, TJ packed suitcases.
They waited and waited.
They flew to China.
Travis with friends. (He acted out what he saw on the video we showed him of when he met us....being happy and also crying.)
Then Travis hugged Daddy.
Daddy, Mommy, Hannah, Mackenzie, TJ, Tian and Travis flew back home.
He ended this story with the biggest smile on his face, jumping into his daddy's arms and hugging him tightly. It was one of those moments I wish I had recorded, but will just have to remember in my heart.
Our goal is to talk to them about China enough that they just always know their life story. I have a feeling we will be telling their stories again and again and again. What a sad, happy and glorious story it is!