Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rylee sees an "old" friend...

We just got back from a trip to the beach where we were able to meet up with another family that has adopted twice from the same orphanage that Rylee is from. They have a teenage daughter that helped to care for Rylee a couple of years ago. I was a little nervous about her reaction but knew from pictures that Rylee does remember this girl. I had told Rylee that we were going to visit this friend and I am sure no matter how much I tried to explain that we were going to Florida to see her, Ry thought that we were going to China. She would ask every day "Mama we go China today, see my friend?" I would tell her that we were not going to China but that her friend has her own family and they live in Florida and that we were going to FL to visit. Finally the day before we left she told me with a very serious face "Mama, I don't want go to China, I stay with Mama! I wanna stay you Mama!". I sat her on my lap and told her that we are her family and that she stays with us always. We are going to visit and play with her friend, but then we would all come home together. She said "Okay Mama, it okay".

We got to the beach Thursday and the beach and pool were a smashing success! Rylee loved the water and even the sand and waves of the ocean! Friday the other family arrived and Rylee grabbed right on to the 5 - almost 6- year old girls, but essentially ignored the older girl that Rylee actually knows. She wouldn't really talk to her or even look at her and I didn't want her feelings to be hurt because of this. Finally I pulled Rylee aside and asked her if she remembered this person. She said "Sure Mama, sure I do" I said "Why don't you say hello to her? She has missed you and wanted to see you? Can you say Hi to her?" Rylee said "Who dis person Mama? Where this friend?" So I pointed to her (she was basically right in front of us) and Rylee said "I don't see her, she not here!" (pretending to not see her) So I told her that I thought she might be worried that she was going to go with this friend, but she would always stay with Mama. I told her that she could talk to her friend and play with her friend and that it was okay, she was not going back to China, she was staying with Mama! She finally said okay and went over by her friend. She interacted with her just a little during the two days and had a whole lot of fun learning to swim and playing with the other girls.

After they left and I had a chance to talk with Rylee about it I asked her if she remembered her friend. She said "Sure I do Mama, she take care of me just a little bit - like a tiny baby bit. She take me to play en park! She tell stories and sing. I not sing though cuz I just a little bit baby" "Lots I take care of myself China Mama" I asked her if she liked this friend and was glad to see her. Rylee said "Sure Mama I like her, she my friend, I stay Mama I LOVE you Mama! In China I big, I cook myself an make congee with banana. I have milk 1 cup an 1 cup water an mix it like this, I do it myself" she mimics stirring "Dis really good Mama!", surprised I said "You drank milk in China? Why don't you drink milk here?" Her answer - "You don't make 1 cup milk and 1 cup water Mama, dis bery yummy like dis!" I asked her what else she likes and she told me "Banana cookies! and noodles an mix vegbles together Mama dis bery yummy too!" (she does not eat veggies at all except corn!) "En soups mama, I like soups and flies (means rice)!

Some things we learned this weekend:

  • The orphanage had a cow and the kids had fresh milk every day.
  • Rylee was called by another name that means "Little Dragon or Dragon Baby", how appropriate is that!!!!
  • She was able to roam the orphanage unattended and pretty much could do whatever she wanted. (this we had already figured out)
  • Rylee was not as bossy in China (but given the nickname???)
  • Rylee is an excellent actress (this we had already figured out also)
  • Rylee likes milk (big shock to me)
  • The kids had meat twice a week
  • The orphanage grows their own vegetables
  • Rylee had been in school for a couple of years and all the kids walked there by themselves
  • In school they were treated differently because they did not have families

I am so very thankful to our new friends for giving us a glimps into our daughters past. What a blessing to be able to have this part of Rylee's past and to share it with her! Below are a few pictures from our trip...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

**Rylee turns 5**

"Mama I big now, I five", Rylee states showing me all 5 fingers for emphasis. Suddenly she looks concerned "I Mama's little baby, right Mama?" I tell her that yes she is, and always will be, my little baby even though she is a big 5! "Okay Mama, it's okay!"
When she was asked what she wanted for her birthday she was 100% certain that she wanted a balloon and bubbles! I took her to pick out her balloons and she found one she wanted that had princesses on it and sang "Happy Birthday" when you hit it. Thank goodness she insisted on only wanting one because when we got to the check out we found out that this one balloon was like $15.00. Thank goodness she didn't want six :)
We get half way home with the treasured balloon and Rylee starts to get annoyed with the balloon. "Hey Mama this girl not singing right! She not say Rylee... she not say my name!" I said "Well Ry, she didn't know your name when she sang that song" so she pulls the balloon down even with her face and said "Hey you listen me! You not sing right, my name es Rylee, RYLEE! Say it now - do it right!! GO NOW!" and she smacks the balloon, eagerly waiting for her name to be announced in the middle of the song. I watch in the rear view mirror as her smile fades from her face as once again the princess sang the birthday song without putting Rylee's name in it. So yes, she continued to tell the balloon off then entire ride home, it was just too funny! She still loves the balloon, but is forever annoyed with the princesses for not singing the song correctly!

Summer break is in full swing here and the heat and humidity have arrived. The girls have discovered how to beat the heat - check out the slide show: