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Archive for November 2nd, 2011

It has now been over two months since our family grew by two. In that time we have grown to adore this brother and sister by another mother.

They are high school students, from China, who are here (in Canada) to learn Canadian culture and the English language. They are a brother and sister, with parents who live in China, and who love them.

There are many adjustments for them, in entering and living daily life in such a different culture.

They need to adjust to the language, which they came with a good foundation of. Even still, they are now using a language which is no longer tonal (where a word might have a very different meaning, depending on what syllable is emphasized). They are so tired after a day of school, where the subject may not be unfamiliar to them, but have to actively listen to the language drains their energies.

They need to adjust to our food. The first purchase I made, once they arrived, was a rice cooker, as I felt they needed that staple, but we do eat so differently. They might have rice for every meal, as well as soup or a broth, and then the rest of the meal. We might have a casserole. They have been very gracious, and they do both seem to have a sweet tooth. Fortunately the young man who is with us loves to cook, so, on weekends, he frequently makes ‘their’ soup … comfort food!

They need to adjust to the aesthetics in their surroundings. Our architecture, our landscaping, our decor, our art, our clothing, our hair, our make-up, our school supplies and so on, and so on. Our part of the world looks so different. For that matter we look so different! They now look like minorities, and that has to add to all the other adjustments.

The other night was Halloween, and our kids were prepping and preparing for their pursuit of loot. The younger of our Chinese kids was convinced to join them. As they were dressing her up, she was very hesitant, and not at all happy with the idea of wearing a costume in public. My two youngest (and their friends) were literally pulling her out the door!

About an hour later they returned, pillow cases full of sugary sweetness. It was as though I was seeing our daughter from another mother fresh for the first time.

I think, after two months, she has discovered an area of adjustment that she likes … alot, and I think it might just be the gateway to her being won over to our North American ways, through a pillowcase of candy.

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