воскресенье, 10 марта 2013 г.

A Little Bite of Love

By Mary Ulrich Jackson

Give what you can. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After months of planning, prayer, and preparation, my husband Bob and I could hardly wait to fly to China to welcome our new little daughter. In fact, we had already named our eighteen-month-old angel "Amy" (meaning "love"). We three would be the perfect little family and live happily ever after.
But as soon as we picked Amy up from her Chinese foster mother, our dreams of snuggly joy went terribly wrong. Amy missed her "Amah" so intensely that she would barely look at Bob and me. Instead, she'd stand at our hotel room door and scream for the only mother she had known. Many times I tried to speak to her, but she would avoid eye contact with me and continue to grieve for her beloved foster family. How would we ever make it back to the U.S. with her in such misery?

At this point I was so distraught and embarrassed that lunch in a restaurant was out of the question. I was afraid people would think I was being a "bad mother." So I gave up and ordered our meals from room service.

One time I chose the noodle plate. When the noodles arrived, I put my plate on the bed and decided I would try to use chopsticks for the very first time instead of a fork. As the noodles slithered off my chopsticks, Amy's screaming and crying suddenly stopped.

Peeking out of the corner of my eye, I saw her sitting in the corner of the room watching me intently. Again and again I tried to pick up the noodles with the chopsticks, but not a single one made it into my mouth!

A tiny hand came into view, took the chopsticks from my big American hand, and tapped the ends expertly on the edge of my plate. As I looked up, Amy — with the chopsticks professionally arranged in her chubby little fingers — began expertly feeding me noodles, without dropping a single one.

I looked at Bob, who was wide-eyed with amazement. He ran to get the camera and took a picture of Amy feeding me. (It is our dearest photo!)

"Do you think she would feed me?" my husband wondered hopefully.

So, trembling with excitement, I asked, "Amy, will you feed your daddy now?" and pointed to Bob. She nodded "yes" with a big smile on her face!

As she fed Bob, I grabbed the camera and took a picture of them together. That meal was definitely a bonding experience. I think Amy felt sorry for us and figured that we would surely starve without her assistance!

At age nine, back here in the U.S., she continues to be a real caregiver — especially to her younger sister Bonnie, also adopted from China. In fact, Amy has even promised to drive us to our favorite restaurant on Sunday afternoons some day when we are "too old to drive ourselves." You can't ask for more than that!

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