Saturday, October 30, 2010

Language Loss

I knew this day would come.
Although, for awhile you think the days of it will never end.
I knew it would be a sad one.
But the feelings you feel when you actually find out that it's gone is different than I thought.
It was a sinking feeling in my gut. Almost like a death.
She's lost a part of who she is and I don't know if she will ever get it back.

Not only has she has lost her people,
her culture,
her food,
her friends,
her Chinese Mama and Baba,

now she is losing her language.

Last night I discovered she can't count to 10 in Chinese anymore. I had to help her!
She used to be able to count higher than 10.
I spoke a few phrases in Chinese and she didn't know what I was saying.
I was a little surprised even though I shouldn't be. I knew this day would come.

Because she has lost these things doesn't mean that it's bad.
She exchanged one life for another to have a forever family, love, safety, education and freedom.
But it came with a price.
Not only has she lost her cultural heritage but she'll always look different than most of those around her and at different times in her life it might be hard to deal with. (It's hard enough being a teenager without throwing in other "stuff". )
But we will work through the "stuff" and always come back to the big picture- she is loved and has a family forever.

I have come to love China. The people are wonderful, smart, hard working, family oriented and they are grateful we adopt their "less than perfect" children.
I was personally thanked by a very sweet Chinese woman for adopting Isabella.
And all I could say was...
"Thank you."

So, while she forgets her language, I will do my best to teach her all about her cultural heritage and pray that she will always be happy exchanging one life for another.

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