Today it has been 6 months since Matt and I met Kat. What has changed for all of us in 6 months? I told Kat that I wanted to gain her perspective in this blog post. She said,
“But my English thoughts are not very good.” I persuaded her to share her voice. Her lack of perfect English doesn’t matter. I will try to lightly edit her answers in way that fixes her English, but doesn’t change her voice or content. I thought it would be easier on her if I asked her questions. Ok….here we go.
- Kat, how has the first six months been in the United States?
It’s been fun. Sometimes I get sad because I miss my friends and the food. I have a good English teacher, and I have good friends. I have a big family. I have a big daddy. I have a beautiful mom. I am always happy I have a family. I have visited Florida. I like the holidays. I like Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and Thanksgiving. My mom is crazy. My dad is quiet, but sometimes he is funny too. Sometimes my mom and dad always like to joke about my kung fu “boyfriend”. It’s not real. (side note by me….oh…he’s real!)
2. What’s it like having a family?
We need to share. We need to watch out for each other. We need to have fun and be there for each other…you know the siblings or whatever. (side note by me….or whatever!?!?!)
3. What’s your favorite part of being a big sister?
Hummmmm…no idea. I want to be a little sister. Can you adopt a big sister? (side note by me….no.)
4. What do you think of school here?
I have a very nice school. I have good teachers and friends. People help me. I learned swimming. We don’t have too much homework.
5. What has been the hardest part of the last 6 months?
6. If you could change one thing, what would it be?
Change English to Chinese. (side note by me….I am not as smart as Kat. I have now spent approximately 2 1/2 months in China, and I can only say about 5 things)
7. What are looking forward to?
Having a job. (side note by me….can you start by cleaning your room?)
8. What were you most scared of coming to the US and being adopted?
The work would be too hard in school. I was scared my parents would hate me.
9. What’s your favorite new food?
10. What has helped you the most in your transition?
I have no idea what you are saying. (I reask in a simpler way) My life is better than orphanage life. I like my phone. I can still talk to my friends in China and watch Chinese TV. I think a dog would help me. (side note by me….no)
11. What else would you like people to know?
I can write, speak, and read Chinese better than English. In China at my school, kids would tell me I live in an orphanage and I don’t have parents. I hit one girl. The teacher yelled at me. I asked the teacher what they would feel if someone said that to them. I am super strong. After I hit her no one said it again. At first I would try to tell them not to say that. That you can’t say that, but it wasn’t working.
12. What would you tell other parents thinking of adopting an older child?
Very hard. All children are very different. Some children might cry. I do not. I knew about America. Some do not know. Give them something to talk to their friends. Talk with your child using the translator, so they will understand what you are saying. Give time to your child so they understand what you are doing and what you are saying. Some child may cry all day. Be very caring, and ask what is going on. If you adopt a girl who is very sad and crying, you know some send them back to orphanage just like that. Don’t do that. (side note by me…Kat is talking about disruption. She had friends who were being adopted by Americans, but when they cried a lot they were sent back to the orphanage). Just try to make them happy by playing with them…like play a game. Some children don’t know English. Find a translator to come to the house to talk to them. Sometimes an older child can be trouble because they can cry because they miss China and their friends.
13. How many children do you want to have?
Two…wait wait wait…one….wait…two…two or one. I want to adopt an older child because I know what I am doing. (side note by me….I completely agree! She would be a great at adopting an older child.) You are so lucky for adopting a girl like me. (side note by me….agree completely! Lucky doesn’t even touch it girl!)
14. What’s your dream?
My dream is to be a soldier or police woman. When I was a baby a police officer picked me up. When I was a baby I stayed with the police for 6 months. (side note by me….her file does say she lived at the police station for 6 months. We may have to look in to that more.)
Now here is what Kat has taught me in 6 months.
- When you smile, the world smiles with you. A smile can change your mood and those around you.
- American food makes you fat. Kat’s very upset about this. If you know Kat, she is far from fat, but has gained some weight since being home. She has changed from calling me fat to talking about my food baby. I think I may have food babies now. I have tried to beef up on our vegetable intake though.
- Nothing beats a can do attitude! Kat knows that she can do anything! She is right. Not only does she handle everything and every change with grace and courage, she does it with such a beam of positivity.
- You can never hear someone call you “mom!” too much. Kat loves to call me mom! I love to hear it. It’s like music to my ears.
- Showing someone a whole new world is fun and overwhelming. The majority of the time it’s fun, but when you have to tell them to stop cutting in line and to buckle their seatbelt one hundred times….it gets a little tiring.
- Kat can trip over an invisible line, fall down, get up, and still laugh…which makes us laugh. The way she approaches everything with humor is contagious.
- When your brain can’t take anymore new culture or language, take a nap…anywhere you feel like it. She fits her name. She loves cat naps.
- What are you afraid of?