misperceptions

Last night we turned on the TV and found _Singing in the Rain._ Since JD acted in that performance last semester, we love the movie, and it was nice to watch something we could actually understand. (Attaching a photo of Moses watching the "Moses supposes his toeses are roses" scene, with Chinese subtitles.)


We've noticed a marked change in the Chinese people since we started walking around with a Chinese baby. Some just laugh at the oddity of it, and some smile. But there are others who are very negative, trying to confront us about what we are doing. I can't blame them too much. If I saw a bunch of foreigners walking around my home town with an American baby, it would weird me out, too.

Also, since we obviously have two other children, why we would need another child seems odd here. Most Chinese families only have one child. So we just look weird to the folks here in many ways.

I found the Chinese word for "orphan" on my itouch translator, and when I show that to people, they seem to understand better. Some seems to have trouble believing that a male child so vibrant, cute, and healthy would be an orphan. And I get the feeling that most Chinese people don't think about orphans much at all. One educated, middle aged man seemed genuinely worried about Moses, so I showed him the scar on his tummy. When he realized something had seriously been wrong with him, he seemed to believe that our intentions were good.
I'm going to see if I can get our Chinese guide to write out a little explanation for us to show people who are genuinely concerned. Once we get to Guangzhou, it shouldn't be an issue since most of the families on the island there are adopting.

I came expecting slums-of-India dirty, so China still seems relatively clean to me. I'm not seeing fly-covered dried ducks hanging from street vendor booths. I'm not seeing human waste on the streets. There is very little litter. The smog definitely makes everything feel nasty, and little kids have open pants and pee on the street. But other than that, if you consider how many people are here, it's not so bad.

Of course, Zhengzhou is very metropolitan. I'm definitely not stylish enough to be a part of the in crowd here. Girls have edgy haircuts and ultra modern clothing, and I think they've been studying runway shows in Paris. There are lots of boutiques with beautiful jewelry, clothes, tea, cell phones, purses, shoes, etc. There are lights and fancy signs everywhere, and the interior design of the little shops could rival any American city I've seen. The feeling of the streets is very similar to downtown Nashville or Chicago.

It's humbling walking through downtown. We have only seen two cities in China, but they make me realize I had a mistaken perception of this country. Certainly there are nasty factories and poor rural villages, but deep Appalachia is pretty rough, too. Most of the China I have seen has been innovative, fashionable, and relatively wealthy. The people are not frightened or broken-down looking, in fact, they give off the air of ease and confidence. The policemen smile and are friendly. The people seem to have a lot of life in them, and they are very proud of their country.

Because this is all so different than I was expecting, I might be perceiving it too strongly. There are surely undercurrents and factors I cannot pick up because I'm just skimming the surface. But I came expecting a drab, dull, oppressed culture, and that is not what I'm seeing at all.

There is also a lot more freedom here than I had imagined. I can watch CNN (which doesn't suprise me) and check Fox News online (which does surprise me). People are watching lots of American shows on TV, and they are familiar with many of our sitcoms. I grieve to see there are also lots of girls who seem to be trying to replicate Hollywood demeanor and lifestyle.

Better run. Moses is asking me to read him a book.... priorities!!!


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About This Blog

Welcome to our family’s adoption journey. As you read, you will see us stumble and take wrong paths. You will see our hopes surge and fall. You will see the gaps in our humanity, and how our God realigns us to His purposes over and again. We think the messiness of this process is important. Sometimes walking with God isn’t a neat, linear package that can be summarized in bullet points. More often, life ebbs and flows around our plans, while God works His sovereign wonders from it all. We are learning so much through this journey. And we are super excited about our new son. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride.

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