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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Sisterhood of the Doughnut Hole

Between the start of school, the earthquake, Hurricane Irene, a tornado the following week amid massive rainstorms, our flooded basement and the 10th anniversary of September 11 (which is always tough for my husband to deal with)... well, y'all... I completely forgot about the Moon Festival until long about 3 PM yesterday.

Which means we celebrated...

Fake Moon Festival.

Actually, I guess we always celebrate Fake Moon Festival, seeing as how the husband and I are white and have never attended an authentic Mid-Autumn Festival in our lives, but this year was more fake than ever.  We ate doughnut holes instead of mooncakes, with the Tongginator of course dubbing them "fake mooncakes."  We dined inside instead of picnicking, and after dinner ran out to look at the moon for approximately 2.65 minutes before mosquitoes the size of small helicopters chased us inside.  Thankfully, I had a few books on hand, so the Tongginator experienced ACTP - Authentic Culture Through Pictures.  Because no way was I navigating the world of crafts or pomelo (okay, okay) watermelon carving with a toddler Squirt on hand.  And no way was I trekking - during rush hour - to the not-so-local Chinese market to get tapioca pearls for Bubble Tea.  As for moon pies? So not gonna happen with less than three hours notice.

I almost allowed the guilt to overwhelm me until I asked Marlin if his family had any Moon Festival plans.  His response?  "Uh... no... I'm totally Americanized."  Which made me laugh at myself to the nth degree and then wonder where the line was between exposing my child to her birth culture and appropriating said culture.  (And in case you're wondering what I determined about said line, I'll let you know in, say, 20 years when I finally, hopefully, figure it out.)

Several of y'all have wondered aloud how the Tongginator is coping with Big Sisterhood.  And I feel awkward saying this - because I've never been known as a Rainbow and Hearts Adoption Blogger - but the truth is that the Tongginator is coping BEAUTIFULLY.  She adores her mei mei.  Squirt is The Best Baby In The Whole Wide World, just so you know.  Even when she screams, although maybe possibly not when she has stinky diapers.  But otherwise Squirt is amazingly perfect, or so says the Tongginator.

I will confess that back-to-school came at a perfect time.  The newness of sisterhood was beginning to wear off after a little over two months, and now the Tongginator's world is Big again.  She has much to keep her busy: school, Chinese class, Sunday school, Brownies.  Every day after school I ask the Tongginator "what was your rose?  what was your thorn?"  Frequently her thorn is that the school day is so very long, causing her to miss her little sister.  As for Squirt... the best part of Squirt's day is when she sees me get the carrier out after nap time.  Because she knows that's when we're heading to the bus stop to pick up her jie jie.

The Tongginator is a child who absolutely needed a same-race sibling.  And she definitely needed another adoptee in the family.  I knew that before we met Squirt, but I didn't really know it until seeing the Tongginator navigate life these past few months.  Her world has changed in a big way.  She's not the only Chinese-American in our family.  She's not the only adoptee.  She feels protective of her sister - not only as a sibling, but as a fellow adoptee.  It's wonderful to see.

And sometimes it's wonderfully heartbreaking, too.

Because last night, during the Moon Festival, the Tongginator realized she needed to pray for Squirt's biological family as well as her own.  You know, because Squirt is too young to do it for herself.

Which pretty much says it all, doesn't it?


Sunday said...

Wow, both sad and beautiful. I am so glad to see you in print again!

Sharie said...

You are blessed with one big hearted little 2nd grader. Glad her transition has gone so well. Our mid-autumn festival consisted of me telling Amelia it was the mid-autumn festival...that's it. So you did better than me.

Jennifer said...

Tongginator praying for Squirt's biological family has got to be one of the sweetest sister moments of all time.

Isn't it wonderful when we see the fruit of being obedient to God, not knowing that the waiting and crying are going to serve His perfect purpose?

autumnesf said...

I'm still bummed that we weren't able to adopt another so that Mouse could have a same race sibling. So glad that your family was able to do so...even if the wait was 16 years.

Aus said...

So glad to be e-seeing you again!

And yeah - 9-11 is particularly hard for me too - but that's another blog post sometime....

I pretty much knew T would make a great Jei jei - she's cut like her mom - good cloth on that bolt - and someone who knows what family is about - but remembering to pray for Squirt's bio family too - wow!

We managed a little celebration on Saturday - it was good - and one of these day's maybe I'll get pictures up!

hugs - aus and co.

Sherri said...

I miss you. But I totally understand your lack of blogging.

I am so happy that things are going so smoothly for your big girl. And that made me get a little misty when you told of her wanting to pray for Squirt's birth family. She's 40 years old in a little girl's body sometimes, isn't she? I have one of those, too.

Give yourself a break on the Moon Festival. We just read books. We didn't even have donut holes.

prechrswife said...

Love the post, and I'm so thrilled to hear that the Tongginator is such a wonderful big sister! As for the doughnut holes, you did better than we did. Totally forgot it. :-)

Mama.The.Dragon said...

Love this post... from beginning to end. Missed reading your stuff!

Myrnie said...

Sister love is a powerful, wonderful thing! So beautiful :)

lmgnyc said...

You make me wonder. If not for the slow down and if not for my daughter's overwhelmingly powerful personality, I so wanted a sister for her. The best I can do is to keep her close to her Chinese "sisters" here.

I am so so so happy for the Togginator and her sister.

Captain Murdock said...

That is so so precious! Good for you Tongginator!

Suzy said...

What a thoughtful young lady your daughter is!

Asianmommy said...

What a lovely post--I'm tearing up.

Jaggerfan1 said...

I cracked up laughing at the comment about mosquitoes the size of small helicopters. I'm laughing at it now trying to picture it. Do you know how hard it is to not laugh at something? When you're not supposed to laugh, whatever it is you laugh at just seems 20 times funnier.

Summer said...

So glad your family is doing well! Very happy you are finding time to post more often. I have missed your posts terribly:)

Aunt LoLo said...

That is so beautiful!!

Our moon festival was...different this year. ;-) We were on vacation in Chelan, with my family AND my MIL. We brought some mooncakes with us from home...and we ate tacos for dinner. On the deck. ;-) The mooncakes were dessert. haha

I like the donut hole idea!!!