Keeping her distance
We have bazillions of friends who have adopted from China, but we only know a handful (ok two handfuls) of Columbus families with kids from Vietnam. A few of the families decided to meet for lunch Saturday at the Asian Festival. Unfortunately the various family schedules didn’t overlap that well, so we each ate on our own. The girls and I did a lap around the food court and nothing appealed to them, so Chris and I had Phad Thai while the girls had slushees. Chris visited some vendor booths with cheap Asian imports (like Walmart wouldn’t do) and, to appease the bored girls, she got a marionette puppy and tiger.
The impetus for meeting at the Asian Festival was that our Vietnam guide, G.T. Le, was going to be there with a booth for his Vietnamese Orphans Relief Fund. Since we adopted Marissa, Vietnam politicians have closed the door to American adoptions and G.T., without adoptions to facilitate, lost his job at our agency. In the meantime, he has started VORF to aid some of orphans in Danang. And if it helps him at his new adoption agency when the adoptions resume, that doesn’t hurt either.
We took Marissa to see G.T. at his booth and explained to her that he was the one who helped us adopt her. Marissa, who can be obstinate at times, was especially so. She wouldn’t stand beside him for a picture or even acknowledge him. In fact she would always stay on the side of me that was opposite of G.T.. Madison, one of Marissa’s orphanage mates, was there at the same time and she was in G.T. arms for a picture. Still nothing would convince Marissa to be cordial. G.T. can be a little gruff, so I asked her if she was scared of him, and she said no. She said she just wanted to go home.
When we got home, Chris mentioned that Madison, too, was initially reluctant to meet G.T. But she was a little more forthcoming to her parents about her feelings: she didn’t want Mr. Le to take her back to Vietnam.