Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tales from the Front Pew, Chapter 11

Abigail has a new friend.

LeiAnna, who is nine years old, was adopted a month ago by close friends of ours. LeiAnna is busy adapting to a completely new culture, language, and family, and they are going through what we went through about a year and a half ago. Lots of adjustments and you never know what is going to happen.

One of those adjustments is sitting through church services. Orphanage children generally do not sit through church services, so this is a new adjustment for them. One of the big things is just keeping the child from being too distracting to others while a stranger stands in front and speaks for a half hour or more in a language that she doesn't understand.

This past Sunday evening, Abigail was delighted when LeiAnna was seated right next to her. They became friends almost instantly when LeiAnna came home from China and they are always excited to see each other.

The two girls held hands through much of the church service. During the prayer, I was distracted by Abigail's hand hitting my leg. Abigail is an inquisitive child, with lots of questions, so she taps me regularly with a question. But this was not her usual soft tap. It was a full backhand slap. I was about to ask her what was wrong when I saw LeiAnna grab Abigail's hand and wind up for another swing at my leg. I quickly grabbed Abigail's hand, which seemed to satisfy LeiAnna. LeiAnna was holding Abigail's other hand as well as her dad's hand, who was seated next to her. Apparently, in LeiAnna's household, they hold hands during prayer, so LeiAnna thought everyone held hands during prayer. Seeing that Abigail and I were not holding hands, she sought to rectify the situation.

We have been observing the adjustments that have been happening in that family for the last month with interest, not because we enjoy seeing them go through difficult adjustments but because we have been there and can sympathize with them, and also because it confirms for us that what we went through over a year ago was actually sort of normal when adopting an older child. We really weren't such a nutty family as we appeared to be.

So getting slugged during prayer in church was not all that abnormal after all.

1 comment:

Chris and Celeste said...

Such a funny story. Glad the girls have each other, does she speak Mandarin like Abigail did?