Our adoption agency hosts a fabulous Chinese culture camp every summer. We went for the 3rd time this week and had a terrific time. China Camp is a place to meet old friends, put faces with assorted on-line friends we've never actually met, learn new things, and be a part of an amazing community. At China Camp, every family looks like ours and we don't have to explain ourselves. And for once, Katherine and Rachel don't stand our in the crowd, not with 240 other Chinese kids!
Katherine was in a class with 25 other girls (and one boy) her age, including 4 girls from her orphanage and travel group. Her buddy Sophie was there and they hung out together a lot. Sophie is a day older than Kate and they've known each other all of their lives. Katherine's class went to all sorts of fun activities - Chinese language, crafts, recreation, king fu, cooking, adoption talk, and her favorite music and dance. On the last day every class does a presentation for the parents - songs, dances, acting out folk tales, kung fu demonstrations. Katherine did a lotus dance and performed beautifully with a look of such joy on her face.
Rachel happily stayed in the nursery, where she hugged everyone and played all day. A little boy in the nursery fell in love with her and followed her around trying to kiss her. I'm not sure she was as enamored with him!
Steve and I spent a lot of time talking with other parents. It's always nice to talk to other adoptive families because our stories are often similar and our kids have the same issues. We also attending a couple of parent workshops and learned some new things.
Katherine talks about China Camp all year long. She is always axious about going, but she gets so much out of it. China Camp fills her. She leaves so happy and confident, proud of who she is and where she came from. I think it also reminds her that she is not alone. And that's worth returning year after year.