So my parents were the very last people off their plane, which leaves me standing at International Arrivals frantically texting my sister to say clever things like “Mom and Dad did get on the plane, right? They’d have told us if they didn’t, right?”
Then I finally saw my mom! And I started screaming and crying and knocking people out of my way. It was very mature and dignified and I’m sure I made my parents proud.
Seeing my parents in China is really strange. It’s weird to be the navigator and translator. Even with my bad Chinese I can get my mom a coffee or find a Western bathroom. I’m really proud of how my Chinese is improving. I can now hold actual conversations, although they’re usually short conversations.
We took a taxi to the hotel, and my parents were really jetlagged their first night, so we ate some Western food in the hotel’s cafe. Well, actually, my parents ate some food. I sprinted off as soon as I heard “buffet” and tried to inhale everything in the room. (Later I took my parents to look at the menu at the restaurant next door, but they only made it as far as my sea cucumbers explanation before deciding it was time to leave)
The hotel turned out to be international adoption central. Everyone else we saw was a Spanish couple with a new Chinese daughter. It was great to be around so many happy new parents, and adorable babies, but strange to be surrounded by Spanish in China. Stranger to imagine all those Chinese girls growing up as Susanas or Gabrielas.
In the elevator, my dad used a Columbian colloquialism to tell a new mom how cute her daughter is, and I realized again how far I need to go with my Chinese skills.