Saturday, February 7, 2009
Going Home Barbie
Do you have a "Going Home Barbie?" I have one, from Maya's adoption trip. Zoe didn't get one because we were only able to book into the White Swan at the last minute because rooms came available when people stayed away in droves from the October trade fair in Guangzhou after 9/11. So we weren't there as adopters, and missed out (!) on the Barbie.
Here's a story referencing the "Going Home Barbie" by Tai Dong Huai, an adult adoptee from China who writes fiction based on her adoption experiences:
My adoptive mom's best friend, Rachel, comes over to our house with her new Chinese baby. Her American name is Cynthia, she's eleven months old, and she's already a brat. People expect me to make a connection. They grin at me as if to say, "Look. One of your people."
But it's not Cynthia's overwhelming smell of baby powder that gets my attention. It's not her porcupine hair that sticks straight up, or her still malnourished body. It's the toy she was given at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, just before she and her adoptive mom got on the plane aimed toward the U.S.A.
It's called Going Home Barbie. I know this because it's still in the box and, from the way Rachel handles it as if it were rare art, it probably always will be. Inside are two dolls: Barbie, white, blond and dressed for what looks like divorcees-night-out at the Holiday Inn Lounge, and her small baby who appears more Aztec than Chinese. She's huge, this Barbie, actually dwarfing the cardboard house and picket fence that attempt to confine her. And she's too young — twenty, at most. Rather than an adoptive mom returning with a baby from China, she resembles a steroid-soaked Swedish nanny who's making off with a small, Mayan child.
Click here to read more.