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China adoption diary: When departure finds a new translation in return

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Courtesy of the Belsie family

(Read caption) China adoption diary: When departure finds a new translation in return

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“Yes, Daddy actually does go to work!”

After two weeks of togetherness in the sumptuous cocoon of The Garden Hotel in Guangzhou, China, followed by a family vacation in Quebec for another 10 days, there were some genuine concerns about how Madeleine Bao Yi would accept the fact that Laurent, her hands-down favorite playmate, would have to return to work. I worried that there would be a noisy scene that first morning of separation, followed by squirt gun tears – both on her part and mine. As that Monday drew near, there was much speculation, and diversionary tactics at the ready.

 As Laurent put on his running shoes and prepared for the three-mile jog to the local train station, Bao Yi came into our bedroom with a look of surprise on her face. She immediately set to work straightening the shoelaces and then clutching her daddy’s hand.

 He told her calmly that he was going to work.

 Her response in Chinese: “Bao Yi comes, too.”

Related: Drought in India: Disrupted rhymths of nomadic family life

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