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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Stories of a very special girl...

This is a true story of a little girl named Jacqueline.

She is going to be eight years old by end of this October.

We never had the chance to see her again after the first two outings that we brought her out to the countryside and to the beach when she was two years old, until few years later, we met her once during one of the Chinese New Years, but she couldn't remember us at all. And then I saw her once briefly when I was visiting this family, but the nanny had taken her away as soon as she arrived at the house. I didn't manage to talk to her. She only said to me, "Who are you? Can you bring me to your home? I want to go to your home."

This week, I got the chance to spend some time with her on this two hours visit to this family.

I kissed her cheek, and wanted to hug her, but she felt awkward and resisted. It reminded me that growing up in this family, there were no kisses or hugging.

She looks exactly like her mother when she was a little girl. She carries most of her mother's characters and behavior patterns.

But, she is not her mother. She is different. She is who she is. Their lives are different.

They don't live together, since she was born.

She was born into this world not by planned when her mother conceived her at fifteen years old. The father was a jobless teenager as well. Her parents were being told to get married just to get her birth certificate paper works done. They divorced not long after that. Her father left her with the mother. The mother didn't know what to do or how to bring up a baby. She found a job somewhere in the city, and she left Jacqueline with the grandmother.

She was brought up and living with her grandmother until she reached schooling age, then things started to change.

Jacqueline's mother met another young man when Jacqueline was still learning how to speak, and she married this young man later. Today, Jacqueline has a step sister and a step brother that she hardly meets, as Jacqueline was not welcome in the new family. Her mother's present husband and his family don't like Jacqueline, nor allow Jacqueline to live with them. Her mother didn't take Jacqueline with her into this new family. Maybe it is better to be like this, as there are problems in this new family, as Jacqueline's mother's husband was arrested and locked up by the police not long ago for some illegal matters.

When Jacqueline told me that she has a sister and a brother, she was in silence afterwards. She didn't mention about her mother or her father. She looked a bit sad and teary, but she didn't cry. She didn't manage to cry.

Due to the difficult life condition in this family, her grandmother could no longer commit to take care of her for full time. She was left with a nanny for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, who's job is only to feed her, send her to school, and bring her back from the school, and put her to sleep. Nothing else.

Once in a while the grandmother will come to see her, when the nanny needs to go somewhere and can't look after Jacqueline for that few days. But not once her birth parents would come to visit her. When the grandmother came to see her, she didn't go to school for days as the grandmother was busy in life, and she has to take Jacqueline with her wherever she goes.

Jacqueline told her great grandfather, who is paralyzed, and her granduncle who love and care for her very much, that they are not her real family. She seldom sees them, as she is 24 hours a day being with the nanny. When she has the chance to come over to the great grandfather's house, she doesn't talk to them, nor wants to be near to the great grandfather. She would argue with him over what TV channel he or she wants to watch, and argue over the volume of the TV, as the great grandfather needs to sleep most of the time. She said to 'Tai Goong', the great grandfather who adores her very much, "You are not my real 'Tai Goong' and you are not my real family." She thinks that the family from her birth father side, is her only real family. She puzzles everyday why her real family never come to see her. She feels unhappy, but she doesn't really know how to express her feelings and emotions, as nobody guided her on how to express herself.

She doesn't know what is sharing, or thoughtfulness, or thankfulness. We can't blame her, as she was never been taught about sharing, thoughtfulness and thankfulness.

She took and opened one of the few packs of biscuits that I gave to her, and she ate the biscuits by herself without knowing to say 'thank you', nor did she offer to anybody in the house. Then she said to me while pointing to another pack of biscuits, "I don't like this biscuit. I ate before. I didn't like it and I threw it away. Hahaha! Disgusting biscuits!" And she left the packaging on the chair after eating without knowing to throw rubbish into a rubbish bin. We can't blame her, as she was never been guided to do so. I gently told her to put the rubbish into the rubbish bag hanging on the wall. And she listened to me and put the rubbish into the bag.

I said to her, if she doesn't like any food she has, she shouldn't throw it away but to give to some other people. I also told her that when she receives something from anyone, she needs to say "Thank you.", and she should try to offer the food to people around before she start eating the food by herself. She didn't want to look at me at that time. She was pretending that she was ignoring me. But, after that I came back from the toilet, I saw her bringing the pack of biscuits that she didn't like to the great grandfather. She is a very smart and good kid. All she needs is some love, guidance and patient from everyone, and she'll be fine.

Her granduncle was taking a nap, and he snored quite loud while sleeping. Jacqueline started to complain that his snores were very noisy and disturbing. Then his phone rang, but he didn't wake up to answer the phone. Jacqueline went beside him and suddenly punched him really hard in his stomach. He jumped up in shock and shouted at her, "Hey! Why did you do that?" She shouted back at him, "Your phone was ringing! It was so noisy! And your snores were very noisy and disturbing!" And then she kicked and punched the granduncle a few more times.

If she ever did something naughty, she would only be shouted at. She was told not to behave like this and like that, and everyone told her that she is a 'bad' and 'naughty' girl, but she never understands why, as nobody in the house knows how to guide her patiently even though they wanted to love and care for her, as everyone said she is so pitiful being abandoned by her parents, that her parents didn't even come to visit her, nor bring her out, nor buy her anything.

The granduncle told me that she started to steal things from his shop lately. Why? Just because she wanted to bring something to give to her classmates in school, so that she might get some friendships in return. I told her to ask people if she wants something, but do not steal. She didn't want to look at me. At least she knew it was not okay to steal, or to take things that don't belong to her without asking permission.

She didn't know how to cry. She was not allowed to cry. She would be shouted at if she cries. She only knows how to react violently or aggressively whenever she feels upset, frustrated, or unhappy. But I can see that she is just a lost child.

I told her it was her great grandfather and granduncle's birthday. She said, "Why I didn't know it is their birthday today? Nobody tells me it is their birthday." I told her that she could wish "Happy birthday!" to the great grandfather and granduncle. In the beginning she didn't want to say anything. But afterwards, she got up to the granduncle and said, "Happy birthday!", and then she went to the great grandfather, and said, "Happy birthday!". Then she sat down in front of me, and said, "My birthday is in October." I said, "I know. It's 26th of October, right?" She nodded.

She is really intelligent and attentive on something that will interest her.

I brought her some drawing and painting materials when I arrived at the airport. She was very happy and told me that she likes drawing and painting. She was so excited when I asked her to draw and paint something on an exercise book that was available. She sat down and asked me what could she draw. I said, "You can draw anything that you like. What do you like?" She was thinking for a while, then she nodded her head, and started drawing. She drew a cat, a pond with a fountain and some fish. She drew carefully. She accidentally painted the colour outside the drawing. She said, "I made a mistake." I said to her, "It's okay. You are very good. You can draw and paint very nicely. I am amazed." I asked her if she likes cats. She said to me, "Yes! I like cats very much." She paid full attention from the beginning of the drawing until the end. She didn't leave the chair until she finished drawing and painting, nor did she was distracted or looked around on other things.

After she finished painting, I guided her to clean up the table and put things back in order. She listened and followed all the instructions.

I told her that I love her and I will come back to see her again before I left. She didn't want to say goodbye nor looked at me, when I left the house.

When I came back, I told Marc about everything. And we went to get her some new clothes, shoes (her shoes was broken when I saw her), and I did this video to send to her with a letter to tell her that we love her and she is always welcome to live with us during her school holidays, and sent to her together with some biscuits that she likes, and more painting materials.

We wish her lots of love and happiness. Hope to see her again soon.


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My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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