Saturday, March 23, 2013

In Which I Tell You The Funniest Adoption Story


Meet Katie. 

Katie is here with her Duck & Llama addicted husband adopting Simon.

Katie's pretty normal.
Loves Jesus.
Kind hearted.

But here's what Katie is not:
She is not good at Mandarin.
she's AWFUL at Mandarin.

Katie knows this.
So, like all good adoptive mothers she thought ahead and purchased some translation cards to help her communicate with Simon during these early days.
You go Katie.
That's awesome.

Now it's at this point I'd like to pause for a quick lesson in Chinese.

is water.

The Chinese word for water is shui.
Pronounced shhway.


is a bed for sleeping.
The Chinese word for sleep is shuijiao.
It is not spelled nor pronounced like shui.

Enter poor little Simon. 

Every night the sweet boy has gotten ready for bed as his mother stands nearby and says, "Shui! Time for shui!"
At which point Simon dutifully gets up and goes and gets water as his mother asked.
Weird American woman wanting me to drink water at bedtime.
To which  he gets a resounding "Boo!"(no) "It's time for shui!"
Ummmm, ok.
I'll go get some more water.
Head to the water bottle.
"No's time for shui, not water!"
"Shui! Shui! Shui!"
Water! Water! Water!

Oh my goodness how I wish you could here Katie tell this story.
Bless her.
So. Stinkin. Funny.
She's confused the poor kid to no end every night since he arrived.
I'm telling's pee your pants funny to hear her tell it. 

Katie only realized the error of her ways when out at the Noodle House last night when one of her friends asked the waiter for some shui and she leaned over and asked her friend why she just told that waiter to go to bed.

Oh the horror when the realization of what she had been doing descended upon her.


So in sum,
Don't believe every Chinese pronunciation card that you order.

You just never know what you may actually be saying.
Now go get yourself a cup of shui and then go install Llama Duck on your iPhone.
You can thank me later. 


  1. So funny! I had a similar experience tucking Abby into bed one night:) no mandarin for me either!

  2. Heehee these poor kids. Our 2 year old kept saying what we thought was baba - daddy? Nope ok then bottle? Yeah TWO freking weeks later we realized it is an older form for potty (head slap) NiBa lol -

  3. too funny!
    We have Sarah and she would let us know... ahhh Mom, you just said blah blah blah- whatever!!

    She is handy and even corrects Google translate! She is available for a small (okay large ) fee! And she comes with a Momma in tow!

  4. FYI- Simon is adorable!


    But adorable!!

  5. Too funny! I have been getting to know Katie over the past several months as we've supported her (behind the scenes) in her journey. Love that I got to finally meet her in person this week in China. She is a hoot!

    PS...mentally prepping a BOYS, BOYS, BOYS blog series... should be fun!

  6. I am getting caught up on the world of Sonia and keep telling Tom to pause the TV so he can laugh with me! Poor Katie, and POOR SIMON! That is too funny.

  7. No, no you are right (born in China but raised in North America). Shui is sleep but it depends on how you say it...Based on my experience, not many "English" folk can differentiate "water" and "sleep". Maybe just say sleep whilst also putting your hands under your ear to form a connection between the word sleep and actually going to bed.