Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Year Ago Today: What Wanhan Was Wearing

When we met Natalie she was wearing over 2 pounds of clothing.  That is a lot for a rail thin little girl who only weighed 18 pounds at 21 months old.  I never previously published these photos, so I thought it would be interesting to show what Natalie's Family Day clothing looked like.

Chinese people believe in dressing much warmer than we do in the U.S.  Because Gary and I were warned before travel about the unofficial "clothes police" we tried to be very careful to keep Natalie well covered while we were in public.  However, we still had a few ladies come over to us and tug Natalie's pant legs down where they had ridden up.  I think it's interesting that they don't seem to be big on wearing hats in China.  Maybe they don't know that a lot of body heat can escape through an uncovered head.

Outside layer - The overalls, the only new article of clothing, were donated to the orphanage by a Families with Children from China organization in Spain I believe.
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Second layer
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Third layer
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Fourth layer (including split pants and undershirt both with multiple repairs visible)
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Underneath all of that was a dry diaper which was likely put on Natalie just for travel purposes. In the orphanage the children wear split pants and have bare bottoms to provide easy access for using the potty.  Natalie was about 95% potty trained when we met her.

When I took Natalie's diaper off I discovered one final layer. A big white bandage had been taped to her abdomen.  When I saw it I remember feeling a moment of panic.  I was scared to take the bandage off because I was expecting to find a large wound underneath.  Instead I found a muddy looking poultice that had been covering up her belly button.  What a relief! I found out later that this was an herbal remedy likely meant to prevent colds or digestive problems.


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