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  #11  
Old 01-29-2009, 03:59 PM
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True, True :]
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:26 PM
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SUMMER OF 2004:

Taking off in a jet--indeed, even being inside ANY airplane--was an astonishing new experience for Alipang. The departure from his native land had been preceded by more vaccinations than he had ever experienced; jabbing with needles didn't bother a boy who had been beaten, cut and burned in a forced gang initiation, but he resented the one that went in his hind end as indignity.

They detoured back to China, because they were picking up still another baby girl who had been tossed on a roadside as a direct result of Beijing's one-child policy. It was already planned that this newest addition to the family would be called Harmony, to go with Melody. One reason why the Havens were taking on a fourth adoption so soon was that, with Chilena now having an age peer in Alipang, they wanted as nearly as possible for Melody to have the same thing.

Melody was pleased with this plan overall; but she unwittingly embarrassed her parents in the Shanghai international terminal, when she looked around them and then said loudly, "Mommy, there's too many _Chinese_ people here!" *

This, however, did not prevent the adoption from preceding; and sixteen days after landing in Shanghai, Alipang found himself bound for the United States with three sisters instead of two.


~ ~ END OF PROLOGUE ~ ~



* Based on a real incident with one of my own Chinese nieces.
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:41 PM
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Aww, Melody is cute.
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2009, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginny_JillPole View Post
"Instead of striking him and warning him not to speak ill of any adult...the white dentist was...shedding TEARS. Never in his life had Alipang known any male human being to weep with compassion for the nightmarish life an orphan boy had lived; but the stranger was doing exactly that..."

Gosh! that just... touched me.
*is too proud to admit the same thing*
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2009, 04:17 PM
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PART ONE: NEW FACES IN OLD VIRGINIA


At a ranch-style house on the outskirts of Smoky Lake, Virginia, beautiful fortyish Elizabeth Tisdale watched her four daughters, fatherless by reason of abandonment, caring busily for the family's growing menagerie of pets and four-legged visitors. The latter category currently comprised two yearling Morgan horses, whose owners had brought them to Mrs. Tisdale to be given low-pressure early training at being led with a bridle. The income Elizabeth would earn from this would help keep the Tisdales' heads above water. The twins Susan and Sharon, oldest of her offspring, were graduates of Smoky Lake East High School; but there was not yet money to send them even to Doverwood Community College within reach of home. Not with Harvey Tisdale enjoying a new life in Argentina with a tango instructress.

Amid making friends with the yearlings, Elizabeth glanced at her youngest, 13-year-old Kim, who was playing with her tawny kitten Leo. Kim was no great burden when it came to clothing expenditures; she favored thrift-shop grunge. But it was a shame that her _reason_ for this preference was what it was.

Baeline, alias Betsy, next up from Kim in age and a sophomore at East High, turned from feeding the hutch rabbits to assess her little sister's oversize babydoll dress and combat boots. Quietly, almost apologetically, she said, "Kimmy--"

"Don't add the Cocopuff part," the younger girl interrupted, her thick dark hair tossing as she faced her fairer-haired sister.

"Kim, then. Do you have any idea _how_ pretty you're getting? I mean, top to toe pretty?"

Hugging Betsy to confirm no hard feelings, Kim said, "You're a flatterer. But flattery from you is safer than flattery from the sharks."

Betsy hugged her back. "In middle school? They're not _that_ bad, Kimmy."

"Ounce of prevention," muttered Kim. "The combat boots stay."

Last edited by Copperfox; 04-10-2010 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Correcting the name of the community college
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2009, 07:38 PM
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The water inlets in the vicinity of Norfolk Naval Base limited the number of roads passing through that vicinity, which routinely meant horrible traffic jams. But a newly retired Naval officer could pick his time to drive this gauntlet, rental trailer and all, when the traffic was light. Having obtained online work as an industrial security consultant, he would be able to live and work in a small town, thus leaving behind the congestion, and other things.

Land...causeway...land...causeway...much like the alternation between times of living his own life, and ending the lives of terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere. But one time coming home, Lieutenant Wilson Kramer of the Navy SEALS had found out too late about the attack on his rear echelon. The enemy had been a poofy desk jockey, the enemy's objective Mrs. Kramer...and the casualties were Wilson and his six-year-old son Quinn.

"Daddy, what if Mommy can't find us in Smelly Lake?"

Wilson surprised himself by smiling at that. "Smoky Lake, son, like smoke from a fire. Quinn, do I tell you the truth?"

"Yes, Daddy, you do."

"I hope you always remember that, pal. The truth is that your Mommy doesn't _want_ to find us. What she wants is to play every day with her new friend, and not have to bother about us." The case of desertion and even serious child neglect had been clear, leaving Lorraine Kramer with no visitation rights to Quinn, and not a cent of alimony. In fact, Lorraine had been fortunate to avoid prison time. But her keyboard warrior had a plush defense contractor's job, and would provide for her lavishly--in the safety and security that Wilson and his comrades had bought for them with a different price than money.

Quinn didn't cry; he had already cried enough while his mother was ignoring him for the sake of her fun, well before his father had returned from the last combat deployment. He simply asked, "Why are we going to Smoky Lake?"

"Because a friend of mine and his wife, Eric and Cecilia Havens, will be there. Eric's a little older than I am; we both lived in Richmond when we were boys, and he was kind to me when most bigger boys weren't. I always stayed friends with him. His family was in another country for years; but they're coming back to America, and they let me know that Smoky Lake is where _they_ plan to live. So that's where you and I are going to live, too."

"Is he a Navy SEAL too, Daddy?"

"No, son, he's something a lot more scary: he's a dentist. He was in the Philippines--I've told you about the Philippines, a place with islands and jungles--taking care of people's teeth when they were too poor to get a dentist for themselves. None of his children are the same age as you, but I'm sure they'll be friendly to you when we see them..."

Last edited by Copperfox; 04-10-2010 at 10:38 AM.
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2009, 08:40 PM
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There is no short way to fly from the Philippines, or from China, to the eastern United States. But at least from China one can follow a great-circle route, past Japan, Korea, Russia and Alaska: shorter than the Hawaii route.

Flying across the Pacific was largely at night for the Havens family. They would be processed into the United States at the airport in Seattle, to cross the continent after a little recovery time. Alipang, understanding about time zones and jet lag, tried to stay awake all the way, thinking to make the shift in sleep cycle all in one shot; but his body overruled him, sending him to--

--a jungle, much like Luzon. It seemed to Alipang that he stood at the edge of a miry swamp; and from the swamp came cries for help. His birth mother and sister were alive again, but stuck in bog holes and sinking. Moreover, his new mother and new sisters were also stuck and sinking. All of them were too far apart from each other for him to help more than one of them before the others perished. He froze, unable to choose.

His accursed father-in-body-only now appeared before him, laughing, "Failure! Weakling! Nothing you can do! Look at them drowning; and I'll tell everyone it's YOUR fault! You're no use to anyone, HA HA HA HA!"

Alipang wanted to kill the foul two-legged beast; but he was caught and held by--


--his golden-haired adoptive sister Chilena, her arms winding around him as she called him back to consciousness, using Tagalog for her first words to him. "Alipang! It was just a dream! Wake up! See, we're on the plane. You're all right, brother." Melody, in the window seat on Alipang's other side, added her own more childish reassurance: "No big snakes, Al-Al, no big snakes," referring to a past nightmare of his.

Back to normal, Alipang hugged and kissed Melody in appreciation; then, as far as the tight quarters of coach-class airline seating permitted, he and Chilena spent some while closely nestled in each other's arms, while he told her about the latest nightmare.

At last Chilena declared, "Only a couple more hours, and you'll have plenty of new things to distract you from bad dreams. We're going to go up the Space Needle while we're in Seattle!"

"I just hope I doesn't freeze on Seattle," replied Alipang, who had never been outside of a tropical climate until their brief stay in China.

"I'll help you keep warm," Chilena told him fondly, hugging him closer, which he returned.

Last edited by Copperfox; 01-30-2009 at 08:44 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2009, 09:03 PM
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Aw I love it :]
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2009, 09:05 PM
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Well, Hannah sweets, you helped make this what it is, by the loving personality you gave to Chilena when you were acting as her.


A warm hooded sweatshirt went far to make Alipang comfortable as the family went about seeing the attractions of Seattle; but he had nothing against also being warmed by Chilena's hugs. Especially at the top of the Space Needle--a different kind of height sensation from flying in a jet. He had never been this high in a building before, even in urban China. Holding on to his sister was reassuring amid the vertigo.

Half an hour later, he had occasion to demonstrate his love for Chilena in a very different way.

The family was on terra firma once more, walking in a park. Chilena was listening to Christian music on her I-pod....when two boy thieves, age 13 or 14, double-teamed her. One rushed at her and shoved her down to the grass, causing her to drop the I-pod; the second scooped up the device and fled with it in a different direction. It took her brother only an instant to realize that she wasn't hurt; but the offense was no more pardonable for that.

The punk with the I-pod was of no importance to Alipang; the one who had laid his filthy hands on Alipang's sister was the target for vengeance. He didn't cover fifty feet before the young Filipino streetfighter tackled him and brought him down face-first onto hard pavement.

But the concrete did less damage to the bully's face than Alipang's fists were doing an instant later. (This, after a punch to the stomach driving all the older boy's wind out.) Powerless as if ten thousand army ants had been stinging him to death, not helped at all by his larger size, the punk wailed like a baby from a mouth losing several teeth. But he was very lucky that Alipang no longer had his old parang knife.

Cecilia hurried to pull her son off of his quarry--and that was how she thought of it, her son a jungle beast close to killing its prey. In the first months, she would have been terrified to try to restrain him in one of his rages; but she knew now that she was sacred to him, and he would meekly submit to her grasp without resisting. Eric, also aware that Chilena was uninjured, had run down the other young thug and caught him without inflicting so much damage, only twisting his arm very painfully.

Alipang's quarry wouldn't be going anywhere now except on a stretcher. As soon as his mother let go of him, the boy raced back to Chilena and to another loving embrace. Their mother still was trying, after a year and a half, to fathom the coexistence in one boy of so much love and so much fury.

This incident cost the Havens family their scheduled flight to Virginia, and gained them a free trip to a police station. Fortunately, the two thieves were already known to the police as troublemakers, and there were several witnesses to the fact of who had first assaulted whom. In the end Alipang was not charged; but they did take his fingerprints...just in case. His parents could have wished a more auspicious entry into America for their son; but it was hard to answer his forthright question, posed in his native tongue: "What else could I have done--LET him hurt my sister and go brag about it?"

Last edited by Copperfox; 01-25-2011 at 12:07 AM.
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2009, 09:39 PM
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great story Joe! between this story, Rachel telling me about the RPG, Rachel's poem she wrote about it and her story about summer I'm starting to figure out the storyline........
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