Friday, June 09, 2006

Just for Kicks (or is that Kix?)

It’s no secret…sometimes the easiest path to a child’s heart is via the stomach! I will never forget the very first time I saw my daughter’s eyes light up: we had just met Emily an hour or so before, and settled in on the bed to get to know each other. I poured a handful of Kix cereal into a small cup, praying that a little bribery might bring a spark to those cautious eyes. I handed Emily a piece of cereal, which she briefly contemplated and then “down the hatch” it went. Eyebrows raised ever so slightly, and I caught the tiniest little twinkle of approval. Eureka! I offered another piece, and then another. I handed over one more piece, and then pointed to my own mouth. “Mama?” I must be darn good at charades, because Emily knew EXACTLY what I meant. Just as if someone had flipped a switch, a light came on in her eyes…she looked at me, looked at the Kix…and gobbled it down with a mischievous grin. When I faked huge disappointment, the grin got bigger.
We continued our charade for a few minutes, until we got down to the very last piece. This time she reached into the cup herself, gave me a triumphant smirk as she ate that last piece of Kix, and then she giggled. That was the moment I truly fell in love. Yes, we bonded over a handful of Kix! Great minds must think alike, because five years later I discovered that the LWB volunteers always take a good supply of Kix cereal whenever they visit an orphanage. It’s lightweight, easy to pack, and the aunties are happy to see us bring a treat that is healthy for the children. They are even kind enough to clean up all the runaway cereal that ends up being crunched underfoot. (This little gal got a fresh bag, just in case you are wondering) We probably have a volunteer visit China to check on one of our programs (or to adopt!) nearly every month of the year, so we have used these little gift baggies to warm up to countless kids! The children are so precious! Some will sit and study each morsel carefully, while others will cram their Kix in by the happy handful. Some of the sneakier individuals will try and secure a second bag, while other children will take the time to help feed another child who cannot manage this task on their own. It’s the most touching thing to watch, and such a simple pleasure!

So if you are getting ready to make your own adoption trip to China, be sure to pack some Kix cereal and snack bags for the children, and brighten their day! (and don’t forget to help clean up the mess, ha ha!)

Jan Champoux