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China Doll: Lana Jiao Mai's Story

  By Karen Lynn Vidra A little girl from China joins a family in America. Lana Jaio Mai Coleman is a very pretty four-year-old girl with huge, bright-black, almond-shaped eyes that take in all that she sees, straight, blue-black hair that falls gracefully to her shoulders, and a round, moon-shaped face the color of pale dandelions. She was adopted a year ago from China, and she has been winning the hearts of her family ever since her arrival.

She is one of two children adopted by Seth and Susan Coleman of Kennedale, Louisiana. Her younger brother, Krithi Seth, is two-and-a-half, and he came to the Colemans about six months back from India. Krithi has some serious special health needs, but Lana is healthy and is seemingly free from any defects.

The only reason Lana was put up for adoption in the first place in her native China was simply because of the fact that she had been born a girl. Had she been born a boy, she would have probably had a chance at life. (Females are not very highly respected in China; they are second-class citizens. For this reason, many healthy [and disabled] female Chinese babies are often left abandoned and end up in orphanages throughout the country.)

Lana is somewhat developmentally delayed, especially in language and speech, but once she gets used to the American way of speaking, she should catch up in no time with her peers. She is receiving early intervention help from her parents and her therapists, and she is doing splendidly. She is somewhat shy in nature, but once she gets to know someone, she is all for showing off and being a little ham.

Lana is gradually getting used to her new life in America; but some things still hold her interest; and she has since proclaimed "Amewica" as "home." She loves the flag, and she snaps to attention each time she sees the red- , white- , and blue- colored cloth, be it on houses, on television, or even on people's clothing. She is learning to say the "Pledge of Allegience" in pre-k, and she has proven to be a rather smart little girl. It shouldn't be long before her language is up to speed with her peers, but she DOES have some noticeable speech problems. There is talk that she may be hard of hearing, but so far, tests have proven to be inconclusive. Further testing may be necessary.

When asked if she remembers her home or life in China, Lana has vague memories; she only knows that she lived in a big house with other children, and that she no longer lives there. She refers China as her "home-home", but "Amewica" is now her "WEAL (real) home". She remembers her friends, Wei Lung and Gai Xiang, and she still misses them. She sometimes cries at night when she thinks of her friends back in China, and she hopes that someday they can come visit her in "Amewica".

Not much is known of her early life; but she has been pronounced healthy by both Chinese and American medical personnel, and with some guidance and help in her speech, she should catch up to her peers within a few months to a year. All that IS known about Lana Jaio Mai is that she was an orphan when brought to the orphanage, and she had been abandoned by her mother, who didn't want a little girl.

But now all that is behind her, and little Lana Jaio Mai Coleman is firmly entrenched in a family that loves her, and the future for her looks exceptionally bright indeed.  
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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