Xiaoyun brings more joy to her family in Sweden

15:49, June 01, 2010      

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Today marks the Children’s Day. In Sweden it was actually the mother’s day and father’s day that are celebrated for children and by the children too. How is the life of those children who are adopted by the Swedish parents? Let’s have a look at one example in Sweden.

Living in a two-story villa in Bromma, half an hour drive from Stockholm city center, 9-year-old Xiaoyun likes to bicycle and play football in the garden with her friends after school.

Xiaoyun is at grade three at primary school. She has grandma, father, mother and big brother in the family. Two dogs are also as if the family members for Xiaoyun.

Xiaoyun came to Sweden when she was 11 months. She was renamed as Alice.
Father Anders worked in China in 1994. That raised his interest in China.

“It was really China that we have focused on, we have been there a couple of times, it is a country, but also a continent like Europe, it is so big differences, you can go to a town in Xian and then Beijing and Shanghai, Hong Kong, very interesting and fascinating country,” Anders said.

Mother Annica is an economic consultant. She said that it took them about one year and half before they actually could go to China to pick up Alice. They actually have had a 15 year old son then, but they liked to have another child.

“There was someone missing in the family,” Annica said.

“We like to have a balance of a boy and a girl in the family,” Anders added.

“It was after one year of testing with the municipality coming here to our home and check everything that we decided to adopt,” Anders explained.

When Xiaoyun was 3 months, the family got a photo of her from Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan province. Then they decided to go to China to pick her up after another half a year preparation.

“The day we got the picture, it was magic,” Annica said emotionally.
“A lot of tears, very emotional, and then we went to China in 2001,” Anders recalled.

They went to Beijing with six families and six girls were adopted. Afterwards, they decided to get together every summer with all the girls playing together in one of the families.

“It was fantastic, your baby cried when she came out, she(Alice) cried when we got her too, it got just two days for us to get connected, that was really a very big moment in our life, really it was,” Anders and Annica can’t help talking about the feelings at that moment.

“When we got to Stockholm, my mother and father and brother and his families were waiting there with flowers,” Annica said, “Just like when you win the gold medal at the Olympic Games,” Anders added vividly.

Alice got used to being with new parents just two days after they met. She liked rice very much and ate very well.

The parents didn’t put Alice to the kindergarten until she was three years old. In stead, Mamma took care of her for nearly two years going together with Alice to the open kindergarten where both parent and child can stay there singing a couple times every week.

Alice was quick to pick up Swedish language.

“She was amazingly quick to put up and learn the Swedish, even faster than the brother who is Swedish born,” the parents said proudly.

Alice can speak reasonable English and even tried to study Chinese for a few months.

“She studied Chinese with a Chinese teacher, but then she stopped because the teacher was pregnant, but she wants to pick up again, we think it is important to begin early, and Chinese is a language that will be more and more practice in the west too, China is growing as an economic power in the world,” Anders said.

“We like to go back when she is a little bit older so that she can understand more things, maybe next year,” Anders added.

He said Alice’s curiosity about China and Chinese culture is growing day by day. She likes biking, playing football, swimming and skating and she is now learning sailing.

She can enjoy spa and sauna at home. At school, she enjoys studying mathematics, Swedish and other subjects. She also dances a lot.

In Alice’s mind, China is a very big place where there is giant panda and the Great Wall. And she really likes to go back to China someday.

About future, Alice said she likes to be a photographer or an interior designer, unlike the father or brother who are and to be lawyers.

“I think when Alexander came, we light one candle, and when Alice came, we light another one, so we have much light in the daily life,” Anders said.

“That really added a lot to our family, ” Annica said.

“ It was really amazing, I always like my little sibling, when Alice came, for me it was also the best thing ever happened, I also promised to go back together when I graduate from school, we are going to have a trip to China,” 24 year old brother Alexander said.

By Xuefei Chen, People’s Daily Online correspondent in Stockholm, [email protected]


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