May 24, 2011

The Odd Family

So our blog has been on a pretty wild ride these past few days, since being entered into this competition (Top 25 expat Moms). Yesterday, we had close to a 1,000 people visit our blog. My first guess was that my mom was just refreshing the page a lot to make me feel good, but in reality we had a friend promote our blog to a pretty big audience and it has brought a lot of new readers to our blog.

And that is good timing, because a week or so ago I was sitting in a grocery store play place with our three girls and was struck with a thought. We are such an odd family. Let me take a minute to introduce you to our odd family.

First off, we have 4 children. In America, that would be no big deal, but in China 2 kids is seen as a lot of kids. So you can imagine how many Chinese people will stop and stare at our family, simply because we are so many. Not only that, but our family speaks in a mixture of Chinese, English, and Chinglish. I only just realized that Sydney (our oldest) uses a lot of Chinese with Lily (our Chinese foster child). Everything from manipulating, trying to trade toys, and coaxing into playing whatever game she’s wanting to play, has the potential to be a conversation done in Chinese. Heather and I have tried to speak with Lily in English so she can learn it, but we too, from time to time, will explain stuff to her in Chinese.

So not only are we twice the size of a big family in China and use multiple languages to navigate through life, but we really don’t even look like we belong together. For example my wife is a gorgeous blonde (think Scandinavian), and I look like a Middle Eastern homeless man. Top that off with our Chinese daughter and we look like we would be strangers walking down the street together. Our second daughter, Aubrey, has curly hair (curly hair skipped both Heather and I, so neither of us have curls) and she has a super wild personality and is borderline crazy. Caleb may be the most normal of us all and he’s only 10 months old (plenty of time to become odd). You could make the argument that Sydney (our oldest) is normal, but as I write that I’m reminded of her quote a couple weeks ago about why she wouldn’t move to Australia, in case you didn’t read it, it was because “THERE’S BEARS THERE!”.

And the last piece, to our odd family, is that Heather’s brother lives with us (think another Scandinavian). Most foreigners living in China have a Chinese helper that they employ, we have Dan. So yeah, when we walk down the street, all 7 of us, I would think we look a bit odd.

And as I sat here pondering all of this I’m filled with a deep sense of gratitude and the realization that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Till next time,
The petersons


  1. This is great, I love it! I have a similar family, well, similar in that we look odd as well! I am white american, my husband is black bahamian and our boys are mixed (obviously). My husband is 6'7" and I am 6' and our boys are huge for their ages. Oh and we live in France!

  2. Wow! Yeah sounds like you too have a unique family, how awesome!

  3. Anonymous6.6.11

    Glad to have stumbled onto your blog! Glad I caught this post also - your family sounds fantastic and wonderfully unique!

    I'm looking forward to reading along!

  4. Thanks Amanda! Glad you found us and I hope that you enjoy our blog!

  5. Your family is so cute, even all mixed up. I totally understand your perspective. We just got home from our first trip to Xi'an and it does feel very different to be blond in China. That could be a blog in and of itself.

    We will be relocating in August and there for 3-5 years so hopefully our paths can cross while we are there! Blonds gotta stick together! Thanks, Ali

  6. Hello, we are a mixed race family of eight relocating to Xi'an this summer from the Pacific NW. You have confirmed my assumption that we will be a very strange family in China. I am much larger than my husband who is only 5'5. Our (bio) 16 years son is 6ft,14 years(bio) daughter is almost as tall as her dad, 11 years Korean born son w/special needs(International adoption), 10 years Korean born son(International adoption), 7 years Jamaican/Mexican daughter(domestic adoption), Tiny 6 years Korean born son w/special needs(International adoption). It is nice to know that we won't be the only strange family in Xi'an :)

    1. Awesome! Let us know if you have any questions or if there's anything we can do to help you! What will you be doing in Xian?