The older lady who lives across the street from us is quite reclusive and maybe a little odd. I'd spoken to her a couple of years ago, and discovered that while she comes from the Phillipines, she is Chinese. She lives with her brother, who is ill and mostly stays in the house, and she doesn't talk to a lot of people, but we see her out walking her dog in her front yard now and then. When Charlie was about 6 months old I was out in my yard with him and walked over to introduce him to her, since she's the only Chinese person on our block so even if she is a bit odd she's going to be part of his sense of what it means to be Chinese. She was very pleasant, and said (as I hear from other people from time to time, sigh) that I have a good heart for adopting him, and then we sort of said our goodbyes and scuttled into our houses. We waved to each other sometimes after that but hadn't talked again.
About 3 months later she came over to the house and dropped off some cute shirts she had gone and bought for Charlie. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I sent some pictures of him with a thank-you card. A couple of weeks ago she came over, very cheery, with some toys for him - she wanted to see him but he was napping, and she apologized for not calling first and gave us her phone number and asked for ours. So we swapped numbers and said we'd arrange for her to see him.
Meanwhile, I work with a man who is from Vietnam, but is also Chinese. He and his wife are both very interested in Charlie - I haven't met his wife but he has sent information from her about different festivals, and he brought a little decorated red envelope of money for Charlie on New Year's. (They have 3 kids; I have got to bring him something for them soon!) So last week, he brought me a pretty tin of amazing-looking Moon Cakes for the Autumn Moon festival, which is...um, now. Plus instructions from his wife on how to heat them up properly, and he said we have to have them with green tea, and cut them into 8 pieces because 8 rhymes with "luck" in Chinese. He's very pleased to be able to bring some authentic Chinese culture into our lives.
Charlie can't have any of the moon cakes, unfortunately, because he is allergic to basically all of the ingredients, but we will give him some sips of green tea and a little bowl of whipped cream while we eat the cakes....with our maybe-not-so reclusive neighbor, who is coming over right after lunch tomorrow to have tea and cakes. !!!
We'd been worried about Charlie growing up in an area without a lot of Chinese people (SW Chicago is verrry Irish-American, with diverse pockets scattered here and there...my town is becoming one of them but not super-fast). Because of his health we haven't had time to find a Chinese babysitter for him or join an adoptive-families organization or creepily stalk random Chinese folks in the hopes of making new friends. But what seems to be happening is that the few Chinese people we do know are very interested in Charlie, and are pleased with us for adopting him, and find him charming, so he is sort of making connections for himself, which is pretty cool.