A cultural experience

Kindergarten students at Sunshine Elementary School experienced Chinese culture first-hand.
Feb. 09, 2013 @ 05:31 AM

Kindergarten students at Sunshine Elementary School experienced Chinese culture first-hand on Friday.

Susan Padgett, a kindergarten teacher at Sunshine, decided that she would bring the topic of Chinese New Year to life by asking Tammie McFarland to be a guest speaker for the class. McFarland has visited China and has two adopted daughters from the country.

"With our Common Core Curriculum we are studying celebrations and symbols. I thought that this would fit right in," Padgett said. "We are so thankful to have Tammie as one of our parents."

McFarland adopted her daughter Lana McFarland in 2007 when she was an infant, and adopted her other daughter Lin Mei in 2012. Mei is in Pagett's kindergarten class.

"It was just a calling. My husband and I were dealing with infertility. We did some soul searching and felt like we could be able to give a child a good home," McFarland said. "Lana was 10 months old when she came home and Lin, who is special needs, came home last year."

Lana is from the Chongqing province, and Mei is from Weifang, a city in the central Shandong province of China. Both girls wore their traditional Chinese clothes to school on Friday.

"Lin is adjusting well. We expected for her being an older child that there would be some sadness about leaving her home. But, she didn't eat with chopsticks for the first three or four months. Whatever we did, she wanted to do also, so she used forks," McFarland said.

For the presentation on Friday, McFarland showed the students pictures of several of the places buildings and landmarks she visited while in China to adopt Mei.

She talked to them about The Forbidden City, the food, the clothes and some of the animals. The students then got the chance to sample Chinese dumplings.

McFarland says she may be going back to China soon.

"We just started the process to adopt again, so I assume we will go back soon," McFarland said. "We will probably go back when the girls are older and do a cultural tour."