The Chinese writer Zhang Ailing said that every butterfly is a

dead flower flying back to look for her lost life.

About Me

They say you never forget your first love. For me, I never forgot that first Chinese pictograph I fell in love with: 家. This character—meaning “home”—shows a roof over the ancient Chinese representation for pig. In ancient China, the life of man and his swine were so closely bound up together that the pigs just wandered freely through the house.

This experience began my life-long love for Chinese culture, and my desire to understand the Chinese mind, a mind that could produce such beautiful pictographs that truly reflect the essence of their meaning. 

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About the Book

Home is a Roof over a Pig is the story of one American family’s two-year encounter with China–and how it transforms them.

When Aminta Arrington moves from an army post in Georgia to a small town in China, she doesn’t go alone. Her army husband and three young children uproot themselves too. Aminta hopes to understand the country with its long civilization, ancient philosophy, and complex language. She is also determined that her daughter Grace, born in China, regain some of the culture she lost when the Arringtons brought her to America as a baby.

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From The Blog

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10 things I didn’t know 10 years ago

Today is one decade from the day we showed up at the Civil Affairs Office in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, and met our daughter Grace. It has been an amazing ten years. But looking back, there were 10 things I didn’t know 10 years ago: 1. I didn’t know how long it would take for her to grieve. We adopted Grace at 12 months, and it took her an additional 6 months—a...
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Learning Lisu

Kunming, China On Wednesday evening I had my second of two language lessons at the Lisu (Borneo) Church of Chiang Mai, by Samuel. This time, he had a piece of paper with several categories of phrases he wanted to teach me. He taught me several words having to do with the kitchen, such as oil, rice cooker, matches, and firewood. He taught me several words about food, such...
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Ordering at restaurants in China

When we first arrived in Tai’an Chris and I would go out for lunch at local restaurants. However, we dreaded that initial awkwardness that was inevitable upon our arrival. After handing us our menus, instead of giving us a few minutes to decide, the waitress would stand there, waiting. We just wanted a little time to browse the menu and decide what to eat without her...
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Somewhere Between

Last night my husband and I had some time in the evening, so we watched Somewhere Between, a documentary about teenagers adopted from China that he had downloaded some time before. I have known of this documentary for months—and had always planned to see it—but I just wasn’t in a real hurry. I think it was the title. Both the words “Somewhere” and “Between”...
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