Chapters 7 & 8

These two chapters discuss the extended period of time following Lia being taken by Child Protective Services. Neil had to make the hard decision of turning her parents in, as he believed he had no choice but to do so. Lia found an amazing foster home to go with caretakers that gave her her proper medicine at the correct time in the correct dosages. Even though they were giving her the proper medication, Lia continued to have seizures. She was finally given one medication to take and was sent back home. While Lia’s family talks about how this would’ve never happened in their home country and how wild it is, I think that overall it did help Lia. I view the Korda’s to be a saving grace for Lia. Would they have been viewed the same way had her new medication helped her seizures? Will Lia’s parents ever view them in that light?

The author finally set out to meet Lia’s parents. While it was known that it was not easy to interact with the Hmong, the author used her insignificance to her advantage. I thought it was so interesting that Anne described meeting Hmong people as “getting into a speakeasy,” meaning that it depends on who sent you to meet them. If someone they liked and trusted sent you, then they would welcome you with open arms. I think this further shows the distrust that the Hmong had in American culture. Furthermore, Foua described missing the free spirited culture of Laos which also shows how Hmong feel trapped in America. They do not trust the medicine western culture gives them and they feel forced by the doctors here.

Working at my internship this summer at the hospital, I certainly felt this uneasiness from patients and patient’s parents. When I first walked into a room I was often looked at like “who is this young person walking into the room” and a look of disapproval fell on many people’s faces. Despite feeling unwanted at times (that I think Anne feels at first too), I had to push through and focus on why I was there. I tried to show them that I was just here to help them and find similarities between us to bring us closer together. I think Anne does a great job of this in Chapter 8 when getting to know Lia’s parents and family. They were able to open up to her which gave the readers a great insight on more of their life and how they maintained their culture in America.

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