Chapter 7 and 8

Chapter 7 began with Dr. Ernst discussing his decision about sending Lia to foster care. He said he did not want to have to send her away, but because of the fact the Lee’s had 9 other children, and Lia was suffering and not receiving the proper treatment he had to call CPS. The Lee family and the rest of the Hmong community are outraged at the doctors. Lia is taken in by another woman in the community and continues to have seizures even though she is given all of her medication. Eventually, the Lee’s are able to reunite with Lia after help from Lia’s foster mom and a new social worker. I thought that this was a significant chapter in the book because it shows how the Lee’s and the Hmong community become more fearful of the doctors and America. Having Lia taken away from her parents shows the community that America is a place where your children can be taken away, and America is a place that you should be fearful of. I think that this chapter shows how cultural division will only grow unless there is communication and understand. The Lee’s didn’t understand the medication or the instructions of the doctors and the doctors could not understand why the Lee’s were not giving Lia her medication. If each group had helped bridge the gap, Lia might not have been put into foster care in the first place.

In chapter 8 the author Annie Fadiman meets the Lee family. Annie becomes very close with the family after experiencing a closed off community at first. Foua enjoys Annie’s company and even dresses her in traditional bridal clothing when her boyfriend visits so he will propose. Foua admits she misses her home and her freedom and how she experiences a feeling of being lost in America. I thought this chapter was interesting because it really focused on the Lee families perspective of America especially Foua’s. I think that her description of her life in America is critical because America has a lot of immigrants that don’t speak English and are seeking a better life. A lot of these people left their lives behind and are forced to adapt to American life. I have never had to live in another country or had to immigrate for a better life, and I cannot imagine having to learn a new language, new customs, and new way of life to survive. I think Foua’s narrative shows how difficult being a refugee and immigrant is.

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 7 and 8

  1. It is interesting that you mentioned how the Lees became more distrustful of America and medical professionals after Lia was taken from them. One would think that would be the logical conclusion but Neil thought his calling CPS would teach them a lesson, prompting the Hmongs to listen to doctors more. However, his lesson backfired and the Lees were even more unwilling to work with him. This is a contradiction to the way the Lees treat Anne; they let her see all of Lia’s records with no hesitation because she respected them as people. In the most simplified way, cultural barriers are because one group does not view another as equal. I remember Foua mentioning that she felt the doctors treated her like animals, not humans. The doctors dismissed the Lees as difficult patients but they never asked them questions about what they were comfortable with or anything of the sort.

  2. I agree that Foua’s narrative as an immigrant and refugee is really important. It shows how difficult it is for immigrants to come to this country and be forced to change and adapt to our culture. This goes along with the idea that anyone who is marginalized and outside of the majority (non-white) is expected to adjust to the norm, which in our society is considered white. Foua gives valuable insight about how difficult and harmful this expectation and experience is.

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