同学 = Tóngxué
(sounds like "dong shu-i")
Finally after 2 days of trying to figure out what this word meant, we got the translation....
Why so important? Mr. Lucas used this word repeatedly and was very patient with me as I attempted in every way I could think of to translate it with electronic translators. Finally, my sweet friend Katherine had her Chinese neighbor talk to me and we got it..."classmate"
He was talking about the children he spent time with in the orphanage. Ahhhh!!!
So today I walked gingerly into a space I wasn't sure he was ready to go to yet. I asked him if he missed them and then quickly went to asking him if he would like to send some pictures of his new home/life to them. He got VERY excited! So we had about 25 pictures printed. We are going to put them into a little photo album and send them to his friends at the orphanage.
One thing I found interesting. There is another chinese word for "friend". (Péngyǒu). I wonder why he does not consider the children his friends. Not sure it is a big deal, but he calls his new "friends" here in America "friend"---
Tonight he took the pictures we printed, and put them under his pillow. It was so sweet. He is sleeping with the pictures for his friends--keeping them safe and ready for our project tomorrow.
Speaking of pictures, we sent a package to Lucas about 3 weeks before we travelled to get him. In that package we put 2 disposable cameras and asked for someone to take pictures around the orphanage of his friends, etc. Those pictures came back today also, and I wasn't sure how he would handle that. He was great with it. He rattled off the names of most of them and told us about them. We are going to video tape him telling us about them so that we can remember with him about these special people from a very important season in his life.