Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Travel back in time

One of our local publications interviews a local "celebrity" in each edition. They have a series of questions they ask each person. One of these questions is "If you could travel back in time, where would you like to go?"

If I could travel back in time I know exactly where I would go.

I would go back to two different Chinese mothers, who made a heart wrenching decision, who cared enough about their babies, that they took the risks and placed these babies where they would be found.

Many of you reading know I adopted my daughters from China. If you have known me for any length of time, then you know about the one child policy in China, which allows parents to only have one child. Period.

And for many years, the preferred child was a boy, as there is no social security or Medicare in China, so as you get older, you are dependent on your child to care for you. When you can no longer work and earn a living, you switch roles with your children and they are required to support you. If you have a daughter, it is expected that she will assume the caregiver role for her husband's parents, not her own, so if your only child is a girl, there will be no one there to care for you when you need them.

My memory of when this began is sketchy now but the interest in adopting from China steadily grew beginning in the late 1990's.

I don't know if the possibility of adoption played a role in any of the birth mother's decisions, but maybe it did. There is a book called "The Lost Daughters of China", a very difficult book to read. It chronicles the desperation the families felt when they realized their baby was a girl. Maybe the desperation began earlier, when they first realized they were pregnant. Maybe they were not old enough, not married, maybe they already had a child, maybe the father left home, maybe the family was already starving, or the mother was sick? See there are an infinite number of possibilities why this precious new life could cause desperation.

I wonder if the word spread that there might be Americans or people from other countries, who would adopt their babies and women began to have the courage to leave their babies in very public places, knowing they would be found, and the hope of a better life? Knowing they were risking everything by doing this? I don't know what happened to the babies before then.

But I would love to meet these two women, who made the decision to hope for a better life for their daughters.

That way, when my daughters have to write a personal memoir, they could and English assignments would not be quite so hard.

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