China Baby Bonds – An American Adoptive Family’s Story

Before leaving for China last June to bring our 2 year-old daughter home, I was both excited and anxious, fearful and faithful. My life those last days before travel was consumed with the anxious thoughts of a frightened and desperate mother who was aching to get to her China baby but deeply dreading leaving her other six children an ocean’s distance behind.

I am not a traveler. I have always been content to stay quite close to home. I live only a few miles and minutes from where I grew up and right next door to my grandmother’s home where my father did. I attend my same childhood church and my children go to the same school that I did at their age. I am more than content this way. Dorothy’s words upon returning from Oz have always resonated with me: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

sunshine-cropped

So when it became apparent that a precious part of my heart’s desire was not in my backyard but on the other side of the globe in a land both mysterious and unknown to me, I was more than a little uncomfortable. And I was torn. Every thing in me longed to get to my daughter across the sea but just as much of me was distressed at the thought of leaving her siblings so very far behind.

During those last days before travelling to China my mind was primarily consumed with concern for my children on both sides of the sea. But a part of me deeply longed to be connected with another adopting family in China with whom we could share this adoption pilgrimage. Somehow, I instinctively knew that me husband and I would find comfort through companions in a foreign land and I longed to recognize a family in China with whom we could share this precious journey to our daughter.

And I did recognize them. Quickly.

We were in China only hours before I was aware of our pilgrimage partners. A family in our agency’s travel group was traveling with two of their older children. Their children were delightful and spending time with them was such a comfort to my husband and me as we were missing our older children so deeply. I remember knowing that their children would make good and fast friends with our flock back home. And this family had adopted a child before which was so encouraging to us a we stepped into the adoption arena and all of its emotions for the first time. They had navigated it only three years ago and were choosing to navigate it again. Nothing could have been as comforting or as encouraging to us in those last days and hours before our daughter was placed into our arms as witnessing a family who believed in what we were doing enough to do it again themselves while bringing their children to witness it!

We received our daughters in China on the same day, at the same time, and in the same room… forging an intimacy that can perhaps be approached only by being present in the delivery room for a birth. We were witnesses to the raw emotions of those first few moments with our daughters. Over the next two weeks we witnessed the anxiety and grief in our baby girls and in each other. We listened to each other and encouraged each other and supported each other. In civil affairs offices and in police stations and in medical appointments, in the office of the U.S. Consulate General and ultimately on an endless airplane flight, we worried and rejoiced together. And, when necessary, we found much needed humor in the emotions and frustrations that surfaced as we learned to read and to comfort our children.

At the end of our two weeks in China, I ached to see my state-side children but I grieved being separated from these friends and their support. I did not know how we would have been brave enough in China without them.

As we returned to our homes and to our other children and began adjusting with our China babies, we continued to encourage and to check on each other. We supported each other and our babies through appointments with physicians and surgeries. We sent photographed images of our children as they bonded with their siblings and we joyfully awaited the day that we could meet again with all of our (11!) children.

A few weeks ago, our precious China friends came through town on their way to visit family. The visit could not have been more of a gift. We had a beautiful early Autumn picnic and, as we watched our children play together, we witnessed how miraculously far our families have come since our precious time in China. I felt like there was hardly time to breathe! I had so much I longed to tell them and ask them and share with them while we had those precious moments face to face again!song-felicitymae2

songfelicity_05

By the time they left and I reflected on our time together, I realized that this precious family was way more than our China friends. They were our forever friends who had been sent to us while we were in China…when we so desperately needed them.

–Anne-Elizabeth Williams

In Anne-Elizabeth’s words: My husband, Jimmy and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in February. We live in Tallahassee, Florida where I am a very-part time lawyer and a very full-time mother to our 7 children. Our youngest child, Song-Felicity, was our first adoption and during our journey to her we fell in love with China and the Chinese people we encountered while there. Our wish is that she will always treasure and honor both her American and her Chinese heritage in an awareness that she is, indeed, a beloved daughter of both lands. “The Mothers’ Bridge of Love” is my very favorite book to read to her! My family would love to help with MBL and their Books for Kids project. https://asonginourhearts.com/
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Adopted Chinese Girl reunited with her biological family

A wonderful event that bridged the gap between 2 cultures- 2 countries and 2 families (and made one 11 year old girl very happy indeed)

10 years – in the life of a family – it can pass in a flash. But to one Dutch family –their lives have changed immeasurably over the last 10 years since they adopted a little Chinese girl when she was 16 months old . She had been abandoned in 2005 in Shenzhen.

The Dutch family raised the child as their own with love and attention. During this time the Dutch mother began a search for the biological family of their beautiful little Chinese daughter. They really wished to bring her to her original home and even hoped that they could possibly reunite her with her birth parents one day. It was an optimistic dream that they pursued relentlessly.

Miracles happen – with “Mother’s Bridge of love’s” assistance, on 10th August 2015, the Dutch mother and her Chinese daughter arrived in Shenzhen airport. The little girl was finally reunited with her biological family. MBL volunteer Maple, witnessed this very special and emotional reunion and then went on to assist the family during their 12 days in Shenzhen.

To respect the adoptive family’s wishes, we have been asked not to disclose their names here, but the Dutch mother wrote:

 

We have just returned from a wonderful and emotional visit to Shenzhen. After searching for almost 10 years we finally found my daughters family in April 2015 and visited them for 12 days in August. It was absolutely amazing to experience the immediate connection between my daughter and her siblings. Because of MBL, especially Maple, we were enabled to communicate with everyone and get around in Shenzhen. Our heartfelt thanks to the whole team of MBL!

                                                        A Family from the Netherlands

On 10th August Maple met and picked them up at Shenzhen airport, where the little girls biological family then welcomed them. From the second that Maple introduced the little adopted girl to her biological mother and sister – there was a very emotional reaction. The following 12 days in Shenzhen were filled with priceless, happy memories for the Dutch mother to share with her adopted child and her biological family. The search was over and there was time to create happy times for both families to share for the future.

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An American Girl Back to China looking for her birth parents after 23 years

Peipei with her family

A few days ago, a 23-year-old girl, Joy (Chinese name is Jiang Peipei), from United States came to Nanjing with her American adoptive mother (Patracia) looking for her birth parents.

Peipei was found in Nanjing when she was only 14 days after birth. After spending several years in an orphanage with Nanny Fan who took Peipei as her daughter, Peipei was adopted by her American mother Patricia and moved to the Michigan, U.S.

This summer, with Patricia’s great encouragement, they took a long journey to China hoping finding Peipei’s birth parents. Peipei told us that she did not dream about finding her birth parents because the only clue she had was the place she was abandoned which is in Nanjing, Dachang District. But with the help of local police, MBL volunteers and a lot of kind people, they managed to find Peipei’s hospital birth records and some other important information. Life is full of surprises. Peipei’s dream was finally consummated and she found her birth parents within 24 hours. All the people were tearing when they met again after being separated for 23 years. Jiang Peipei said she was very happy to find her Chinese birth parents and she would like to come back to China more often in the future because here is the root.

Peipei with MBL Team

While we are excited about the perfect ending of Peipei’s journey searching for birth parents, we are deeply moved by the determination and love in her heart. It is this love that gives her the power to overcome all the difficulties on the way back to China, to her beloved family. It is this power that encourages MBL volunteers to help her and all the other children. The truth is we can not choose which family we were born or what we look like, but we have the right to live with our own wills. What Peipei did shows us the true beauty of forgiveness and kind.

Peipei with her birth parents

There are much more children in China, who were born in poverty but urgently look forward to knowledge that could help them establish a better future. If you would like to help them to get one more chance by donating one book or sharing this post, it means a lot to MBL. We can never achieve what we do without your help.

How to make donation:

— Online donation:https://charities.everyclick.com/purchase

— POST the cheque to: MBL, 9 ORME COURT, LONDON, W2 4RL, U.K.

— WIRE your money to

Account Name:The Mothers’ Bridge of Love (MBL)

Account Number:11453130

Sort Code: 400607

SWIFT Code: MIDL GB2142E

IBAN: GB08MIDL40060711453130

Chinese Version:http://view.inews.qq.com/a/NEW2015071200420503…

 

Drafted by Phyllis Zhang

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