In March, 1994, the Gladney Center for Adoption's first internationally adopted child came home to the United States from Shanghai, China. Since that time, Gladney has placed nearly 1000 healthy infants and toddlers, and children of all ages with special needs, with families living in the United States. Over the past several years, adoption from China has emerged as an effective way to make or grow a family.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
China Winter Tour - December 30
Robin Reif - December 30
Curious about those
night-crowing roosters (see Dec 28) . . . once back at the hotel, we look out
the rear windows and find a scene of hardscrabble farms cut into the hillside.
The landscape is rich in wintery greens and browns but bring the lens in closer
and see open doors of unheated homes where people live in layers and
refrigerate cabbages and meat on the back porch. In the morning, we hear
blood-curdling screams and realize a pig is being slaughtered.
Ya'an Rear Window Scene
Later, on the road to
Chengdu, a mega-tropolis of 14 million, Bobby tells us that several centuries
back it was a ghost town due to war and famine and people from the North were
forced here walking the six week journey, roped in a line with hands tied
behind their backs. All this to explain that “please release my hands” is
Sichuanese for "I need to go to the happy house" or toilet.
When we stop for lunch
in a restaurant's private room, the teens ask for time alone without parents to
talk about adoption, inviting the younger kids to join.
Mr. Wu shooing parents away
My 11-year-old glows at
being included by older girls who seem so cool and untouchable. Their stories—some
of abandonment at 4 and 5, some of orphanage stays until 8 or 9—are a
revelation to her and I realize she thought that all Chinese children are
adopted as infants. Clearly, my bad.
Preparing for foot message
Toward evening, many of us
decide to try the famous local Chengdu foot massage, which turns out to be a
full body experience. Let me say I would not recommend it to the faint of
heart, nor tender of foot. My masseuse, a wee young thing, maybe 5 feet and 100
pounds giggled at my attempts to tough it out. I leave feeling like chicken
paillard. Or maybe just chicken.