Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Adopt a Chinese Baby, Move to China

CNNgo reports on adoptive families who are "prolonging 'root-seeking tours' into long-term stays in China for their adopted children:"                       
Guo Jiaming (郭家明), chief of Beijing-based adoption agency Love of Bridge, says his company began offering "root-seeking" services in 2009. The company has seen a growth in demand.

"Last year, 300-400 [international adoptive] families come to us for this service," says Guo.

For some families, however, a quick trip and tour are not enough. Some families are actually relocating to China, where their children can form balanced cultural identities and parents themselves can satisfy their own wanderlust.

* * *

Irish couple Ray Heraty and Sinead O’Donovan, both 39, were living in the United States when they began a three-year adoption process.

A China adventure grew appealing as they waited for their daughter, Jin, and was finalized when they picked her up in Nanchang at the end of 2008.

“Most of the other (adoptive parents) couldn’t wait to get out of China,” Heraty recalls of parents who waited with them in Guangzhou for their children’s immigrant visa. “We loved everything about it.”

Less than a year later, Heraty took a leave of absence from his job as a pilot and followed his wife’s work to China.

* * *

By living in China, they're hoping that a connection to the children’s home culture will give them a stronger sense of identity and self-worth.

“The whole issue of identity for adopted kids is really important,” Elizabeth says.

Since we moved to China for 5 months in 2007, not surprisingly, I think this is a great thing! Not that 5 months is really moving to China! We would like to do this again, and stay longer next time.  I saw the first trip back as kind of a practice run, with the girls only 6 & 3, not quite knowing how we'd do without our usual support system.  We loved every minute of it!  I can't apply for another Fulbright grant for quite a while, so we'll have to find some other way to get back there. . . .

Here's our blog from that time:  Xiamen Adventure.


Elaine said...

Our plans to do just this have hit a major kink. Our oldest daughter refuses to go. She is currently professing HATE for China - actually all of Asia. We just got back to the States from 4 years in Indonesia with lots of travel around SE Asia and China. We would like to go back. She would not like.

It is much more complicated than we ever imagined.

Anonymous said...

And too, some of the countries these children were born to, are not as accessible or safe to relocate to....sadly.

Yet, we are fortunate that as language interpreters we have averaged 6 mos. out of each year (thus far) living abroad.

Its not always our children's country of birth, but they are learning multiple languages and becoming global citizens.

The downside?

Make no mistake: the connections with family/extended family, friends, etc. back home suffers.

I sometimes wonder if we are not sacrificing one for the other?

And like Elaine, our oldest is now refusing to return to her country of birth ( this would be a second extended trip for us ) and simply wants to stay "put" on U.S. soil.

Sigh....always easier in theory...