“What a lucky girl!” Everybody who has adopted a daughter from China has heard that one. And every parent has said, or thought, in reply: “No, we’re the lucky ones.” This anthology sets out to explain why people who have adopted children from China feel as though they’ve won the lottery.
Since the late 1980s, as many as 7,000 Chinese-born girls have been adopted annually and now live in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. They are officially orphans, victims of a rigorous birth control policy limiting most families to one child. These thousands of girls have formed an international Diaspora, a human wave with no exact parallel and yet numerous points of comparison – sharing issues with war orphans from Vietnam or even with Chinese workers who built the New World’s railroads.
The memoirs collected in The Lucky Ones are organized beginning with infertility, moving to acceptance of a multiracial family, anticipating the adoption, reflecting during the trip to China and, at last, grappling with an odd destiny – turning terrible beginnings into happy endings.
The story of these girls is compelling as a narrative of hope and optimism but it may also become a story of dislocation and crisis of identity. These baby immigrants add unusual texture to the lives of the families they join – they come here not by choice but by someone else’s design.
Ann Rauhala is a former columnist and foreign editor of The Globe and Mail, now director of newspapers at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Jan Wong is a Canadian journalist, internationally known author, and former Beijing bureau chief for The Globe and Mail newspaper. She is author of Red China Blues and Jan Wong’s China and has written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among others in the United States and abroad. She lives with her family in Toronto, where she is a reporter for The Globe and Mail.
Published: April 2008
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.