Saturday, January 27, 2007

MADE IN adoptive mom's view

Made in China

What do those 3 words mean to you? Do they represent inexpensive products that don’t work very well? Does it mean jobs lost to a country that can provide cheaper labor? Do you grow tired of seeing it on everyday items you use? I have encountered people who throw out comments about China without knowing that I have a daughter who was “Made in China”. They comment about all the junk that is poorly or cheaply made, they talk about American jobs that went overseas because ‘those people will work for nothing’, some even go as far as to derogatory words to describe Asian or Chinese people or culture.

Well, “Made in China” means something totally different me. When I think of China, I think of a very friendly country where everyone was curious about why we were in there and when they found out they were very grateful. When I think of China, I think of the all the beautiful buildings and architecture. I think of a country where people are very proud of whom they are and work very hard. “Made in China” isn’t a bad thing, I want my daughter to grow up being proud of her “Made in China” title. I want her to understand the struggles and the ability to over come those struggles that her birth country has endured. Having grown up in a country where freedom is an everyday luxury, I can say that I don’t always agree with how China has treated its people or the situation that lead us to adopting one of their beautiful children. However, I do feel as though it’s important for Julia to know where she came from and what her birth country is all about. For now we can sugarcoat the stark reality of how she came to be our daughter. I have no desire to tell her the honest truth about why she was abandoned or why her birth family chose to give her up. I can speculate and put my spin as to why she was left at the gate of the orphanage. There will come a time when she wants to know and we will give her the truth about the one child policy, about how children with special needs are viewed in China, about the financial situation of most average Chinese families. Those are some tough topics and I can only ask for the guidance and strength to know what to say when the time comes. Who knows, maybe things will change and ideas of the past will only be just that….the past. Wouldn’t it be great for children in China to no longer be abandoned, for there to no longer be a need for orphanages or foster care, for there no longer to be a need for international adoptions? Alas, it is only a dream for now.

So the next time you see “Made in China” on something in your home, think of Julia; think of what a beautiful country China is and what China means to her. Think of China as a place where the osmanthus flowers grow, where buildings are decorated in the brightest hues of red and blue, where our precious daughter was born. I can only hope that in her lifetime that the perception of the “Made in China” labels will be something to be proud of.

Xie Xie (Thank you)