My friends in Florida are headed to China in a few days to pick up their second daughter, Tova Faith (in Chinese, Lai Su Cui). She is two years old and has a life story that is, sadly, much too common amongst foreign adoptees. Abandoned by her birth family at the tender age of only one month, Tova was left in a park, either because her parents could not afford to deal with her heart problem (atrial septal defect) or because they wanted a boy.
You see, since 1979, in an effort to address the problem of overpopulation, China has enforced a one-child per family rule (to learn more, click here). Suffice it to say that, as written and implemented*, in a culture that reveres men, this policy has had some pretty distasteful consequences, especially for female children, among them:
- fines for second or subsequent pregnancies
- pressure to abort second or subsequent children (legal in China)
- forced sterilization
- neglect, abandonment**, and death
For example, Sabra Grace (Tova’s big sister) was abandoned in a marketplace when she was just a few days old, possibly only a few hours old. She had a cleft lip and palate, a defect that is more common in Asian cultures, according to my friend. It is believed that her parents could not afford her medical care or (like Tova) preferred to try for a male child.
In 2005, my friends brought Sabra home from Guangdong Province, just north of Hong Kong. This week, Tova will begin her journey to America from Guangxi Province, near the city of Nanning. Needless to say, her “forever family” is excited. Yet, they still face the financial challenge of raising money for the “mandatory, voluntary” donation to Tova’s orphanage, a requirement established by the Chinese government that must be met by all adoptive parents in order to complete the adoption process. If you would like to help Tova Grace come home by contributing to her orphanage fund, please click on the “ChipIn” box at the top of this blog, or visit 2 Raven-haired Beauties today. Thank you for your generosity and assistance. I know my friends will be forever grateful.
*The one-child rule currently applies only to the ethnic Han people who reside in urban areas. Chinese citizens living in rural areas and minorities living within the country are exempt from the policy.
**It is illegal to abandon children in China.
Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.