Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Many people have asked me the following in many different words; 
"How can a Chinese birthmother just abandon a daughter in such a cold and unfeeling way?" 
"Why do Chinese people just give babies away?"

I am not a self proclaimed expert, but as I look around me, I see a culture of people who clearly love and treasure their children. I have seen this in Hong Kong, Shenzen, Guilin, Liuzhou, Nanning, and Guangzhou; in parks, on buses, on trains. It is in the eyes and smiles of the people out walking with their babies in the park. 

China is a country of 1.3 billion people. 
How did the population explosion occur? 
Years ago having many children was considered an honor, 
and the more children a woman had, 
the more blessings that family had. 
In those times women were given awards for bearing the most children. 
The government encouraged large families.
Today it is evident that this same feeling prevails here, 
children are blessings and are to be cherished. I have seen this for myself.
The government imposed a one child policy as an answer to the problem they created; it was not a choice but a decision by the Chinese government. A Chinese birthparent does not choose to abandon a daughter or a son without feeling the same anguish any other birthparent would feel anywhere else in the world. Abandoning a child is often times the only way to save that child's life, a chance to receive medical care if the child is sick. A farmer's wife might give birth to a daughter, however, because of the one child policy that farmer might need a son. A son will be able to take care of that farmer as he ages; a son will provide for his parents and tend to the farm. In his heart, a daughter is just as much of a blessing to that farmer, but the one child policy has made it impossible to keep her. 
The one child policy will mean strict fines for a second child, 
fines the farmer cannot afford to pay. 
Right now, in China, as a result of the one child policy, 
there is said to be 8 men of marrying age to every 1 woman of marrying age; 
an 8 to 1 ratio. 
There is a shortage of girls here, created by the one child policy.
What will the next policy be?
This is a beautiful culture where the very young as well as the very old are treasured. Families take care of each other; the younger generation takes care of their aging parents. There is honor and respect. People you have just met on the street treat you with the same consideration as if you are a close friend, and expect the same respect and honesty in return. The other day as I was running after all three kids in our hotel lobby and I dropped one of Sasha's socks. The concierge chased me all over the hotel to find me and return the sock. 
All for one sock! 
I can only comment on what I see and am experiencing. 
When I hold Sasha Tian Tian and rock her to sleep at night, 
questions that will never be answered run circles around my mind, 
questions I know she will also have herself one day. 
I will be able to tell her that when I came to bring her home from China, 
I could see all around me how much love Chinese people have for their children; 
therefore I know she must have been loved too.
It could not have been any other way.
Thoughts to reflect on.


  1. Well done, Mar. I did not know that you had to go to China to write like this. Maybe that's were you should have gone to school years ago . . . at least then you would not have hogged our shared bathroom with all that hair drying.

  2. Loved this story and the pictures. Thank you for sharing this perspective. It is a wonderful insight and your depiction of it was beautifully expressed. Thank you again.

  3. Jakey- Grammy really liked the photo of you with your arm around Sasha in the GARDEN HOTEL POOL! You are a very loving and kind big brother who will be a guide and role model all her life.
    See you soon Grammy 6-29-2010

  4. Marla,
    This is a very loving and kind gift for Sasha and it is true. So beautiful and thoughtful of you to put it in words for her. She will always know she is and was loved as she is always surrounded by love. Again, you are a wonderful and sensitive mother. Nicole S.

  5. Love your posts, Marla...I so look forward to your Blog everyday...Thank You so much!!!!

    Mary Kate

  6. Well put, Marla. I love the photos of the Chinese with their children. How could they not have loved ours? It could NOT have been another way. I am just so glad that for some of those children we can pick up where they left off.

    Linda G., BAAS

  7. Beautiful photos! Beautiful perspective. I have never doubted for a moment that Amanda was loved in China. Can't wait to meet Sasha!

  8. I've been following your blog because I'll be accompanying my sister on her adoption trip to Nanning, Guilin, and Guangzhou (no long train trips planned, though ). Your whole family looks like what a family *should* be, and Sasha's a real cutie! I just felt that your "MIsconception" post was so good that I needed to stop lurking to say "BRAVA!" and thank you for some wonderful words. I'm looking forward to following the rest of your family's adventure(s) in China... and maybe retracing some of your steps in a couple of weeks!

  9. I just came to your blog from Leda's - you did such a WONDERFUL thing for her to send a package to her daughter! This is also a wonderful post, and I love the photos! You adopted your Tian on about the same day I adopted mine 12 years ago! One of my life's favorite memories is singing America in our hotel room in Guangzhou on July 4! Lily Tian is now almost 13. Welcome to your new family Sasha - you have an amazing heritage and a promising future in a new land.


Thank you so much for stopping by! We love to hear from you and appreciate every comment! Your thoughts, well wishes, and words of wisdom will be preserved here in our blog, we plan to turn it into a hard cover book for our daughter.


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Begin Home Study:
August 10, 2009
Liu Chun Tian
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August 19, 2009
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