When I hear the word abandonment, I always think of the One Child Policy and attribute it to my own misfortunes. However, this policy may not have been the reasoning for my abandonment. In a recent article that I read published on March 28, 2014 entitled Chinese Parents Abandon Children at Guangzhou Baby Hatch hosted, I learned several reasoning’s for children being forfeited by parents in China. Most of these children had some type of disabilities or illness that could not be treated. Some families did not have the funds to support a special needs child. In one particular case, a mother took her son who seemed to be around the age of four, to the designated drop off point. The article states that she had some type of crippling illness of her own and could not properly raise the child. The only hope for these children are in the hands of complete strangers.
Most of these families had a look of anguish on their faces which makes me think of what my parent(s) might have gone through. Did my parent(s) not have the resources to care for me, or maybe they had some type of crippling illness that prevented them from raising an infant? I do not believe my parent(s) abandoned me because of any visible handicaps or illnesses. My friend Catherine has an idea of why a parent(s) may abandon their child. A member of the adoption agency informed her family of the possibility of fleeing families. These families that attempted to flee either abandoned their child in fear that that child would be too much of a reliability or the families had their child taken from them when the escape attempted failed. Another possibility for my abandonment is more despairing than the other theories. This theory involves my mother being either a prostitute or a victim of the sex slave industry. Hopefully neither of these ideas hold true.
A small positive outcome from my uncertain past is the fact that I can fabricate my own origins. Here is a story I imagined when I was younger. It starts with me being a descendant of royalty or from a wealthy family. I was captured by a fiend that was going to use me for ransom, but the plan fell short when he lost me. I was mistaken for another abandoned baby and taken to the orphanage. My parents were not able to find me, and as a result believed I was dead. Unbeknownst to them, I was taken to a distant land. As I got older, my stories became more elaborate with one story including being a test tube clone baby. Until the true reasoning for my abandonment is revealed, I will continue to create stories for myself. I might as well have some fun with my past.
Today, I was perusing my adoption papers again. I found my mother’s evaluation form from LifeLink, the organization she went through to adopt me. Before she passed away, she explained to me that she adopted me because she did not possess the capabilities of having a child of her own. The evaluation form gave a more explicit reason for her choice in adopting a Chinese girl.
In the form, it stated that my mother had always wanted to be a mother. When my Aunt, her sister, had her first child, my mother always wanted to take care of my Aunt’s baby girl. Whenever chaperones were needed for my cousin’s field trips, my mother would always volunteer. All of the interactions with my cousin just reminded my mother of how much she really wanted a child of her own. She started to look into adoption as a viable alternative.
An international adoption would offer her the best choice in children. Her original goal was to adopt a baby, but with her slight physical handicap she was limited on the age of the child. Every nation has its own policies for adoption my mother found out. The African nation, for example, did not allow for white families to adopt their children at that time. Their reasoning included the fact that the child would face cultural implications later in life. This conflict could potentially be harmful to that child. It turns out that China had the best option for my mother. She had a good chance to get a toddler, and their policies for adoption accommodated her needs.
Thus started her process of adoption in China. She had to prove that she had the financial capabilities as well as prove her own capabilities of raising a child. Since my mother was not married, my grandmother had to vow that she would partake in my upbringing. If a time ever arose where my mother was incapacitated for any reason, then it was up to my grandmother to take up the role in caring for me. Nearly a year and a half passed before my adoption day. It was the proudest moment of my mother’s life and an adventure of a life time for my grandmother.
Author note: All orphaned children need homes, it doesn’t matter if they are from your backyard or from another country. However, I understand why some families opt for international adoption(s). Adopted children from the states have a better chance of being taken back to their biological families. I have an adoptive cousin whose family had this issue. International adoptions are more solidified and permanent. This documentation, International Adoption Documentation, speaks of some reasoning for parents choosing their adoptees. It also helped me understand why my mother chose an international adoption, and why other parents are so hesitant to do a local adoption.