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The Start
Home Our Adoption from China Family Photo Album Jaclyn's Adoption Story

The Start
A Flurry of Paperwork
The Long Wait
The Referral
The Second Referral
The Incident
On to Beijing
Tour of Beijing
The Day Everything Changed
The Adoption
Shopping Nanjing
Touring Nanjing
Leaving Nanjing
The Long Ride Home


The Start

Our story starts on August 30, 1996.  Ginger and I went to see the musical "Miss Saigon" at the Ohio Theatre. During the opening of the second act which shows biracial children in a Vietnamese orphanage, Ginger whispered to me "Could you adopt a child like that?". My heart soared, as I answered, "Yeah, I think so."  I had, unknown to Ginger, been investigating adoption for sometime. We had been married for 15 years, and had been trying for children seriously for seven years.  We both agreed that we would not pursue medical options, because of the heavy emotional and financial costs involved, but Ginger had not seriously considered adoption before. I had bought a couple of adoption books a couple of years earlier and placed them around the house, but Ginger didn't seem to notice.  The horror stories of long custody battles, endless waits, incredible costs, and unethical practices in private domestic adoptions were very frightening to both of us.  International adoptions raised other serious issues including, racism, developmental problems, attachment problems, cultural differences, costs and extended foreign travel.

On September 2nd, when I got back to work, I sent a whole bunch of adoption bookmarks that I had been collecting to Ginger via email.  Ginger was very surprised at the amount of research that I had done. Ginger called the county children's services to inquire about local adoptions. The county was very discouraging.  We were white, and not really receptive to a severe special need child.  They told us about a video that showed available children.  The video was over 2 years old and showed briefly about two dozen children. Every child in the video had severe medical or psychological problems. Although our hearts went out to these children, Ginger and I knew that we couldn't handle these severe special needs.

Ginger and I attended several adoption workshops sponsored by local social services agencies. We talked to several couples that had waited for years for placements.  One very nice couple had been waiting for 3 years for a special needs child of any race.  Another couple was fostering, hoping to adopt.  They had two sibling in their home for 2 years and the county had not yet started procedures to terminate the parents rights.  It didn't take us long to figure out that neither of these options were right for us.  We started to investigate international adoption.

We decided to investigate adoption from China.  A girl from China. The thought was partially planted in our mind since the part of Tam, in Miss Saigon, was played by an adopted Chinese girl. Also, Ginger and I both like Chinese art.  Early in our marriage we had decorated our living room with art purchased at the Ohio State Fair from the Hubei Provence special exhibition. We were both docents at the Son of Heaven Exhibit several years ago in Columbus.  It seemed the China adoption program was relatively straight forward. Since it is run by the Chinese government, we were not concerned about baby stealing and corruption. The children coming from China were young, and were by and large very healthy. Travel requirements were reasonable, the costs manageable. The choice of China seemed very comfortable. 


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Copyright 2001 by George Keller. All Rights Reserved.