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Katie was adopted from China when she was 7 months old. She is not 8 and in GR 2.

From the beginning, we spoke about the fact that she was adopted and shared her story with her. She has never really ASKED questions about the abandonment, adoption process.

Today I took her and her friend to the 3D version of Meet the Robinson's. I was expecting Disney fun without much of a message and boy was i WRONG! Adoption is a central theme in the movie. The director of the film was adopted. The messages in the movie, and there are many, are all good ones, Keep Moving Forward, families can "look" lots of ways, dont ever give up, your parents dont have to be the people who conceived and birthed you. Although the mother leaving the baby on the steps of the orphanage is a tad dated, something that happened decades ago. But that bit was important for the rest of the story.

We dropped Katie's friend off and as soon as the door closed She asked me did I think she had any birth sisters? And why do I think her birth mother gave her away. :'( :'( I tried hard to not cry and answer her honestly and completely. I dont want to say well your birth mother loved you so much that she abandoned you. Mostly ALL of the literature there is, says NOT to equate love with being abandoned. So I said that we didnt know and wouldnt ever know. But that she could feel inside what her story is and why it was done and that that was probably accurate. And she was left on the street in front of a Police station so obviously someone wanted her safe and found.
This is what she came up with and I'm sure has been reflecting on for a long time.
She said she thinks her birth mother knows she could not take care of her and wanted her baby to come to America and have a really great life OR that maybe her birth mother wasn't married and she wanted her to have 2 parents and not just one. So she talked to God and He told her what to do- which was to let her be adopted by us and come live in the USA.
I said I think what she thinks is probably very close to exactly what happened. :'( Again tried hard to not to bust into tears hearing her work through this.
She is very, very proud of being an American born in China. She has asked before is she a citizen of China also? And the answer is no. When we left with her 7 years ago, her citizenship is terminated. I want her to be proud of her race. I don't want to seem like I am coming down on China over their policies.

Question for all of you.... I have never gone into China's " One Child" policy with her. Fact is, I dread it. It's hard to have your little girl hear that boys are wanted and girls are not. And that MOST of the abandonments are because:
1- they already have a child and are willing to pay the penalty fine for having 2, IF the 2nd is a boy
2- they do not have any children yet and want their "only" to be male
I do want to prepare her for this so she doesnt hear it from someone else first. But when is the right age to broach that subject.

Any advice? As to WHEN and HOw to discuss this with her.
 

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Re: Meet the Robinson's open a dialogue on adoption

I don't have any advice I just want to send (((((hugs)))))) to you and :-* to katie
 

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Re: Meet the Robinson's open a dialogue on adoption

I really don't have any advice, but wanted to say that it sounds like you've done a great job in the way you've handled this important issue.
 

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Re: Meet the Robinson's open a dialogue on adoption

I wish I had some really good advice to give you... but I don't. I do want to say that I think you handled the situation perfectly and you are a wonderful mother to a wonderful little girl. I am interested in the responses you do receive, as my sister is considering adopting from China.
 
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Re: Meet the Robinson's open a dialogue on adoption

Wow, I'm kind of a tough guy but this brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet girl you have - and how amazing it is how she's able to work through all these concepts and emotions. And, that's a testament to how you've raised her. She obviously ended up in a very loving and nurturing home with parents who lover her as much as she loves them.

I can't tell you when to talk to her - but it seems that you'll know when the time is right by taking cues from her questions to you.

Thanks for sharing Katie's story.
 

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Re: Meet the Robinson's open a dialogue on adoption

I have a friend who is second generation Chinese American and she adopted Rachel from China when she was 8 months old. She is now 14 the same age as my nephew. She struggled with the same question how and when to tell her why they abandoned her. Rachel was left at a temple.

At about 9 Barbara told her. She explained she wanted her to hear it from her and her father not in school. That Chinese culture especially in the rural areas, which was where Rachel was born, that farmers want males to help them with the work load and as the government limits families to one child due to over population little girls are given up hoping to have a son next time. That it wasn't that they wouldn't have loved a daughter but on a farm a boy can inherit the farm under Chinese law. She also told her that a lot of women have abortion when they find out out the baby isa girl so her mother must loved her enough to go through the pregnancy and place her for adoption. She explained in oriental cultures there is the stigma on abortion like this is in western cultures.
 

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Wow Susan.. katie's story is amazing. What a smart, sweet young lady you have there. You're very lucky to have each other.
 

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What a special little girl you have. So bright and so wise beyond her years.

I don't have any advice, but you know your daughter. You know what she can handle and what she can't. I think you'll know when the time is right.
 

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Wow. She is bright and sensitive and emotionally mature to have figured all of that out. She is probably mostly right. Huge hugs to her, and to you for instilling that in her. You have amazing kids, that's for sure.

I don't have kids and so can't give advice, although I do have several friends who have children from China. My gut reaction is not yet. When she gets a little older she will probably be able to understand it more as a political issue than something personal, or as a slam on everything about China. I can't imagine someone at her age not taking it personally, although I could be wrong.
 

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Very well said, Mark. I agree that the insight of this sweet little girl is a result of how you've raised her. you're obviously doing a wonderful job. My hat's off to you!

I think you'll know when the time is right. It seems like she'll let you know in one way or another.

{{hugs}} to you all.
 

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Katie sounds like a very special girl. What a GREAT job you have done in bringing her up.

I might be inclined to start talking about the "one child" situation with her now that she has started to ask questions. But then I always say the wrong thing at the wrong time so what do I know :-\
 

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I don't have any words of wisdom Susan but I just wanted to say that althought I've only met you and your family once in person but all the wonderful things that our posters hear are saying about Katie (and you) are true. It was easy to see that Katie is bright, sensitive, and a kind, wonderful little girl. And that you all have really great family dynamics.
 

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Susan - I believe you know that we adopted our son from Bulgaria when he was 2-1/2 years old. He is now 10 and the adoption subject comes up from time to time and never when we are prepared for it :laugh:

I think your daughter may be a little young, but at the same time I think being young allows them to create if you will there own interpretation of what you tell them. It makes it easier from them to comprehend what they hear. Over time she will likely have more in depth questions as she begins to understand it and you will be there for her. I think explaining it in very simple terms would be okay. It sounds like she is very mature in her thinking. What a special gift they are to us.
 

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This brought tears to my eyes as well. You love your daughter so much I can understand why you want to protect her from thinking she was abandoned and not valued as much as a boy. Have you read the book "The Lost Daughters of China"? I read it several years ago and thought it offered great insight into the whole adoption from China process and I can't remember exactly what it covers but I remember the Mother in this book struggling with how to explain why out of all of their friends that have adopted children from China there are only girls. You handled it wonderfully and the most important part is she knows how much she is loved.
 

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I am adopted, as is my sister, and I did graduate research in adoption studies and the meaning of kinship before coming to medical school. It was something that I needed to do to better understand myself, and I still wish to get in touch with my birth parents someday.

The best advice I can give you is to be completely honest with your daughter as early as possible. I will never forget the day my mom told me I was adopted...I was 2 years old. It is in fact one of the only memories I have as a 2 year old. She told me that she wanted me so badly, but that she couldn't have me, so another woman (my birth mom) had me for her, and was such a loving and selfless woman that she gave me to her, and that she and my dad would forever be greatful to her. That was it. As I grew older I somehow made sense of that story, and always knew that I was adopted. And I couldn't have asked for better parents. Studies (both my own and others) show that the younger a child is when they learn about their adoption story, the better and more easy it is on them emotionally. Katie will make sense of her story and out together the peices as she grows older and develops mentally and emotionally.

If you have any questions, PLEASE, feel free to PM me. This is one topic about which I am passionate. :)
 

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Your post touched my heart. And Katie sounds like a wonderful girl with a very terrific mom. You will find the right words Susan.
 

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Let me clarify. Barbara and Steve always told Rachel she was adopted. She was 9 when they started to talk to her about why girl babies are abandoned in China.
 

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Hi Susan~

Well, we have been giving this a lot of thought, since we will someday be faced with the same conversation. Have you seen this book?

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bo...=when+you+were+born+in+china&z=y&cds2Pid=9481
It's called "When you were born in China," by Sara Dorow (1997). We have it in Miriam's bookcase.
Here is an excerpt:

"Perhaps most important for the story of when you were born is that China has lots and lots of people. Some years before you were born, the government decided that there were too many people in China. If the population continued to grow, there would be many problems.

It was already difficult to build enough houses and apartments for every family. And what if people couldn't find a job? Providing enough food for everyone might be especially difficult.

So China's leaders made some rules. They told mothers and fathers that they could have only one child, or maybe two. That way, the population wouldn't grow so fast. Parents who broke this rule faced serious punishment.

People like your birthparents know this was an important rule, but it was a difficult rule as well. You see, Chinese people love children, and family members are very close to one another. Everybody in the family helps each other out, from kids to grandparents. Parents take good care of their children. When children grow up, they are expected to take good care of their parents! So a family with only one or even two children seems small.

The rule about having only one or two children because even more difficult for your birth parents if you are a girl. In fact, you may have noticed that most of the kids adopted from China are girls. The reason for this may be hard to understand, but it is important to your story.

Remember that China is a very old country, so some ideas have been around for thousands of years. One of those ideas is that a son should take care of his parents when they get older. You see, parents usually live with their son until they die. Of course, parents love their daughters very much. But if they only have daughters, the daughters will get married and move away to live with their husbands, where they will help take care of their husband's parents.

Most people in the countryside do not have enough money to take care of themselves when they get old. So if a mother and father are allowed to have only one or two children, they feel they desperately need at least one son - someone to to take care of them when they become too old to work.

But what does this have to do with you? Well, when you were born in China, you may have been born to parents who did not have a son. Your birthparents so much wanted to care for you and try to give birth to a son. But having another child would break the government's rule about the number of children they could have in the family, and they would be punished. They would have had to pay a very big sum of money, more money than they had. Your birthparents couldn't find a way to keep a daughter in the family and still have a son to take care of them later in life.

There nay be other reasons your birthparents could not find a way to care for you in their family.

Some children, whether they are boys or girls, are born with a medical problem that needs fixing. If you are one of those special children, it may be that your birthparents could not afford to pay for a doctor to help make you better. But they knew that somewhere there was a family that could, and it was so important that you get proper treatment and care.

It's also possible that your birthmother was not married, and did not have enough money or help from her family to raise a child by herself.

Because you were a precious and beautiful child, your birth family wished with all their hearts that they could keep you with them, care for you, and get to know you. They were heartbroken that they couldn't, and were very sad to say goodbye..."

We plan to read it to her early in her life. I do not think that second grade is too early. This book uses words and terms that can be easily understood by a child that age.

You are in my prayers, and it sounds like you are raising an incredible child. :)
 

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I have no advice about this.

I just want to say that Katie sounds like a wonderful girl. Very intelligent and mature for her age. You sound like you are doing a great job with raising Katie :) She is very blessed to have you in her life and I am sure she is a blessing to you in ways as well :) I feel you will know exactly how and what to tell Katie when the time is right.

*hugs*
 

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What an interesting question. You said that you want her to be proud of her race and don't want to seem like you're coming down on China's policies. I guess my only comment is to ask why you are combining these concepts. The Chinese race has thousands of years of accomplishments to be proud of. Policies made by a recent government that puts no value on personal freedom don't have anything to do with those accomplishments. I don't think I'd worry about how she ends up viewing the Chinese government. I think most kids can learn to separate the two pretty easily.
 
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