We set off on the 3,400-mile journey to meet my daughter’s birth mother in silence, our questions too big to put into words. In Colombia, communicating through an interpreter, but also through smiles, tears, embraces, and shared sensory experiences, all of us began to find answers.
My daughter’s fascination with China was matched by her pleasure at sharing the return trip with friends who’d made the same journey.
I went to China to find the birth mother who left me on a street corner. Instead, I became the focus of a nation’s buried pain.
After a birth country visit to China that was too much, too soon for my seven-year-old daughter, she and a friend returned on their own terms as teens. The trip helped them imagine what their lives might have been and explore their Chinese-American identities.
One of the cold realities of adopting an older child from China is that she comes with a lot of questions, many of which you can’t answer.