Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A's Foster Family in China

One of my adoption yahoo groups has been discussing their child's foster family in China. The discussions have led me to write this post about our experience with A.
We were told that A lived with a foster family while in China, however when she turned three in October of 2006 she was taken back to the orphanage. We were told that when the children turn three they are considered "pre-school age" and are returned to the orphanage. Our guide also shared with us that A was loved very much by her foster family and that they would frequently take her home with them on the weekends. He also told us that A was a favorite of the nannies at the orphanage. 
We were not able to meet A's foster family because A was from Wuzhou in Guangxi. We traveled to Nanning, which is the capital of Guangxi and about a four hour bus ride from Wuzhou. The assistant director of the orphanage and another lady accompanied our little princess from Wuzhou to Nanning.

It was very rough those first few moments when these nice ladies were telling our little girl that we were her new parents. She did not understand. As far as she knew she had parents. Her foster parents. She didn't ask for this, she didn't understand. But she soon settled down and was at least okay with the two of us. Until we got up to leave. Then the screaming and crying started. But as soon as we got to the hotel we gave her a bath, put her in some pretty pajamas, and got the crayons out and she was fine. She didn't cry again the whole time we were in China.
I wonder how much worse it would have been for her if her foster family had been there. I know that it would have been worse for Kurt and I. We would have had to witness her heart being ripped out by leaving the people that had loved her so much for most of her life up to that point. Not to mention the family's pain of losing this child that they loved so dearly.
I know there are things about China adoption that are out of our control, but at the time I really thought that it would have been nice to meet A's foster family. Now, almost 4 years later, I know that it was better for all of us that it happened the way it did. Good or bad, A does not remember her foster family. Really doesn't remember much about China at all. She was 3 1/2 when she came home. If she ever asks I will tell her that there was a family who loved her through her first few years of life.

Two weeks after we got home I had to put A into child care for two weeks. I had to finish my last month of work and Kurt got deployed at that time so we had no choice. This was a very difficult time for A. Each day when we pulled into the parking lot she would start saying "no" and crying. She would cling to me so tightly that I could completely let go of her and she didn't budge.
The first day was not only difficult during drop off, but also at pick up. Remember I said that her foster family would come and get her some weekends. Well I truly believe that she thought I was taking her to another orphanage to leave her for the week. When I got there to pick her up, she looked at me from across the playground and just stood there with her head tilted and a confused look on her face. She didn't know why I was there. After all, she had just seen me that morning. When I motioned for her to come to me she literally flew across that playground and flung herself into me. It broke my heart to see that look of confusion on her face and it continued to break each day after that when I would leave her. By that time we had already decided to home school the children. I know that we made the right decision. I would not have been able to continue to put her through that stress everyday.


  1. We are actually waiting to go get our Guangxi girl who turned 3 last month. We just sent her a photo album and some little gifts. Did you get to do this? Did she seem to recognize you?

  2. Jessica,
    We actually did not send a picture album ahead of time. We felt like everything happened pretty quickly so we didn't make time to do it. If we had it to do over we would have sent one in the hopes of her not having such a rough time for those first few minutes we were with her. I am thankful that her confusion and unhappiness was over quickly and once we got to our hotel room she was fine. Blessings to you, Regina