Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Christmas is coming, the most important holiday of the year in the United States. At this time, the whole country is in a happy atmosphere. When people meet and say "Merry Christmas" to each other, the kids are even more happy because they know Santa Claus is going to bring them presents!
Having lived in the United States for a long time, I have developed a habit of preparing Christmas gifts for my children at this time of year, and also preparing for those American families who have adopted Chinese abandoned children. The number of adopted abandoned children is quite large. American families have adopted nearly 110,000 Chinese abandoned children in the past two decades. And 82% of the children have some degree of disability. Our foundation's capacity is limited, and it is only a small fraction of the gifts that can be given out each year.
Since last year, I have also started giving Christmas gifts to the adoptive parents and their own children of these families, because I cannot thank them enough for their efforts. They are the most respected group of human beings.
This year, I saw more people carry out this activity. My junior sister Xin Luo, did a great job with her friend Qiong Zheng, the documentary filmmaker and director. They sorted out the touching stories of American adoptive families, and listed these families' Christmas wish lists on Amazon's website for people to choose and purchase, and give the items to these families.
I hope that one day, each of these children who were abandoned in China will receive a gift from their hometown at Christmas. This has extraordinary meaning to them. I still remember what the mother said to me when we went to an American adoptive family to donate - We also accept donations from all sides, but the money you give is different because it makes my children know the people in their hometown haven't forgotten them.
The growing up process of these abandoned children in a foreign country is full of hardships. Many American adoptive families suffer unimaginable burdens everyday, such as raising children who are blind, children who cannot take care of themselves, and families with children with mental disorders. These adoptive parents have composed a poem, a hymn of great love.
Xin Luo describes plenty of the adoptive families. The majority are families whose children are not blind or mentally disturbed. The adoptive parents of these families do their best in the process of raising these disabled children in pursuit of one goal is a happy ending in their children's lives. The efforts is touchable. Today I will tell the stories of a few families I am familiar with.
1. For the perfect smiling.
I have been in daily contact with a group of American adoptive families since our foundation dedicated to donating to American adoptive families was established. Those mothers would tell me what was going on with their children. I am also enjoy listening to it. And every time I hear and see the details of how the American parents raised these children，I feel touchable.
When a person treats a child who is not his own very well, there is a common phrase in China called "treat the kid as your own kid", which includes praise. And I don't think that word is a reflection of the love these adoptive parents have for their adopted children. The scenes what I see is that they don't give so much to their own children. And they all ask their own children to show the same love to these brothers and sisters with special needs. The adoptive mother Lisa I know is one of those thousands of mothers. I still remember a conversation I remember when I met the Lisa family at the first time a few years ago at a welcome dinner I invited the whole family to come.
I asked Lisa, Would you like to tell me why you adopt these disabled kids. Immediately she became angry，My children are not disabled! They are just children with some special needs! I feel guilty when I saw the silence kids and Lisa. Because of this one word difference, I realized that these children were completely different people in my eyes and Lisa's. The kids never do nothing wrong, they just need one thing to the world is love.
Lisa's family was so poor that they insisted on refunding one of the two hotel suites I booked for a family of eight in Los Angeles. And that meant that on the days they attended our event, most of the family couldn't sleep on the bed, and the test had to spend the night on the couch or rug. But every time I see these children, all of them are full of energy and smiling. I think this is because they get enough love from their adoptive parents.
Lisa has adopted six Chinese children with special needs, and she loves every child. She celebrate every birthday for them, taking care of their interests and needs.
I received a picture a few days ago. I saw Mia standing beside a Christmas tree smiling, revealing a set of white teeth. - Lisa told me this is a picture of Mia's excitement after she just got off the braces she had been wearing for a few years.
Orthodontics in the United States are not covered by insurance, and a child's orthodontics will cost a total of about $7,000 over a few years. All this money needs to be paid out of your own pocket.
They raised their own biological children with six adopted children with special needs. Living expense and medical expense combined are unimaginable, and the family lives only on the salary of Lisa's husband, Keening. This makes it necessary for their family to save money everywhere, but they do not hesitate to spend this money on their children.
Yesterday Lisa sent me the latest picture of Mia - Mia had just finished her school marching band Christmas performance and Lisa told me excitedly that Mia was doing a great job.
Looking at the photo of Mia standing on the stage for the curtain call, I saw her white teeth from her smile again. I thought that was the perfect smile. And what behind this beautiful smile is Lisa's hard work as a mother!
It is no exaggeration to say that Lisa is more attentive to these foreign children than to her own children. Not only that, she and her husband Kining also educated their own children to take the responsibility of taking care of these "brothers and sisters with special needs" from an early age.
When we went to Lisa's house to make the documentary "the Perfect Love", the host asked her a question - at least one of the six children can't take care of themselves for life, have you ever thought about this child’s life after the death of your two parents?
Lisa's answer went like this: "We've thought about it, we may be leaving this world earlier than she is, and we're going to leave the house where we live now, and my own daughter will be with her after we're gone. She lives with the kid and takes care of her until old."
Adopted Chinese children are loved throughout their lives, even after their adoptive parents leave this world. However, what Lisa and her husband passed to their own children is responsibility - taking care of this sister with special needs.
2. For her life like a normal person
Kimberly has a biological daughter. But by chance, she walked into a welfare home in Fujian and saw the living conditions of the orphans. She decided to adopt children from China.
The adoption agency recommended a girl named Qingqing to her, and told her that the child was a cleft lip. However, she also informed Kimberly Qingqing that she had undergone cleft lip suture surgery in China. Kimberly said there was no problem, so she signed the adoption procedure. But when she brought Qingqing to the United States, she found out that Qingqing's problem is not in her lips at all, she got serious dislocation and incompleteness of the palate in her mouth! Therefore, although Qingqing has sutured her lips, the voice of the child when she speaks is indistinct. How will the children work and live in the future? Kimberly and her husband couldn't stand it, so three years ago they decided to give the child thorough treatment.
The hospital's examination and treatment plan for Qingqing came out - it really shocked everyone. The total length of treatment is 8 to 10 years! At least five series of operations are to be performed in advance, and bones are taken from Qingqing's legs. After enough bones are taken, the next stage of work--intraoral surgical correction is performed.
Just a few days ago, the doctor told Kimberly that Qingqing could start the next stage of treatment in January next year. ——A series of operations are performed to push back and reshape the existing palatine bone by inserting a setting with metal gears into the oral cavity, and at the same time, use the extracted leg bone to fill the gap of the anterior palate of the oral cavity little by little. This process will take several more years to complete.
This kind of treatment is extremely painful for the young Qingqing, but as a mother, she is still happy because it means that the series of operations in the past few years have been successful, and the doctor has taken enough bones from Qingqing's leg. Now we can finally do the project of closing the internal bones of the mouth!
This is the result her family has been looking forward to for years. If this project is successful, then Qingqing will speak and sing almost like normal people in the future, which is the goal they have worked hard for over the years. Although Qingqing was born with disabilities, what they want is for this child to grow into a perfect person!
For us ordinary people, opening our mouth to speak is a simple thing. But for this family, parents have to accompany their children through such a difficult journey.
In addition to the physical pain and mental ordeal, their medical insurance does not cover the reconstruction of the mouth. Because the insurance company believes that this is not a medical treatment, but the need for oral plastic surgery. Therefore, this series of operations requires Kimberly and her husband to bear all the costs themselves.
This spending for several years is a heavy financial burden for the family, where only the husband earns wages.
Kimberly could have been a language teacher to support her family. But the continuous care of the child after the series of operations began make her forced her to quit her job.
At the same time, the family also adopted a Chinese boy who needed a series of surgeries on his hands and feet. The child named Daniel is a congenital syndactyly. The fingers of both hands and the toes of both feet are connected like duck webs and cannot be separated. He has also had five series of operations. The next step is to prepare for the skin incision between the fingers next summer. Although the surgery itself is not a big one, it is necessary to wear finger correction gloves for at least seven months after the surgery, and to do physical therapy and massage of the hands every day. So that his different fingers can finally be used independently like ordinary people.
In this way, from the day they adopted the first disabled and abandoned baby, the process of this family life has been a process of continuous surgery. As a result, adoptive parents must plan carefully when negotiating the operation time with the doctor, so that the family does not fall into the dilemma of dealing with two children's operations at the same time.
And their own biological daughter has become a person who feeds and assists her brother with walking at a young age.
Their family of five lives in an old house that is more than 50 years old, and the kitchen stove has been out of service for many years - the oven is broken, the three burning spots of the stove are not working properly, and only one of them can be used.
In this situation, this family is full of hope and lives happily. Kimberly told me that every child who comes out of the orphanage and goes into society has a certain degree of "brain disorder", but she is happy to see that Qingqing's "brain disorder" is in the process of healing.
She said, I never dreamed that she would be able to do what she is doing now. She worked so hard and learned so much! So well done! As a teacher she is the hardest student I have ever met, It's an honor to be her mother.
I also believe that Qingqing will work hard in her studies, because at a young age she already understands how much her parents have paid for her, and she has experienced all kinds of hardships, but she will be able to have a normal life like an ordinary person.
3. Tens of thousands of families struggle to move forward
There are tens of thousands Chinese abandoned kids adopted families in US. The most striking of these are two categories. One is the families in Xin Luo's article who have adopted children with permanent disabilities such as blindness. You can't hold back your tears every time you learn about their life and never-ending hardships. Another category is the families raise their children to become world champions, or eventually get into Harvard and Yale. Have you ever thought about it, just in a normal family, a kid who has no worries about food and clothing, and the kid is physically and mentally healthy, it is not easy to cultivate him into a world champion. It is more difficult for these psychologically traumatized children.
The kid named Morgan has walked into the peak of life. She was adopted by adoptive mother Shirley when she was two years old, and 14 years later she represented the U.S. team as a gymnast and won the women's all-around championship at the 2017 World Gymnastics Championships.
Shirley is a single mother. In order to have more time to support Morgan's training and studies, Shirley quit her 30-year dental job and found another job that allowed her to work from home. It was with her unremitting efforts and support that her daughter Morgan finally be world champion.
Morgan is only four feet five inchs tall, and medically an adult is classified as a dwarf when his height is less than four feet eight inchs. Morgan's life would be unimaginable if she hadn't been adopted by this great mom.
In US adopted families, Families that endure untold misery and whose children reach the top in life are only a small percentage. The majority of households are not so conspicuous. But if you go into the day-to-day life of their families, you will find that these adoptive parents are strikingly similar, that is, they are all struggling to move forward.
The Bush family is one of thousands of ordinary families. Erin Bush and Chris Bush have three biological children of their own. They also adopted two abandoned babies with HIV in their blood from China. Now the three able-bodied children play with these two Chinese adopted children every day. It is common for children to bump into each other, and sometimes cuts and blood are inevitable. This is not a big deal for any ordinary family, but it is a big deal for their family.
It has been two years since the outbreak of the new crown epidemic. When ordinary people complained that they could not go out freely to take off their masks and communicate with others due to long-term isolation or protection, the worries of parents are completely different. Because of the special immune system needs of their two children, they had to lock their children at home, because if the child was infected, it was life-threatening.
At the 10th China-US Business Summit in 2019, the Bush family was invited to the podium by me. When the host asked the adoptive parents why they thought of going to China to adopt these two children with AIDS in their blood, the mother from Washington State said something very simple--I am a mother who loves children. After three children, I wanted to have them again, but at this time I heard that there are many children in China who have no home. I decided not to have any more babies myself, I wanted to give these children a home. Her choice is not based on her personal preferences, but based on her beliefs.
In the fourteenth sentence of the nineteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew it is said - let these children come to me, you cannot forbid them. Because the kingdom of God belongs to these children.
In Colorado, there is also a single mother named Alicia, who raised three disabled and abandoned babies from China by herself.
One of the children, Elias, suffers from congenital spastic cerebral palsy (SCP). When the child came to the United States, a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) was required to resolve the long-term spasticity.
There are no special education schools in the village where the single mother used to live. In order to give her children a more suitable education, she moved her family from a village to a big city with a special education school.
It is not easy for a single mother to raise children with special needs. What is the strength that supports this mother to move forward in the difficult times?
In addition to the majority of the adoptive parents who are carrying the load, there are also some adoptive families who have encountered disasters. Both children and adults have experienced the catastrophe.
There is one in Los Angeles that we are all familiar with.
This is a happy family. Mom and Dad raise their three healthy and healthy children. Three years ago they adopted a girl from Fujian who was abandoned by her parents.
Not long after the adopted daughter was fully integrated into the family of six and lived a happy life, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. It didn't take long for her to die.
The girl was abandoned by her biological parents shortly after she was born in China. After several twists and turns, he was adopted by this American family and got a perfect love on the other side of the ocean. But the good times did not keep long. In a short period of time, the mother who loved her deeply left her.
So the father had to take full responsibility. She has to earn money to support her family and take care of four children. More than a year later, he is still living through the grief of losing a loved one. He wants to make sure that this daughter, who was adopted from China, keeps going through the surgery...
In this way, tens of thousands of American adoptive families are going through these difficult times.
In the hearts of these adoptive parents in the United States, there is no resentment, no hatred, only love. This is also reflected in another way, when my compatriots talk about abandoned babies, most of them are outraged at the parents who abandoned their own flesh and blood. American adoptive parents don't feel that way at all. When I was talking to a pair of American adoptive parents about what they thought of the Chinese biological parents of their children, this is what they said - We don't ask them why they abandon their children. We believe in abandoning their own children, they must have their own unspeakable helplessness.
It is based on this understanding that American adoptive parents do not worried about adopting Chinese children who understand their life experience before adoption, understand their own culture, and even go back to China to find their biological parents.
Regarding the relationship between American mothers and Chinese children, I also learned a classic slice of life - it happened in the family of Lisa, who we have supported for years.
One day when the child came home from school, Mia cried when she saw her mother. Lisa asked her what happened, but she said nothing. In the dead of night, Lisa came to Mia's room again to ask her about it, and Mia told her mother the whole story of the incident. After school today, one of Mia's classmates pointed at Mia and said to the other classmates, She is not her mother's own.
Mia said and hugged her mother, looked at her and asked, Mom, is this true?
Lisa was stunned. For a moment, she put
Mia took it into her arms and said, you are not born from my body, but you are born from my heart.
After saying this, the mother and daughter hugged each other tightly, and the tears could not be suppressed...
——Abandonment and adoption, this is a test question about love and life in the world. These children abandoned by their biological parents have used their lives to witness whether there is love in the world, and these American adoptive parents have given the perfect answer to life with their own practice!
Therefore, as Christmas is approaching, I would like to ask my Chinese friends, can we give them a gift on their most important holiday of the year. Can we let the world see that the Chinese nation is a nation that repays gratitude?
At the same time I want to ask God about this ,would you please tell me what kind of Christmas gift is worthy of their love.
Author: Qun Shen, President of A Perfect Love Foundation