Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book #50: Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and LoveTitle: Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love
Author: Xinran

Although I've read quite a few memoirs from the point of view of adoptive parents, there aren't as many books out there from the point of view of birth parents, especially from Chinese birth parents, where babies are generally abandoned and adoptions are always (or at least nearly always) closed. But Chinese journalist Xinran (who now lives in London) managed to collect the stories of about a dozen women from all walks of life who felt it was in their families' best interest to place their baby girls for adoption.

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother is definitely unique and I appreciated hearing the kinds of situations our daughter might face in the first months or years of her life. It was also a hard book to read-- these are hard stories from a parent's perspective. I think I'll have a lot more empathy for our daughter's birth parents and the hard decisions they faced as they decided not to keep a child who, in many cases, they dearly loved and wanted. It also feels like a very foreign book. I think part of that is the fact that it's a translation, but part is also at due to the fact the cultural pressures that force birth parents into leaving their babies are so different from my own cultural experiences. I'm interested in reading more about Xinran's The Mother's Bridge of Love charity to promote cultural understanding between adoptive and birth cultures.

1 comment:

jennie w. said...

Wait, you're adopting a baby???