Title: Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage
Author: Kay Bratt
We're sending off another big bunch of paperwork (and a heck of a lot of money) for our adoption dossier tomorrow. I've been pacing myself through the adoption books and the books about China so I maintain my excitement throughout the process (it's long, and reading the books keeps me focused, especially when I have to do boring things like fill out paperwork). Anyway, I read Silent Tears earlier this week and it made me anxious. Until now I'd say I was eager to adopt. I wasn't oblivious to the fact that our child will come with a health problem and some of the effects of living in institutional care, but I didn't really understand what institutional care meant. When our adoption case manager said that babies in Chinese orphanages often live with a 5:1 baby to caregiver ratio, I quipped that that was what the baby will get once she gets here, but reading Silent Tears really opened my eyes about how our daughter may be suffering before she gets adopted. I used to worry that she'd be developmentally delayed or suffer the effects of malnutrition, and now I'm a little worried about getting her here alive, and not so much worried about how quickly she hits her developmental milestones. The book shows a really eye-opening picture of Chinese orphanages, and although I know it's a picture of just one orphanage, I don't think I can discount Bratt's experience as an orphanage volunteer and say with complete confidence that our daughter's experience will be better than what Bratt presents in Silent Tears. If she's waiting and suffering in China right now, I'm eager to forge ahead with the paperwork and not twiddle our thumbs anymore and not make our daughter wait any longer than we have to.