Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thoughts on China Ghosts...

This past week I read China Ghosts - My Daughter's Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood.

I loved this book. For one thing, it's written from the father's perspective which is pretty unique for an adoption book. The author is a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and has a very interesting writing style that really held my attention. I had a hard time putting this book down.

The book starts with him and his wife on the bus ride to their daughter's province of Hunan. The author does a great job of expressing his feelings and all the details along their journey. The book covers their time in China, their transition to parenthood, and how they go about raising their daughter (who was 2 years old when they got her).

The focus of the book is how the author deals with Jin Yu's "China Ghosts", his term for all that his daughter left behind...her caregivers, the other children at the orphanage, her birth family, and everything that is familiar to her.

This book REALLY made me think about how Joe and I will come to terms with Lauren's past. I've spent the majority of this wait thinking about the much anticipated "gotcha" moment and how to help her to grieve and move onto her new life. I haven't really prepared myself for how often I might think about Lauren's birth mother and how I might feel about her. I wonder how we will be affected by not knowing the details of her abandonment and her life at the orphanage. All the blank spots that we may never have answers to.

The author is driven to seek details, not only for himself but for Jin Yu. He is at times almost haunted by her China Ghosts and goes through periods of being very grateful to the birth mother and birth country then dealing with anger as well. The book has really given me a new perspective, which I think will help me prepare for our trip and be a better momma to Lauren.

It's a great read, and I highly recommend it. I'm going to loan it to my mother and sister-in-law next. Anyone who will be really close to Lauren would benefit by reading this book.

10 comments:

Mama and ZZ said...

Thank you for sharing this. Someday I will read it. I can so relate to the feelings of gratitude/anger, although mine is about the orphanage rather than the birth parents. I think about Abbey's first 18 months everyday and feel so sad about all that she missed, but so grateful that they kept her alive and gave her to me.

Janet said...

Thanks for the review, Donna. It does sound interesting. I think I might pick it up.

Susan R said...

Donna thanks so much for the book review it has been on my list of books to read, Riz wants to read it too..

Susan R

Lisa and Tate said...

I'll be puttin this book on my list of must reads!!! thanks
Lisa

M3 said...

Thanks for the recommendation! Sounds like a book I need to read for sure. I just finished "Forever Lily" and "The Waiting Child" which were both very thought-provoking also.

C.J. said...

I have been hearing a lot about this one. I'll have to check it out.

Jewels of My Heart said...

Thank you for sharing. I would like to read it myself. I know you will be a wonderful Mama to your baby girl.
You already are...
God's Speed

Lili & Robin said...

hi donna - LOVED your book review. Don't see a lot of these on the adoption blogs! Go you! Gonna finish China Ghosts tonite. I was happy to hear his positive opinion about the CCAA. This is a MUST read for us waiting mommies...different from the other memoirs. Take Care -Lili

Kim said...

Thanks for the book recommendation, Donna. I'm going to get this one for sure.

OziMum said...

Sounds like an amzaing book... might be taking a peek at Amazon?!!