A woman chronicles her and her husband’s journey to adopt a child in China.
Reicher (Reaching God’s Perfection, 2014), a former U.S. Marine and massage therapist, writes that she always wanted to have a family, but after a series of physical ailments (including removal of a gland following an infection), she and her husband, Norm, realized that they couldn’t naturally conceive. Reicher felt that she was “born with such an urge to rescue and be responsible,” and she and her husband decided to adopt a Chinese child. The pair traveled to Changsha, the province where their baby was born and where they would have to live for five days before the adoption could be finalized. Reicher describes her time in China in detail, including meeting her translator, Samuel, who guided her through the adoption process and whose “kindness, willingness, understanding and patience was unfathomable.” The couple finally met their new baby, whom they named Sarah QiQi. Sarah turned out to be very ill when Reicher and her husband first encounter her, so they oversaw her medical care at the orphanage. As Reicher told her family, “I could not turn down a baby. That would be ridiculous,” and she held true to that sentiment, diligently nursing her baby back to health. Overall, this is not a story that delves into the personalities of the people involved; indeed, readers don’t learn very much about either Reicher or her spouse. Rather, it’s centered on the nuts and bolts of a specific adoption, and, as such, it’s an illuminating look at an adoption process abroad. As a result, the narration consists mostly of summary, with some occasional dialogue sprinkled in, which gives the story a fast pace. At the same time, though, it often results in a lack of atmospheric and emotional description.
A detailed look at a complex, sometimes-harrowing adoption experience.