Friday, March 31, 2006

Chinese girls

I come home today from uni and the tv was already on Oprah. I overheard part of the program as I made myself a drink and plonked myself in front of tv to watch the rest and then I cried.

What I witnessed was a clip from the 'Dying Rooms' documentary:

the filmmakers showed the unbelievable living conditions in the orphanages they came across. They also found an actual "dying room" where an unwanted baby girl was left 10 days earlier to die. She was named Mei Ming, which means "no name." Mei Ming gave up on her fight to live four days after the filmmakers filmed her. The orphanage denied she ever existed, but the film proves otherwise.

What I witnessed is probably hard to imagine but the image seems burned into my skull now, its probably best described by true vision/sun morning post-1995:

Mei-ming has lain this way for 10 days now: tied up in urine-soaked blankets, scabs of dried mucus growing across her eyes, her face shrinking to a skull, malnutrition slowly shrivelling her two-year old body. The orphanage staff call her room the "dying room", and they have abandoned here for the very same reasons her parents abandoned her shortly after she was born. She is a girl.

It also went on to show a part of Lisa Ling's documentary on what is happening now(well 2004 it's an old episode):

Lisa found that baby girls are still being either aborted or abandoned by the thousands and boys outnumber girls by 17 million. Although the one child per family policy still stands, Lisa says families do have sons and daughters. "In the countryside, you can have more than one child. If your first child is a girl you can try to then have a boy," Lisa says. "The problem is that no matter how you try, you can't force yourself to have a boy. So if you continue to have girls, a lot of these families, they continue to give away or kill baby girls until they have a boy, and some may never have a baby boy.

It also showed American families adopting chinese girls and the actual moment where they saw the girls for the first time and again I cried a little more.

Then I messaged Mr T and said 'when and if we decide to have children I want to adopt a girl from China'.


Anonymous said...

That's horrible! Do you think the same would happen in any other country? Perhaps religious or philosophical beliefs make it easier for people to do such things, for ex. that this suffering and prayers will ensure the girl is reborn into a better life. That's one that some people use to justify eating meat.
I'd like to adopt a Chinese girl too, but I already have 3 children, and can't afford another, financially or time-wise. My mother says it's not ethical to remove orphans from their country, & just financially funding children via aid organisations is better. But I think that's her way of trying to make sure I never do make such an adoption. Surely it'd be more ethical to give an orphan from another country a loving home & good upbringing, who wouldn't otherwise have those things, than to deliberately conceive a child to give them those things instead. But of course I don't blame anyone for having their own children. I've done the same. I'm just thinking about what would do the most good in the world.

kristy said...

In answer to your 1st question: yes, and in fact in other ways it does happen in other ways.

I think when it comes to China, or other parts of the world they need both (adoption and fund organisations).

I don't blame anyone for having or wanting their own children. Except for perhaps two exceptions. One when fertility is so difficult they resort to expensive IVF again and again and again (imagine what all that money and effort could be going to do instead) and when parents say to those who prefer to be childless that they are selfish (but thats another story).

Btw, do you have a blog/name? You've raised some interesting points!

Jim Walters said...

I've found through Google that you were quite a passionate on this blog about the Dying Rooms documentary.

I would like to tell you that the same outrage drove author Talia Carner to write about it. In her new novel which we've just released, CHINA DOLL, she touches this very important issue of infanticide in China. I would like to invite you and your readers to visit the author's website for a lot of background information about this issue.

Talia Carner was hailed for her first novel, PUPPET CHILD, as "an author with the power to change society," and one who "changes the world one child at a time. "

She hopes to reopen the debate and awareness of the killing of one million baby girls in China each year.