Adoptions in China Changing

July 3, 2010

In Earth to Earth, Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes, I wrote about the tragic death of Faith Dremmer, who was adopted in China.  Her American mother’s journey to adopt her was one that many Americans have taken.

The Lost Daughters of China by Karin Evans is about those abandoned girls and their journey to America.

Now, reports that China restricts foreign adoptions as demand grows at home.  One reason being that prosperous, middle-class Chinese families without children now want to adopt and can afford it.

Another reason is that there are not as many children being left at orphanages by poverty-stricken families, who cannot afford to feed another mouth. China’s prosperity allows families to earn enough money so they don’t have to make that difficult decision.

In fact, adoptions by American families are down 60% since 2005, according to the State Department.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Second China Quiz

May 8, 2010
The answers may be found anywhere in the first three hundred posts for this blog.  The first person to answer all the questions correctly will win a free copy of either My Splendid Concubine or Our Hart.

This prize will be open until the first person answers all the questions correctly. Write your answers in a comment to this quiz.  Make sure to number the answers so they match the questions and provide an e-mail address for me to contact you. Each question has a link that will take you to where you may find the answers.


1. What does the First of all Virtues mean?

2. What is the Chinese attitude toward health care?

3. What was the life expectancy for the average Chinese person before the Communists won China in 1949?

4. What was the debate on salt and iron about?

5. Chinese Internet users are _____________ as likely to have blogs as Americans. (fill in the blank)

6. (From Similar “Oily” Interests) What is Wahhabism and where does the money come from to pay for this?

7. What happened during Deng Xiaoping’s Beijing Spring?

8.  What happened to Deng Xiaoping’s son when he spoke out against the Cultural Revolution?

9. What vital key does China hold for humanity’s future?

10. How does Communist China treat its minorities compared to the way minorities have been treated in the United States?

11. Who was Faith Dremmer and what happened to her?

12.  What did Peter Hessler say about happiness?

13.  How many of the world’s smokers live in China?

14.  What is the name of China’s Oprah and how large is her audience?

15. What is the difference between China’s labor laws and United States?

16. What did Lin Yutang say about the Chinese and Christianity?

17. What did the first emperor of China consume that contributed to his madness and death? (This answer is in one of the nine linked posts in a series about Qin Shi Huangdi.) Why did Qin Shi Huangdi do this? (must answer both questions for # 17)

18. When the “Cult of the Dead Cow” gains access to your computer, what do they do?

19. Which issue of National Geographic magazine provides proof that Tibet was part of China for centuries before Mao’s invasion and reoccupation?

20. What is the name of the all-electric car being manufactured in a joint effort between Chinese and California partners?


Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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Earth to Earth, Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes

March 31, 2010

It may take more than a few decades to change China’s culture to value girls equal to boys. China’s government is working to make that happen—that journey started in 1949, when Mao said, “Women hold up half the sky.” It isn’t easy overcoming several thousand years of culture.

Faith’s journey started at the age of two from rural China where poverty and a life of hard labor can be crushing. To encourage poor parents, who want a boy instead of a girl, not to throw a female infant in the closest river, government run orphanages have a no-punishment policy toward parents that abandon girls. Orphanages are surrounded by a wall with a drawer in that wall where parents may leave the child. The parent rings a bell, then hurries away.

Michelle Dremmer traveled from Chicago to China  more than fifteen years ago to rescue one of those orphans. She fell in love with the two-year-old, who was past the desired age of many adoptive parents, and she gave Faith a life of “happiness, opportunity and love” that few orphans in China experience.

Faith Dremmer

Another journey of five-hundred miles started on bikes and ended in tragedy for Faith, who was 17. I first wrote about this in Saying Goodbye, soon after hearing about the accident that claimed Faith’s life. Two of the girls survived. One spent eleven hours in surgery.

The driver of the van, who hit the girls, was an 86-year-old man. He was not injured. A friend of the driver said he was a good Christian who never drank and was close to his family—three children, six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. I cannot imagine the burden of guilt he will carry for what life he has left.

I cry easily watching movies. It doesn’t take much to turn on the tears. My wife and daughter know this and when one of those scenes appears on the screen, they always look.

Doesn’t make sense. I shouldn’t cry that easily. After all, I’m a former United States Marine. I fought in Vietnam and taught in tough, barrio schools for thirty years where you had to be “mean” (what I call tough love without physical violence) to survive. It embarrasses me when those tears appear in public against my will.

The tears let lose this morning when I was alone. I went on-line and read about Faith’s funeral in the Chicago Tribune. Nearly 1,300 mourners attended. Actually, I read six pieces that started with the accident and Faith’s death to the one where a photo with my  daughter and three of Faith’s friends were walking back into the temple with their arms around each other. They had just carried Faith’s coffin to the hearse.

In another Chicago Tribune piece, there’s a picture showing the four girls carrying the coffin from the temple. The pain is etched on their faces. Maybe I cry easily when others suffer because I saw so much brutality and death in the war, or it’s something in my DNA that I inherited from my mother. She was the weepy sort—not my father.

I’m looking at the “goodbye” photo in the Chicago Tribune as I write this. I see one girl’s head bent in agony.

Although I can’t see her face and eyes, my daughter is holding a tissue in one white gloved hand. I think she is crying.

Every since I drove my wife and daughter to the airport, I’ve been alone with my thoughts—my emotions.

I didn’t know Faith as well as my wife and daughter did. My wife was with Michelle when they went to China to get Faith. My daughter spent six early years of her life in the same house with Faith and Michelle. As children, they grew up closest friends. As teens, they were separated by more than two thousand miles.

I read some of Faith’s words in the Chicago Tribune and heard her voice. “You ask me who my mother is, and I say Michelle Dremmer. She is my mother and will always be.” And Michelle says, “I didn’t save Faith. She saved me.”


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