The Lucky Ones

Edited by Ann Rauhala

“What a lucky girl!” Everybody who has adopted a daughter from China has heard that one. And every parent has said, or thought, in reply: “No, we’re the lucky ones.” This anthology sets out to explain why people who have adopted children from China feel as though they’ve won the lottery. Since the late 1980s, as many as 7,000 Chinese-born girls have been adopted annually and now live in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. They are officially orphans, victims of a rigorous birth control policy limiting most families to one child. These thousands of girls have formed an international Diaspora, a human wave with no exact parallel and yet numerous points of comparison — sharing issues with war orphans from Vietnam or even with Chinese workers who built the New World’s railroads. The memoirs collected in The Lucky Ones are organized beginning with infertility, moving to acceptance of a multiracial family, anticipating the adoption, reflecting during the trip to China and, at last, grappling with an odd destiny — turning terrible beginnings into happy endings. The story of these girls is compelling as a narrative of hope and optimism but it may also become a story of dislocation and crisis of identity. These baby immigrants add unusual texture to the lives of the families they join — they come here not by choice but by someone else’s design.


Praise for The Lucky Ones

“These compelling, poignant, lovely vignettes will resonate with anyone who has ever adopted. . . . A beautiful collection that belongs in the home of adoptive families everywhere.”  —Jane A. Brown, MSW, creator, Adoption Playshops!

“Lucky us who are given the chance to glimpse this brave new world of families embraced by so much hope and goodwill.”  —Wayson Choy, author, The Jade Peony and  All That Matter

“Despite this collection’s upbeat tone, it doesn’t sugarcoat adoption—contributors wonder about birthparents, worry about prejudice, and struggle to parent children of a different culture.”  —Adoptive Families Magazine