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An adopted girl finds her roots in China & much more....

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A Journey to My Daughter's Birthplace in China
Nancy McCabe

CROSSING THE BLUE WILLOW BRIDGE opens with a ten-year-old Sophie who wears black nail polish, sneaks eyeliner, wears clothing decorated with skulls, and has mixed feelings about being one of the few non-white children in the little Pennsylvania town where they lives.  Since she was young, Sophie had felt a closeness to the country of her birth and held it in an idealized light.  At ten, she began referring to herself as Asian instead of Asian-American.  It was McCabe's hope that visiting China would "help her become more comfortable with both sides of the hyphen, figure out how to be both Chinese and American, together."

Throughout their journey on a tour for adopted children, mother and daughter experience China very differently.  As the pair learn to understand each other, they lay the groundwork for visiting Sophie's orphanage and birth village, life-changing experiences for them both.

As an adoptive parent of a foreign-born child, McCabe knew that homeland visits are an important rite of passage to help children make sense of the multiple strands of their heritage, create their own hybrid traditions, and find their place in the world. Part of her journey involved gaining new understanding of adoption issues, coming to terms with the historical situation of birthmothers and put her daughter's into a context, confronting the realities of child trafficking and skewed media presentations of adoption and controversies about interracial and intercultural adoption.  But the book isn't just about adoption, but about parenting, about living in a new world where more families than ever before are forging new ground as they combine races, cultures, and heritages.


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