Babyland


There’s a café called Lucy’s on a small island in Guangzhou, the Chinese city where I live. I go there once or twice a month for a burger and a beer, or a taco, or fish and chips or some other culinary reminder of life “back home.” The food is good and sometimes even better than good. But mostly I think I go there because I enjoy watching the other customers.

Lucy's on Shamian Island

Perhaps nowhere else on earth will you be able to find this particular crowd: white parents and yellow babies. Or less colorful, but more politically correct: Western parents and Asian babies. You see, this particular island is the last stop in China on the adoption road. This is where these newly blended families pause to catch a breath, do some shopping and sightseeing, update the folks back home, and wait for their final paperwork which is usually not long in forthcoming. The Chinese are very efficient about some things.

Sometimes there are other, older children as well. They are usually white, but not always. I have seen other colors and “nationalities” as well. Are there any black parents? I assume so, but I have never seen any at Lucy’s. But that is not my point.

Adopted Baby Exam Room

The island itself has a long and interesting history. (What place in China doesn’t?) The architecture and streets are very European in their look and feel. That’s because this was one of those trading enclaves set aside by the Chinese Emperor during the Qing Dynasty. It was divided into two trading concessions granted to the United Kingdom and France.

Our Lady of Lourdes on Shamian Island

Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel on Shamian Island

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