We've Experienced the Joy of Adopting a Baby Girl From China!  
Madeline HaiXing Blesses the Mauser Household

We made a two-week trip to China in October 2000 and brought back a bundle of joy-by the name of Madeline HaiXing Mauser!

All three of us (Tom, Linda and daughter Christie) left on October 11. We traveled along with others who were adopting at the same time-a total of 20 Chinese girls being adopted. Six couples were from Denver, the others were from all over the country. All these folks are wonderful people who are going to make terrific parents! 

Madeline with Linda
Madeline with Linda (her new mom).

We traveled to four different cities: Hong Kong, Nanning, Gui Lin and Guangzhou (formerly Canton). We spent two days in Hong Kong, sightseeing and adjusting to the 13-hour flight from San Francisco. 

Hong Kong

Along the waterfront in Hong Kong, about to board a sampan.

Next we flew to the city of Nanning, where our precious little daughter was handed over to us. We were very pleased at how quickly she bonded with us. She weighed twenty pounds when we got her, was very strong and energetic, very healthy, inquisitive, sociable, and very generous with her smiles. 

Madeline flashing her personality
Madeline showing her personality. 

Madeline was abandoned in the city of Liuzhou, which is in the province of Guangxi in the south of China, when she was a couple of weeks old. She spent less than a month in an orphanage, then was placed in a foster home. It is clear that she was very well cared for and got lots of stimulation-as evidenced in her strength and the fact she was walking before she turned one

Madeline with Christine
Madeline with her big sister Christie.

Her given Chinese name is Liu Hai Xing (pronounced "lee- oh high sheeng," The Liu is her surname and represents the name of the city and orphanage. The Hai Xing translates into "ocean star." We combined the two words for simplicity. Her birth date is November 22, 1999 

Nanning scene

A Nanning scene that really contrasts the old with the new of China.

We also visited the beautiful resort city of Gui Lin, where we took a riverboat cruise down the Li River through miles and miles of famous cone-shaped limestone mountain formations called karsts. This is a favorite tourist site for the Chinese. They prefer to see the area in the fog and mist. Even though it was the dry season, we were treated to fog and mist! 

Madeline playing with her new sister
Madeline playing with Christie.

We finished up our paperwork in Guangzhou, then returned to the U.S. on October 27. 

We are very grateful we were able to spend time in China so that we could learn more about the Chinese people and learn about their culture.  We found the Chinese people to be very friendly and polite. When we walked around with Madeline in the stroller, we got lots of looks, to say the least. These weren't just polite nods or "Ahhhs" from grandmotherly women. All sorts of people looked approvingly at us-even grown men! 

They had broad smiles, they turned around as they walked or bicycled by, they pointed and smiled, they gave us the "thumbs up" sign, etc. Some would stop us to say "Hello!" or to pinch her cheek--and once we stopped, a small 

One of the first pictures we received before the adoption.

crowd would gather around to marvel and smile. School children would practice their English on us. They were all really wonderful people. 

You can view photos of Madeline in her first year here (including her baptism), as well as more recent photos.

About the Adoption

Why adopt? We don't doubt there are those who question our decision, saying that's it's too soon after Daniel's death, or that we're trying to hide our grief, or that we were too old to take this on (Linda was 49 at the time, Tom 48.)

However, we clearly don't see Madeline as a "replacement" for Daniel--no one could ever replace him. Is it a difficult thing to take on? Sure, but unless you've lost a child, it's hard to understand. You see, our priorities have changed. Life is different now. We just feel we have a lot of love and time to share with another child, and this is a good way of directing it, to another child. It's part of our healing, and we think Daniel would be very proud of our decision! 

Why a girl? Mostly girls are being abandoned in China, due to social and economic factors, including the one-child policy in the cities.  Boys often are preferred in this traditional society.

Image of Madeline's village
A village along the Li River, near Gui Lin..

Madeline's home village

Why Chinese? We've known several people who've done Chinese adoptions and are very pleased. Also, we feel great sympathy for these abandoned girls. 

How did we do it? We began considering this in June of 1999. After a number of discussions we began the paperwork process in July of 1999. There was paperwork and documentation to complete. We submitted our final documentation in December 1999. There was a bit of a wait, but that was better for us, given our need to get further along in our grieving process. 

Madeline with her big sister
Madeline and Christine on the tour bus.

Who handled the adoption? We used a very wonderful, very professional and reputable adoption agency based here in the Denver area. Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI) is a non-profit adoption agency headed by a Chinese couple (Joshua and Lilly Zhong). They handle only Chinese adoptions.

Babies in Gui Lin

 A group of the families that adopted babies with us, during a boat trip on the Li River near Gui Lin. That's Linda in right front row (in white, Madeline in pink, dad in green to the right).

CCAI has staff members in China that work with the orphanages and help the adopting parents during their stay. They also offer a wide variety of language, cultural and social classes and activities so that the parents and the adopted children are aware their roots and have a good support system. 

Our little girl when she was just a baby.

For more information about CCAI, you can call them at 303-850-9998, visit their web site at www.chinesechildren.org or leave an e-mail message at info@chinesechildren.org.

We are very grateful to the people who contributed to the Columbine Healing Fund last year. We used a significant portion of that Fund's donation to us to pay all the expenses related to this adoption. The adoption process is certainly costly, but one cannot put a price on such a blessing. We have certainly been blessed, and so has Madeline!!!

You can view photos of Madeline in her first year here (including her baptism), as well as more recent photos.

We are all Columbine!