Parents and China’s One-Child Policy

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As the father of three Chinese children, reading Angela Lu’s World Magazine report[1] that since 1971, 336,000,000 babies had been aborted in China, took on a special meaning.  Betsy and I have one son, Joshua, and two daughters, Grace and Mary, who were born in China, but whom we adopted at the ages of nine months, thirteen months, and forty-two months, respectively.

Most Chinese abortions are attributed to China’s one-child policy, implemented in 1979.  Many abortions in China are forced, and most abortions there are of girls.  The policy is a gruesome and evil policy that sits in stark contrast to Jesus who said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” and “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

We do not know how our children came through that gauntlet.  Each of them was abandoned in a way that destined them for an orphanage.  While we cannot fathom how it felt to leave a newborn son or daughter and walk away, we are grateful to their biological parents for having them.  We cannot know the courage that might have taken.

I pray for our children’s birth parents, for their salvation.  I pray that they might meet and know our children in Heaven, just as I prayed for our children’s love for Christ.  We have been blessed to see all three of our Chinese children choose to turn to Jesus in saving faith.

I often think of a story I read in River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler.  As Hessler backpacked China, he found a family whom the government thought had too many children.  He was stunned to learn that having the most recent little girl had meant that the family’s house had been bulldozed in retribution by the government.  Yet the parents had no regrets, and the little girl, though too young to talk, smiled knowingly when the story was told, a tale that described her parents’ love for her far more than anything they will ever say.

May we grieve over Chinese abortions, and may we love like these Chinese parents.

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