So when many in the newsroom started receiving Gretchen’s rich and funny e-mail reports as they made their way to and across China last month, to meet and adopt their second child, Madeleine, there were suggestions that the missives be turned into a Modern Parenthood serial.
Tomorrow we join the Belsie family – all three – in Gretchen’s first blog as they fly north over the pole to the other side of the world where they would become four. The series will run for two weeks – and, I promise, it’ll be a short daily uplift for you. It’s in keeping with the Monitor’s strong coverage of adoption: See our popular long-running series on Hannah Rocklein, adopted in 1999 from Russia; and Robert Klose’s essays about his adopted Russian sons on our Home Forum page; as well as our recurring coverage of families who have taken in AIDS orphans in South Africa.
Now for some context: The Belsie’s started their second adoption five years ago – the lengthy process a factor of a changed international adoption scene.
As the Monitor reported two years ago, international adoptions worldwide were down dramatically from a peak in 2004 of 22,884. The reasons were largely positive: Tougher global regulations that increased transparency. But the effects were complicated – protecting orphans sometimes meant fewer of them found homes.