Bringing China Home

Interviewed: Beth Rohrer By: Emma Rohrer


On September 6, 2001, two strangers lived a half a world apart; the next day, they became a family. Single mother, Beth Rohrer, sits down with her thirteen year old daughter, Emma, to talk about their experience with international adoption. The curious daughter wonders about her mother’s first impressions of her on the day they met in China. The wonderful mother happily shares those beloved memories. They discuss the challenges of changing cultures and learning a new language. Their family may have started worlds apart, but Emma and her mother show how close a family can grow. Listen to the interview below to hear Emma and Beth share their story.


Rohrer Interview by user120029839


Emma: What was your childhood like?

Mom: I had a mom and a dad, an older brother, and a twin sister.

Emma: I wish I had a sister.

Mom: And I think I had a pretty happy family. I loved being a kid.

Emma: When you saw me, how would you describe me?

Mom: From when you were just a tiny baby, I’ve always been very impressed by you. You seem to be so capable. We took you to have breakfast and I don’t think you’d ever seen a fork before or a knife. You pulled the fork out of my hand and you tried to do it. I teased that your first words were “Me do.” You were constantly saying, “Me do! Me do!” Even before you could use words you showed me that’s what you wanted to do. You always wanted to try something yourself. And you were pretty good at it usually.

Emma: (Laughs.)

Mom: I also was kind of impressed that …oh…you were so resilient. You were such a good sport. I mean you’d been pulled out of the life you knew and brought across the world to a country with different looking people, different smelling people. No language that you’d heard before. And you seemed to…go with it.

Emma: When babies come they haven’t really developed a language from wherever they came from. So it’s easy for them to learn the language. But if you’re someone in China at age thirteen and you’re coming here at age fourteen, it’s going to take forever to learn the language. But for babies, you haven’t even learned the language you were born in.

Emma: What was your first memory of me when you adopted me?

Mom: Well, it was kind of funny, I traveled all the way across the world. There were thirteen sets of parents meeting up with their children, and everyone kept saying, “Are you nervous? Are you nervous?” And for some reason I wasn’t at all nervous. There was this really low crying…there was you! And they brought you in and you were crying. They put you in my arms. And you fit! (Chuckles.) You were very light and very sweet and I couldn’t believe it when I got to hold you. And I wasn’t nervous. I was like, that’s my girl! She’s mine for life.

Want to learn more about international adoption? Read my informative!

You have the crib, you have the playpen, you have the tiny clothes, but there’s something missing. A baby! Since the year 1955, international adoption has been a special opportunity for Americans who want to have a child to add onto their family.

Some of the parents who want to have a child aren’t able to have a baby due to fertility complications or their age. The parents decide to adopt and find that international adoption is an excellent option. International adoption is a multi-step process.

According to the U.S. State Department, families from the U.S adopted more than 9,000 children internationally in 2011. Last year, Americans adopted the highest number of children from China, Ethiopia, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine.

International adoption is usually arranged by a government agency or a private group. First, the adoptive parents have to talk with an adoption agency to make sure the couple is qualified to adopt a baby from that country. Then the parents would meet with a social worker to explain why they want to adopt. The agency want to make sure the child grows in a home where it will be happy and loved.

Next, the parents need to submit many documents to the country they want to adopt from and then the country has to approve of the family. When they are able to match the baby with the parents, they contact the family, and they either have the adopters come to America, or the parents travel to the country to pick up their child.

Additionally, parents have to have approval from the U.S State Department giving the parents permission to bring the baby to the U.S. Since 2001, the adopted child automatically becomes a U.S citizen, once it enters the country.

It may take multiple of steps and it may be very time consuming, but once that baby is tucked in the little crib, parents who adopt realize it was all worth it.


In many countries around the world there are thousands of children who need a home; in America there are many couples who want to start a family. International adoption requires a long waiting period and it is a very expensive procedure. The government should make it as easy as possible for qualified parents to adopt internationally.

International adoption includes a long waiting period between applying for the baby and actually being matched with a child. Many people feel that the waiting period between applying and getting matched is a reasonable time because it is almost as if the parents are telling the adopting agency how much they want the baby by waiting patiently for their match. Some parents would love to have a child from China and would wait a lifetime just to hold their baby. Others don’t have the patience to go through the process, if it takes years and years. If a couple decides they want to adopt a child and they go through all the paperwork and discussion, the adoptive couple should not have to wait years and years to get matched with a child.

Another point of difficulty for parents who want to adopt internationally is the expense. Some argue that the expense for international adoption shows that you have enough money to not only afford the trip to the country, but also enough money to raise the child. If an adoptive couple has that much money then they will most definitely have enough to afford all of the baby’s needs. A couple may have enough money to pay for the airfare, the adoption agency fees, the home study, and the social worker, but maybe not enough to pay for other expenses of raising a child. For example, they may not be able to pay for extra-curricular activities or school activities. To help parents afford the adoption process, there should be government programs to give parents tax breaks for adoption expenses, so the parents can save their money. International adoption should not be available for just wealthy parents but for any parents who can provide a good home.

Although international adoption is a complicated process, it is definitely something parents should try to do. Adopting from a different country lets parents have an opportunity to give a loving home to a child who needs one, and gives them an amazing and touching story to tell. All in all, international adoption is an opportunity that all parents should consider whether they are able to have a child or not.

Oldest child. Youngest child. Does it matter? Check out this quiz!

Some psychologists think that birth order can define and shape your personality. Psychologist, Kevin Leman says, “ Your position in the family line makes a big impact on the person you are now, and who you'll grow up to be," Take this quiz to see if your personal characteristics match the expert’s theory.


a) organized and reliable

b) empathetic ( able to read people’s emotions )

c) creative ( think outside of the box )

d) independent


a) excel in school
b) like attention

c) try to end fights rather than start them

d) easily get along with people

When you grow up you want to be:

a) an entertainer ( singer, actor, etc.)

b) a comedian

c) a business leader

d) a professional athlete or a government leader

In school:

a) you are the one everyone asks for tech help

b) you are the class clown

c) you have a lot of friends

d) you like to make new friends

At home:

a) you are always responsible for what your sibling(s) did

b) you have a hard time gaining your parents’ attention

c) you feel like no one listens to you

d) you feel lonely and you wish you could have a brother/sister

Now that you have taken the quiz, check to see if your results fit with what experts predict.


You are the oldest child in your family. You always are organized and you have a knack for computers. You are a natural born leader and like to be in charge of projects. Many firstborns end up becoming entertainers.

Celebrity Matches: Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift


You are the youngest in your family.You are good at reading people’s emotions and know how to act appropriate to how they are feeling. You say what you think and therefore often get what you want. You love getting attention and usually are the class clown. You could grow up to be a famous comedian.

Celebrity Matches: Jack Black, Jim Carrey


You are the middle child in your family. You are likely to start small businesses, like a lemonade stand or a lawn mowing service. You are the “peacemaker” when it comes to fights. You try to stop them rather than start them.

Celebrity Matches: Donald Trump, Bill Gates


You are an only child. You use your imagination to keep things interesting.You are independent and good with people. You are hardworking and goal oriented. You like to do things right the first time you try them. You may become a professional athlete or government leader.

Celebrity Matches: Lance Armstrong, President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Were the experts correct on their predictions? Did you match to the profile descriptions of this test? If you thought this was questionnaire was fun, pass it on to a friend and see if they match up.


Interview by user120029839

Thinking about adopting too? Look at CCAI's website!