China's 1-child policy leads to happy lives in Windsor
This week, CBC Windsor is featuring some of the major projects by students in the media convergence program at St Clair College. CBC Windsor has teamed with the students to help highlight their work online and on the radio on Windsor Morning.
Since China introduced its "one child" policy in 1979, thousands of girls were disposed of, or sent away to be adopted, as families waited for boys to be born and carry on the family name.
In December 1991, the Chinese Government started an international adoption policy. Since then, thousands of girls, most unwanted by their families, found a welcoming home, fresh start and new life outside of China.
The Children Adoption Bridge, an adoption consultant company, has facilitated the adoptions of more than 4,500 Chinese children into Canadian families since 1995.
Thirty-six families in Windsor have adopted Chinese girls through the agency.
Marissa, Payton and Parker are three of those girls, adopted by two families in Windsor.
Other stories from St. Clair College students include:
- Addiction makes it hard, not impossible, to work in Windsor
- Windsor's youth struggle to find mental health help
- Long odds for international students to land a job
Terry Dodich and his wife, Maureen, work as a police officer and law clerk, respectively, in Windsor. They have been married nearly 26 years and have a 23-year-old son. They wanted more children when their son was younger, but for health reasons they couldn't have any more children, so in 2006 they decided to adopt one from China.
"When we adopted Marissa, she was 10 months old. Her Chinese name was Long Lily and we got her in Nanchang. Then, when she came to Canada, she became a Canadian citizen and we changed her name to Marissa Lily Dodich," Terry said Dodich said.
'She is perfect'
Dodich and his wife feel like they're just as blessed as Marissa.
"We are the lucky ones. To have such a beautiful daughter who is … she is perfect. She has changed our lives forever," Terry Dodich said, holding back tears.
Frank Mosey and his wife Pam both work at Chrysler in Windsor. They adopted two unrelated girls from China.
They adopted Payton from Xiushui, in the Jiangxi province, in 2002. She was a little more than six months old at the time.
After the couple got used to having Payton, they decided to go back to China in 2005 and adopted another girl.
"Parker was 14 months old, she is from the same Jiangxi province," Pam Mosey said.
Payton is a 14-year-old girl who attends a LaSalle public school and dances to express herself.
"I like to dance. A lot of my life is dance," she said. "I do Chinese dance, ballet, jazz, sometimes I do hip-hop. Just to be [myself], to let the world just, kind of, disappear when it's your time to let go."
Parker, 11, goes to the same school and draws to express herself to the world.
"I like to draw, I like to draw faces. Mostly, I like to draw eyes, it's a nice feature of your face," she said.
'Forever attached to China'
Even though the three girls are now in Canada, their parents never let them forget about their own culture.
"We don't want Marissa to lose her roots," Terry Dodich said. "She was born there; she knows she was born there. She will be forever attached to China"
"We celebrate all the Chinese holidays. The girls have been taken to language lessons. We try to connect with the Chinese community as much as possible," Frank Mosey said.
Their parents drive the kids to school, take them traveling, read bedtime stories. It's a normal life for the Mosey and Dodich families, but the girls show a lot of gratitude.
"I know now that they are taking good care of me and I want to return the favour. So, when they get older, hopefully I can do something to show them how much I appreciated how much they did for me" Marissa said.
"I love you as high as sky, as deep as ocean, as long as the road and it will never end ever. They usually said that when I was really little," Payton said.
"I don't really say that I love you that much," Parker said to her parents, Frank and Pam Mosey, "but I do love you."