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The Lost Daughters of China: Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past

In the Pearl River Delta of southern China, the land is crisscrossed by water. Rivers, like long fingers, reach deep into the landscape from the South China Sea, and along their banks fertile soil would seem to promise paradise. The climate is subtropical and mild, rainfall is plentiful, and the fields are patchworked in muted tones of green. Farmers tend their rice in rolling terraces. Water buffalo stand placidly in the fields.

I was riveted on this scenery, noting its landmarks and trying to soak in the feel of it, curious about what lay behind the village walls we had passed, and behind the iron-gated windows we now passed. Somewhere in this landscape our daughter had been born. Whether she came into the world in the green of the countryside or the gray of the city, I didn't know. But Mark and I were on the way to meet her. Traveling toward a Chinese orphanage, we were about to become parents.