Teen Center
Teens Go 'Home' In China

Touching Home in China; In Search of Missing Girlhoods

What happens when American teens adopted from China return to the farming towns where they were abandoned as newborns? When they get to know “hometown” girls their age, only-child daughters who were raised there, and find out from them what it’s been like being a girl in rural 21st century China?

This is the story that American adoptees Maya and Jennie, who were adopted through China Adoption with Love in June 1997, and their new Chinese “hometown” friends tell in this first-of-its-kind, cross-cultural storytelling project about growing up female in contemporary rural China. After these girls’ lives began in the same rural towns, their girlhoods diverged dramatically due to international adoption. Now, they’ve come together as teenagers to narrate this journey of discovery through multimedia storytelling.

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Abandoned Baby, the first of in our series of iBooks (optimal for interactive viewing on an iPad), places American adoptees’ early abandonment in the broader context of China’s one-child policy.

Touching Home, the second iBook in the series, follows the Americans as they arrive back in their “hometowns” in rural China. Girls who grew up in the rural towns greet them. The Chinese and American girls discover kinship in their shared beginnings as they set out to explore differences of experience and attitude that their distant childhoods created.

Daughter. Wife. Mother is the third iBook in our series. Raised as only-child daughters, six Chinese girls guide Jennie and Maya through their childhoods, describing their family circumstances and experiences as girls. In their mid-20s, they are likely to be wives, and soon after moms, if generational patterns hold. Yet in rapidly changing China, women’s family lives are in flux.

Stay Connected

Touching Home in China expands storytelling on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and its YouTube channel.

 Join Touching Home in China on Facebook  “Like” the page and click “get notifications” and each day receive posts about girls and women’s lives in China. Be part of the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter @TouchingHomeChi and keep up with daily news and commentary about China. We track the tweets of journalists, bloggers, commentators and news organizations.

Our YouTube channel is home to the videos that appear in the girls’ stories. Here, too, we post other illuminating videos related to topics of girls and women’s lives in China.

Here’s a link to Touching Home in China on Instagram.


Phrases for Meeting People

Quick Lesson Tips: Chinese has four basic tones. Initally, do not worrry about them. Learn your vocabulary first. Once you learn the words, go back and practice with the tones.

Common Phrases for Meeting People

hello:  nínhăo  (neen-how)

good bye:  zàijiàn  (zi-jee-ahn)

good morning:  nín zăo  (neen)(zow)

good night:  wăn ān  (wahn)(an)

please:  qíng  (cheeng)

thank you:  xièxie  (ssee-eh-ssee-eh)

you’re welcome:  bú xiè  (boo)(ssee-eh)

How are you?  Nĭ hăo ma?  (nee)(how)(mah)

Well, thank you.  Hăo xièxie  (how)(ssee-eh-ssee-eh)

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