Last Friday I got a call from a friend who was supervising an event at the Texas School for the Deaf. The "Family Weekend Retreat" invites parents with deaf children from around the state to come to Austin for a few days of fun and connection. My friend said she had just met a family that adopted a deaf boy from China last year. This couple had finalized the adoption three days before the boy's 14th birthday - most likely saving his life, since Chinese officials toss kids out of the orphanage and into the streets when they reach that age. Given that my son is also 14, deaf, and adopted from China (my partner and I went to get him in December of 2000 when he was four years old), my friend thought the boys might enjoy meeting and suggested we come to the event.
When we arrived, the two teens began chatting instantly. I introduced myself to the boy's parents and within 45 seconds we were all stunned - mouths wide open. It turns out that both my son and their son lived in the same orphanage in Nanjing, China - and here is the eerie part - at the same time!
When we got home, I immediately dug up the photo album of our trip to China 10 and a half years ago. Lo and behold, I realized I had not one, but two, photos of the now 14-year-old boy when he was only four. One of those photos (on the right) is of my son (in red) and their son (in blue) goofing around in the playground at the orphanage.