Saturday, September 18, 2010

Outsourcing children to be raised in China

Well, even though we have technically reconciled, it seems that every second day I have to put out a new spot fire.

I do not seem to be able to get any respite within this relationship.

My wife has now come to the conclusion that our son needs to be taken to China and left there for four years, so that he can learn Mandarin proper.

When my son was just born, we went through a similar episode where my wife insisted that we send the newborn to China with her mother, to be raised in China for the first eight years of his life. She argued that this would free us to make more money and not be tied down by having to raise a child.

I said "No" back then, despite it causing a lot of arguments, and I am saying "No" again.


Mark said...

I don't know what kind of mother would send her child away after birth. There are circumstances where it would be a good option, but this doesn't seem to be your case.
I don't understand what kind of "freedom" your wife wishes to gain by that.

I applaud your decision to be with and keep your son. I don't know if applauding this is even necessary because it is a natural thing to do. A father has a very important role in a child's life, especially the years he's growing up a.k.a. from birth till he "detaches" himself by his own will.
As long as I'm there, I wouldn't give away my son even if it was to his grandparents or relatives.
Your son shouldn't forget his Chinese side, but sending him away to China would simply cross the line.
Your son needs to get to know and spend time with his father and vice versa, especially in those precious years. Don't miss them. Don't miss your son and don't let him miss you.


steve from winnipeg said...

I had this same discussion with my wife. I want my children to be able to communicate with their grandparents in Cantonese.

So my wife and I thought it might be nice if when the children are older, they could spend some summers in China with their cousins and grandparents. Maybe 1 month or so. This would be in addition to speaking to their mom in Chinese at home.

Actually wanting to ship your newborn son off and away for 8 years is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard. Your kid would be a stranger when he came back. Also what an awful thing to impose on an old retired woman as well. You should work the angle that your wife is not respecting her filial piety to her mother.

Anonymous said...

#1. Need more posts, there seems to be some gaps and the readers would like to know what actually happened.

#2. You wife is playing you like a piano; I've seen this 100s of times with mainland chinese. Using you for a comfortable life, siphoning your hard earned money to her family and now she wants to separate you from the child. Then probably an expensive divorce where she gets more than her fair share and then she is off to look for a new victim.

Hope I am wrong, but pbly not. I have over a decade of experience as an expat in China and seen this story play out many times with close friends of mine who married locals.

Good luck to you, and please update the blog and fill the readers in on what we missed.

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Kevin said...

This is a pretty common request and it is always as you described. Get the child "out of the way".

To overly simplify the matter, Western culture values childhood and basic learning. Chinese culture values adulthood and higher education. Sending the child away so you can not be bothered and be free to earn more money is their means to that end.

Anonymous said...

My wife told me that we were sending our 2 year old girl back to China, because it would free us up and make things easier for us.

I resisted the whole idea, and eventually called the State department to have my kids passports flagged, so she could not take them out of the country without my permission.

When I was on the phone with the state department, she was listening to the conversation and suddenly grabbed the phone and started hitting me with it.

I hung up then and we had a surreal conversation. I told her that she could not make a unilateral decision to take one of the kids to China without even discussing it with me. I told her that if she tried to do it, our marriage was OVER.

That was five years ago and things have only gotten worse. Strangely, we had the greatest relationship in the first five years of marriage: we saved a ton of money, bought property that turned out to be very profitable, improved our careers dramatically etc etc.

Everything changed when we went to China in 2000. My Chinese in-laws had a full and secret agenda for me when I arrived, which included me going to the American Embassy every day for a week to obtain visas for her sister, brother-in-law and their kid. Somehow, they all got visas and came to visit two months later.

They actually had no intent of returning to China. They moved into a beautiful condo I had prepared for them and destroyed it with their filthy ways - smoking, food left out at all time until bugs ran the place, grease on every surface etc. I had to sell the property to get over it. My life went to absolute hell a year later when my first daughter was born and my Chinese mother-in-law began taking care of her.

One thing after another bothered me and I kept asking my wife to ask her mother to stop the things I didn't like. My wife never once told her mother anything I said. I was never so unhappy in my entire life and I had no escape, since I could not leave my kid with them.

At this point, we are in a love-less relationship. She openly acts-out like a child all the time, since she is not happy that I asked her family to leave a few months ago. I also told them that they would never have physical responsibility for my kids ever again (due to things that happened that I felt put my kids in danger).

My primary issue is that I have always felt like it was my obligation to change my perspective and learn the "Chinese way" so I could be a better person and pave the way for a good life with them. This attitude changed in the past few years when I realized that they had not changed anything and showed no adaptation to American life. I didn't expect them to change really, but I thought it may cross their minds that they were in USA and that I was NOT Chinese.

I understand that thousands of years of doing things they way they are in China did not provide a strong grounding for dynamic remodeling of their values and beliefs upon landing in the USA.

Anyway, I am beyond exhaustion in dealing with this and my wife has always chosen her family over me and our kids. The problem has been that 5 of her family members came here in 2000 and put my wife in a position to do everything for them: fill out every single document that crosses their path (they read and write English well, so that is not the reason), ..........I have to stop, since this endless. I will say that I am reclaiming my life and they don't like it. I say TOO BAD - get out of my blanking life now that they've ruined 10 years of it.

What do you like/dislike most about Chinese women?