Adoption Road

June 4, 2003

Rolling green hills circle buried Song Imperial porcelain
for three summer days, they circled and calmed me;
looking for things spoken and unspoken
an institute of welfare
a mother who fostered
a place of separation
a mother who separated.

Farther down the less traveled road,
I traveled down a road along a track
stopping, asking, following;
a house tiled white
a courtyard;
flowers, a small magnolia tree, chickens;
an early morning ending,
a beginning
zooming, clicking, connecting
O God, how will I show?
O God, how will I say?

-Dan Sandifer-Stech, BA '82, chair of Family Studies at Samford University, marriage and family therapist
Sandifer-Stech writes: "In spring 2002, my wife, Gwendolyn, and I adopted a 9-month-old girl who was born in China. Last summer, we made a return trip to China to visit the birth city of our daughter -- the ancient porcelain-making city of Jingdezhen. We went to make connections with the precious little information we have of her early life. The photo was taken outside the city, and the poem holds some of my memories, emotions and conflicts."