|It took thousands of dollars, reams of paperwork and every
frequent-flier mile they could muster for Jeff and Lisa
Kircik to adopt their two Chinese-born children.
But the connection to their daughters' homeland did not
end when they returned to their Winter Park home from
China with Jenna, 5, and Annalise, 3.
Like most of the American couples who have adopted a total
of more than 50,000 Chinese orphans in the past 10 years,
they retain an abiding bond with the country where their
children were born -- and with the orphanages in
That connection was so compelling to Jeff, 38, a project
engineer for Siemens, that he used two weeks of his
vacation and $3,000 in savings to travel to China two
months ago. He persuaded his company to donate a washer
and dryer to one of the orphanages, and offered his
services to Packages of Hope, a charity devoted to helping
orphanages throughout the world. Kircik visited with
Chinese workers and government officials and delivered
money and other contributions to three orphanages.
"It just felt like a very natural progression to go back,"
he says. "I actually felt very selfish. I wanted to go
there again. I wanted to do something for the children."
"We're just ordinary people," says Lisa Kircik. "We don't
have unlimited resources. But we wanted to do something."
The abundance of Chinese orphans -- almost all of them
girls -- is the result of social pressures and
governmental regulations in that country, where it is
illegal for couples to have more than one child.
Jeff Kircik says he would like to return to deliver more
aid, though he'll have to start saving up his frequent-
flier miles once again.
His efforts don't seem unreasonable to Dawna and Matt
Prostak, a Central Florida couple who also have adopted
two Chinese girls, Madalyn, 3, and Mackenzie, 15
months. "The bond is hard to describe. The last time we
left China, it was hard to come home," says Dawna.
Michael McLeod can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5432.