China may just be a backdrop (and a ratings cash cow) for NBC, but you will no doubt be completely unsurprised to learn that there is a huge multi-faceted country behind the quick eye-pleasing blurbs that fill up airtime between Phelps events. With that in mind we point you to our own Diane Clehane who is sharing, in a Vanity Fair web exclusive, her own very personal, very moving (seriously, you should read, and NBC should take note) story about her and her husband’s experience adopting their daughter Madeline from China three years ago. In the piece she also talks — as well as, solicits advice from other parents like Sherrie Westin and Susan Zirinsky who’ve been through similar experiences — about how she is beginning to explain Madeline’s history to her. And for those of you to whom the drawing looks familiar it was fashioned by none other than Tim Bower, he of VF‘s McCain satire fame. Here’s a peek:
Madeline became our daughter in a conference room at the Gloria Plaza Hotel in Nanchang on the night of November 10, 2005. I’ll never forget those anxious last minutes spent waiting in our hotel room for the all-important call. Our lost luggage had been retrieved moments before we were summoned downstairs. I had been frantic because we’d been instructed to wear “nice clothes” for the appointment with the orphanage officials when we’d get our child. All we had were our soaking wet jeans we’d put on at six a.m. that morning when we’d left Beijing in the pouring rain.