"She'll be Vietnamese and American and Jewish." So declares the gleefully excited older brother of a new baby sister who is Rebecca in English, Rivka in Hebrew, formerly Le Tai Hong in Vietnamese, the newest member of the Stein Family via adoption.
Rebecca's Journey Home is a sweet and heartwarming adoption story that reflects the growing racial and cultural diversity of the American-Jewish community. In fact, adoption is fast becoming a favored choice among Jewish singles and married couples looking to grow their families.
In 1990, the National Jewish Population Survey of the Council of Jewish Federations identified 60,000 adopted Jewish children under age 18 in the US, representing more than 3% of all Jewish children in this country. One quarter of these were born abroad. Today, the numbers and percentages have only increased.
Rebecca's Journey Home follows a well-trod, familiar storyline popular in children's literature about adoption. Mrs. Stein, although a proud, happy mother to two boys born to her, decides she wants to parent another baby, this time with a child already born.
There were so many babies and children in the world whose parents had loved them but could not take care of them. Mrs. Stein wanted to be the mother of one of those children.
There are documents to prepare, meetings to attend, and finally the time comes when she will travel to Vietnam to collect her new baby daughter. Mrs. Stein tours a little, shops a little, and emails her family back home while waiting to meet her baby. After a time, Mrs. Stein and Rebecca arrive home to the US to an excited and happy family. (It would have been a nice touch if the story had included the Giving and Receiving Ceremony, which finalizes the adoption in the Vietnamese provincial court, but that's a quibble.)