For children who are adopted from China, finding their birth parents is like “finding a needle in a haystack.” However, miracles do happen. Several years after she was adopted by an American family, Ricki received an unexpected letter from her birth parents and shortly afterwards, she met them in China. For a young 12-year-old, the commotion of the trip and reunion with relatives who were strangers to her was confusing. While she couldn’t exactly tell what was going on, Ricki promises to come back when she turns 18. She keeps her promise. (The early part of Ricki’s story is told in “Daughters’ Return.”)
For the first time, an articulate and intelligent Chinese adoptee, out of over 100,000 peers of a similar fate in North America, embarks upon a journey to China, to face her past and her fears.
As Ricki sets out for China to stay with her biological family, she is going to face a dilemma. Unbeknownst to Ricki, her parents have divorced. It was the loss of Ricki that created irreparable damage to their relationship. Will Ricki be able to reunite her biological parents? Or will Ricki’s visit pull the family farther apart?
Ricki, struggling to accept that she is the reason for her parents’ divorce, also must face her brother, Wu Chao, and the realization that it is because of him that she does not live with her birth parents. Does Ricki hold a grudge against her brother for him being chosen over her? Will Ricki accept him? Or will he accept Ricki? For the first time, Ricki will also visit her father’s village and meet her paternal grandma who was part of the reason that she couldn’t live with her birth parents.
Truly a work of captivating drama, “Ricki’s Promise” documents a rare tale of events and choices that pit individuals against each other in the backdrop of culture, politics, and ethics.