Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Adopted daughter from China gives Hudson couple the child they longed for

Do babies come from China or a mother's belly?

Four-year-old Josephine Gross wants to know. Her parents worry what she'll ask in the future.

As an infant, Josie was found outside a dirty gray cinder block hospital in an eastern China farming community where bison pull plows and buildings slowly crumble.

There is no trace of who left Josie in the garbage-strewn hospital yard. No last names to Google. No cousins to someday find on Facebook.

This makes her mother cry.

"The more we can give her," Lisa Gross said. "The less she'll have a loss of."

On July 13, 2005, Lisa and her husband, Howard, stood with seven other American couples in a Chinese office building, waiting.

After three unsuccessful in vitro fertilization attempts, a failed domestic adoption and 13 months on a waiting list, it was finally time to meet their daughter.

"You've loved the child from the minute you conceived the idea," recalled Lisa, 43, an instructor at Keiser Career College in St. Petersburg. "Once somebody places that child in your arms, it's really not important how she got there."

Now an American prekindergartener who likes french fries, superheroes and SpongeBob, Josie is inquisitive and friendly. She has a play area full of toys and can sweet talk her dad into letting her eat corn dogs in front of the TV.

"I'm a riot," she tells a stranger.

The Gross family joined the local chapter of the Families with Children from China support group when they lived in Mastic Beach, N.Y. For a long time, they had a wide network of friends.

FCC families greeted them at the airport when they arrived home from China with Josie. The Grosses and other group members went to Chinese lantern and dragon festivals around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

"You see people walking down the street with little girls from China every day on the Upper East Side," said Sabra Larkin, communications director for the Manhattan agency the Grosses used to find Josie.

Last year, the family left New York, its cold winters and their circle of friends behind. They relocated to Hudson, where they know only one couple with a Chinese daughter.

"It's starting over," said Howard, 43, a substitute teacher.

Chinese New Year 2009 was spent with the local FCC chapter at a Chinese buffet in Clearwater. It was much smaller than Chinese New Year celebrations in New York. And much warmer.

The Grosses hope the few people they talked to will replace the friends left behind in New York.

Josie needs other children to share her heritage with, her parents said. She needs friends who can relate when those hard questions about her past come up in the future. Questions harder to answer than ''where do babies come from?''

"Every child who is adopted had to deal with the fact that … for whatever reason, they had to be given up," Lisa said as she fought back tears.

The Grosses want their daughter to know she is not alone.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 435-7312.

Adopted daughter from China gives Hudson couple the child they longed for 02/14/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 14, 2009 2:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times
 file photo]

  3. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  4. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended

    Nation

    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  5. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.