In 1998, China eased adoption restrictions allowing thousands of unwanted baby girls to find homes in places like the United States. It's estimated that since then over 35,000 children have made that incredible journey to America. As part of her special report for Explorer on the National Geographic Channel, Lisa Ling accompanied American families on their journey to meet their Chinese baby girls for the first time—an experience something rarely captured on tape. It's a special report that Lisa Ling says she's most proud of.
"That's why I really loved doing this story so much," Lisa says, "because as you saw in The Dying Rooms, these little girls are the most rejected, discarded members of Chinese society. They are left in boxes. They are left on the side of the road. They are left in parks. And these amazing people who have the desire to have kids, they go and they adopt these baby girls. And in a way, these little girls kind of get the last laugh because they come to America, they have access to education, you know, you have to have some resources in order to go and do this foreign adoption. They come here and they become educated. And I truly believe that they're going to go back and change China."
Richard and Denise adopted their daughter Marissa from China three and a half years ago. In every way Marissa is an ordinary American kid, but this American kid was abandoned in a park in China when she was three days old. Now, Marissa and her parents have traveled back to China to adopt another baby girl. Lisa documented the event and witnessed the Halls welcome a little sister into their family.