Chinese Quotations to Reflect on During Your Adoption Journey


Sometimes looking at something from another perspective can be very helpful, particularly at times of stress and frustration.  We hope that these quotations will provide you with a uniquely Chinese perspective to reflect upon as you undertake the challenging and often stressful and frustrating process of inter-country adoption.  (Unless otherwise stated the quotations are generally attributed as being an "Ancient Chinese Proverb".)   

The Decision to Adopt

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Confucius

“Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom.”

“Great thoughts come from the heart.”


Getting Advice from Others

“To know the road ahead, ask those who are coming back.”

“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

“To succeed, consult three old people.”

“A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.”



“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.”

“Every child born, has innate goodness.”

“Easier to rule a nation than a child (son).”


Birth Parents

“A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.”


The Challenge of the Adoption Process

“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

“Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only standing still.”


Staying Sane in the Waiting Room

“Patience and the mulberry leaf become a silk robe.”

“Patience is a bitter plant, but it has sweet fruit.”

“If you are in a hurry you will never get there.”

“Happy people never count hours as they pass.”

“ The longer the night lasts, the more our dreams will be.”

“Be in readiness for favourable winds”.

“If to-day will not, tomorrow may.”  Confucius

“If I keep a green bough in my heart the singing bird will come.”

 “Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come.”


Allocation and Adoption Day

“There is only one pretty child in the world... and every mother has it."

“To understand your parents' love you must raise children yourself.”


Traveling to and in China

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”

“Follow the local custom when you go to a foreign place.”

“Seeing it once is better than being told 100 times.” Zhou Chongguo, Han Dynasty


Education, Cultural and Racial Issues

“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.”


Keeping a Diary/Records

“The palest ink is better than the best memory.”

“To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one.”


Giving Thanks

"When you drink the water, remember the spring.”