It was a casual conversation after a pickup hockey game for foreigners living in China that opened the door to a strategy that has saved 40,000 baby girls who otherwise would have been killed.
The threat stems from the Chinese law that imposes a maximum of one child per family, combined with the culture’s preference for sons, because they carry on the family name and care for their aging parents.
The story is told in “The Pink Pagoda” by Dr. Jim Garrow, a highly successful entrepreneur who became involved in saving unwanted female newborns because of the personal plight of an employee’s sister.
Published by WND Books, his new book releases in days and offers the tale of one man’s dedication to China’s newborn girls and his compassion for their lives.
It was along about 2000 when Garrow, the fantastically successful chief of the Bethune Institute’s popular Pink Pagoda schools in China, one day found his assistant weeping.
In his book, he writes that he discovered that the worker’s sister and her husband had had a baby daughter. The husband was making plans for her to be “put aside” so that under the one-child policy, the couple could try for a son.
Garrow was an expert at a lot of things, but never before had he dealt with such a situation. Even so, he promised to help.
“I had no idea how we were going to proceed,” he writes. “Even for me, the consummate problem solver, this situation was completely beyond my experience.”
He said his first plan was to convince the worker’s sister and husband not to do anything rash. Eventually, the baby’s father agreed.
“I was too numbed to be elated at the outcome or angry with the man who had been my opponent. The surreal nature of the encounter had overwhelmed me,” he writes.
The father had been an obstacle, and the mother was faced with the literal choice of knowing her baby died, or would be taken from her forever.
“In saving a life, I had taken a life from a grieving mother’s arms,” he writes.
The next dilemma was to find adoptive parents, and they had to be foreigners, as Chinese would be unwilling.
Craig and his wife, Kathy, an expat couple living in China, “had literally dropped into my lap because of a hockey game,” Garrow explains.
It was at a pickup game that an American with reddish-blond hair knocked Garrow down. After the game, he apologized for the “unnecessary roughness.”
Garrow’s attention focused instantly.
“How quickly would you want to adopt a baby?” he asked.
“I just knew intuitively that he was a solid guy, and the baby would have a good, stable life back in the United States. I put aside the fact that I had no idea how to set up an adoption, or obtain any necessary documents,” Garrow said.
Five minutes later, after Craig called his wife, he got his answer: “Right away.”
Paperwork had to be obtained and arrangements made, but “I had moved at God’s bidding into the adoption business,” and solutions arrived, he writes.
He realized only a short time later that his help to save one little girl would not be an isolated situation. It happened during a storm.
“Two days later I was back in my office, caught up in the reassuring mundanity of my daily schedule. Setting up an adoption and providing for the needs of a newborn child seemed an odd counterpoint to that routine, and for the moment I felt secure doing that which I did so well,” he writes.
“Mr. Jim, can I speak to you for a moment,” came the words from his employee whose niece had been saved.
“Sure. Is everything OK with the baby?”
“Yes. We’re all looking forward to her adoption, and are so grateful that you found someone so quickly,” she said.
“Well then, what is it I can do for you?”
“We have two more babies that need homes,” the employee said.
“The thunder outside moved right inside my head. I was temporarily speechless,” Garrow writes. But the “consummate problem-solver” immediately jumped into action.
Over the years, Garrow has spent some $31 million of his own money – and counting – to save the girls of the “Pink Pagoda” campaign.
He’s risked his family, his employees, deep-cover Chinese intelligence assets and his own safety to save girls from the clutches of death. Garrow’s story demonstrates the power that God can have in shaping the destiny of lives and in influencing others to take up the crusade against injustices around the world.
He admits not everyone is his fan.
“You should also know that I am considered a criminal by those who consider the work I do to be ‘human trafficking,’” he said.
Ironically, for his efforts in “human trafficking,” Garrow was nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize where he would be runner-up to eventual winner President Barack Obama.
The book goes inside a world that continues to be shrouded in mystery and shadows, and it is not intended to denigrate the Chinese government or people. Rather, the story of gendercide and of Garrow’s efforts to end it represent a terrible tragedy for China whose people are forced into heartbreaking choices because of an ill-conceived law established back in 1979.
Human Events said: “Let history decide who was most deserving. Obama was elected president on a platform of hope and change. Jim Garrow has spent [$31 million] over the past 10 years rescuing an estimated [40,000] Chinese baby girls from near-certain death.”