Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hampton Roads FCC

Bridge between cultures
Families with children adopted from China bond through group

At 10, Kelsey FitzGerald gets more excited about the idea of seeing Disney World than traveling to China, the place where she was born.

But whenever Kelsey has to dress up, she wants to wear one of her Chinese gowns, especially the long pink one with white blossoms. She also likes celebrating her native country's holidays with her parents, Stephen and Wendy FitzGerald of Virginia Beach...

As the number of children adopted from China has swelled over the past 15 years, so have support groups that host both big celebrations and informal play dates for families. Kids can have fun and learn a little about Chinese culture, history, language and food at the same time. They also get to see other families that look just like theirs.

A local group called Hampton Roads Families with Children from China has more than doubled in size over the past three years and has 125 member families from all over the region. The group hosts three major gatherings a year, including an evening affair for Chinese New Year that includes a dragon dance, music and a fancy dinner. Families also celebrate the harvest-focused Moon Festival in the fall and the Kite Festival in the spring.


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