Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chinese New Year in Princeton

Raising a Child With Roots in China
PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 24 — Peter Fenton, 43, who is of English and Dutch heritage and grew up in South Africa, was dressed in a blue Chinese man’s shirt.

He was holding his adopted daughter, Lily Zhong Wei, who will be 3 next month. She was dressed in a red children’s version of a cheongsam, the high-collared woman’s dress of China.

The Fentons are one of thousands of families who have adopted children from China and brought them to be raised in the United States. As members of a national organization called Families With Children From China, they gather at regular events, but usually for non-ethnic social and educational programs, like picnicking or ice-skating.

Chinese New Year, the two-week celebration that began on Feb. 18, is different. It reminds families of the leap in the dark they took when they chose to adopt a child of a different race and different culture and brought them to America for a challenging role in the modern American family.


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