Friday, April 27, 2007

Local Family Can't Bring Daughter Home

The Bready family lives in my area and have been trying to bring their adopted daughter, Holly, home from Cambodia. The U.S. State Department is denying her entry because the U.S. government suspended immigration of adopted children from Cambodia in 2001, due to "baby selling" corruption in that country.

The Breadys aren't giving up, but in the meantime, they are looking to China in hopes of adopting a baby boy with a cleft palate.

U.S. refuses entry to adopted daughter
Ben and Amanda Bready live in Loudoun Valley Estates west of Dulles Airport. Like many couples, they would like to have children -- living with them in their home.

In fact, they have a daughter, Holly, who is five years old. She lives in Cambodia and the U.S. State Department says she may not enter the United States, even though her adoption is legal...

The Breadys adopted Holly in 2002 when she was about 18 months old. They have made three trips to Cambodia in the past 13 months to visit Holly and to try to bring her home with them. On their last visit, the family enjoyed touring Angkor Wat, the ancient temple, together. Ben and Amanda have a photo of Holly as a happy and healthy child taken during that visit.

Article on Russian, Chinese Adoptions

Not really news, just confirming what we already know:

Russia, China tighten restrictions on adoptions
Local families looking to adopt could find themselves with fewer options over the next few months.

With Russia placing a temporary freeze on accepting applications from American adoption agencies, some local agencies said that they wouldn’t be able to find matches between Russian children and Americans in the immediate future.

“This has lots of people concerned with how long the [application freeze] is going to last,” said Vicki Peterson, the executive director of external affairs at the Wide Horizons adoption agency in Waltham...

In addition to the temporary halt in accepting American adoption applications, Peterson said, people looking to adopt children from China could also face some new barriers after the country’s new adoption restrictions take effect in May. Peterson said that under the new rules, single parents will not be allowed to adopt Chinese children, and other prospective parents would also face stricter restrictions based on their health, their age and the length of their marriage.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Child of Mine"

'The love is the same'
Adoptive couple shares family experience through song

Guy and Kiersten Venezia, of Foristell, have many memories of their trip to China to adopt their daughter, Serena, who now is 8 years old...

Then, four years ago, Kiersten's friend in Atlanta, Karen Michel, sent her a poem after Michel adopted a child. Kiersten wrote the music and it became "Child of Mine," a song on her first CD, "Good Promises."

"It became the most requested song on KFAV," she said.

Kiersten, a Christian singer-songwriter, will perform "Child of Mine" and other songs from her CD during the Adoption Celebration at the St. Louis Christian Family Expo at the St. Charles Convention Center on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

California Adoption Story

An incredible story: A couple, one of whom uses a wheelchair, applied for an adoption from China and are rejected because of the disability. (This is before the new rules go into effect officially prohibiting people with disabilities from adopting.) They decide to try Guatemala and are approved to adopt a baby girl. But then their original rejection from China is rescinded, through a chain of events I'll let you read about. In the end, they wound up with two girls, close enough in age that they consider them "twins".

Read the whole thing.

Double happiness
Palo Alto family tries to adopt one child, gets two

It's not a situation most couples are prepared to face: an overseas adoption attempt that garners not one but two children from countries at opposite ends of the world.

Michelle Teofan and Karl Garcia of Palo Alto ended up with double the pleasure -- adopting two baby girls -- after their quest to complete their family netted a surprise ending. The arduous journey to that destination, however, included prejudice, a shadowy tale of how a child came to an orphanage, a nearly intractable bureaucracy, and an adoption in an armed, gated compound.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Meg & Daisy

Meg Ryan Says Fate Brought Her Together With Her Chinese Daughter
Actress Meg Ryan insists she was destined to adopt her Chinese daughter Daisy. The When Harry Met Sally star flew to China to collect baby Daisy, now two, in January 2006. And Ryan is certain fate brought mother and daughter together.

She says, "I am convinced, completely convinced that there was nothing random about (the adoption). She is the daughter I should have."

Ryan adds, "I never felt like I was on a rescue mission or anything like that. I just really wanted a baby. I was on a mission to connect with somebody, and Daisy and I got to meet each other in this way at this time. We are so compatible."

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Philadelphia Adoption Stories

New Philadelphia, Ohio, that is.

The Power of Love - Three area couples go to China, add three little girls to families
Alexa Alsept, Annie Bichsel and Kaitlin McConnell will have a special bond for the rest of their lives.

The 1-year-old girls were adopted in March by three New Philadelphia couples, all longtime friends, who went to China together to get their daughters and bring them home. To their surprise, the couples were able to adopt girls from the same orphanage in Jiangxi, China.

The Wait

It's not just for China adoptions.

Wait grows for foreign adoptions
The process slows in three countries sending children to U.S. families

When Bill and Victoria Heestand of West Linn brought adopted daughter Kate home from China last September, the average wait for a Chinese child was 14 months.

Now 2-year-old Kate is in line for an adoptive sister. But the Heestands expect to wait at least 19 months from the time China accepts their paperwork to the day they learn the identity of their second daughter. That's double the interval of a year and a half ago.

Locally and nationally, prospective parents face longer waits as the three main sources of foreign adoptions -- China, Russia and Guatemala -- bog down. A flood of applications has swamped Chinese officials, who will impose bans May 1 on adoptions by singles or people deemed overweight. The slowdowns could temporarily reverse rapid growth in U.S. overseas adoptions, which exceed 20,000 a year.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nova Scotia Adoption Story

Blending babies
Lisa Van Houten and her husband Craig Fraser are just like any expecting parents — excited, anxious and busy making preparations. And like other parents, they are uncertain exactly when their new bundle of joy will be arriving — but their circumstances are different.

The couple are currently waiting to find out when they can travel to China to adopt their fourth child, a daughter they’ve already named Catherine.

Five years ago, when Van Houten was two months pregnant with their eldest son, Christopher, the couple decided to begin the process of adopting from China.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"Only" Children in China Allowed to Have More Kids

I must say, I'd never heard of this loophole in the one-child policy.

China faces baby boom
CHINA is facing a minor baby boom and paradoxically it all comes down to a special rule in the nation's draconian one-child policy, state media reported yesterday.

Limits on the number of children couples are allowed were introduced in 1979 to control the Chinese population.

But the Xinhua news agency reported that one of the law's rules said couples in which both man and wife were raised as single children are now authorised to have two babies.

As the one-child policy was implemented nearly 30 years ago, many present day urban Chinese of child-bearing age fall into that category.

"There will be an increase in births in coming years," Xinhua reported, citing Zhang Weiqing, director of the State Population and Family Planning Commission.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More on "Ni Hao, Kai-lan"

Here's a link to a New York Times article about the show:

Cartoons With Heart ... and a Little Mandarin

Alabama Adoption Story: Twins

Mother of twins wants daughters to value family traditions
Patty Boltz's life was not complete, however. She wanted children. "In the sixth grade, I wrote an autobiography; it included twins," she said. "Never in my wildest dreams did I know they'd come from China."

Through a mutual friend, Mark and Patty Boltz found out about Children of the World adoption agency in Fairhope. "I was 40 when we started the adoption process and 42 when we got Catherine and Caroline, who were 10 months old," she said.

"The girls sleep together, dress alike and are inseparable. They are typical 5-year-olds with their squabbles but they hug and kiss and make up," she said.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

China's One-Child Policy: Unsustainable

China under pressure to allow couples to have 2 kids: professor
Pressure is growing on the Chinese government to revise its one-child policy to allow couples to have two children as the country undergoes rapid economic change, says a sociologist at Nanjing University.

Prof. Zung You Wa told CBC News that the one-child policy introduced 25 years ago is coming under strain because it is widely viewed as no longer suitable for a country in which many middle-class couples can afford to have two children.

If the law is not changed, he said it is expected to cause serious economic, social and demographic problems within a decade.

Chinese Heritage Lessons in Vermont

Honoring a heritage
BENNINGTON — It's a typical Thursday afternoon at Abacus Automation. The building's conference rooms are filled with people discussing the latest mechanical engineering technology, new innovations in robotics ... and the Chinese word for "orange."

In the first room on the right, Ai Ping Chen is leading a lesson on colors in Chinese. Her pupils? Three-and four-year-old Chinese-American girls and their adoptive parents.

For Ai Ping Chen, a Chinese teacher at Arlington Memorial High School, this group provides a more relaxed atmosphere to share her language and culture with others.

The Voice of Kai-lan

Girl gives voice to new Chinese-American cartoon
Nickelodeon picks 10-year-old from Wauwatosa after nationwide search

Jade-Lianna Peters steps into an audio recording booth at I V Media in Brookfield.

Half a continent away, at Nickelodeon Studios, an animation production team marvels at the 10-year-old's voice, one that is as natural and light-hearted as a songbird's, with a sandpapery edge that adds just a rasp of mischief. It's the pitch-perfect tone for Kai-lan, the lead character of "Ni Hao, Kai-lan," a preschool series coming to Nickelodeon in August. Executives at the children's network hope the half-hour episodes will be to Mandarin Chinese what "Dora the Explorer" has been to Spanish...

Four years in the making, "Ni Hao, Kai-lan" is about what it's like to be bicultural in America, as seen through the eyes of an inquisitive 5-year-old Chinese-American girl living within a multigenerational household...

Her story begins in the south of China...

There, Gao Jian was abandoned at a shrine. A note pinned to her clothing had on it a calendar date, and nothing more. Whoever left her there, out of fear, or shame, or desperation, or panic, wanted Gao Jian to someday know her birthday...

It was 1997, a time when interest in Chinese adoptions was about to surge in the United States among childless couples such as the Peterses.

Kathleen, an exuberant redhead known to many as Candy, is just shy of 6 feet tall and a woman who won't settle for a handshake when a hoist-you-off-the-floor hug will do.

Husband John, 6 foot 3 and considerably more circumspect, is a mail-sorter for the U.S. Postal Service. Back then, the couple used to work side by side at the post office.

After years of trying to conceive, the Peterses decided to adopt. Growing up, Kathleen had a fascination with all things Chinese, so no one was surprised when she and John decided to look toward the Far East for a child.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Michigan Adoption Story

For the love of Sophia
Like many baby girls in China, Gong Su Miao was left at the gates of an orphanage when she was born.

Now, 2 1/2 -year-old little Sophia Su Miao Beaulieu can be found dancing through her West Bloomfield home singing her beloved Disney songs. She can recite the words to the Little Mermaid movie and is starting to speak a few Spanish words, thanks to the Dora the Explorer cartoon.

[Little Mermaid? Dora the Explorer? Sounds like our daughter, Ally.]

Twins Reunited at Disney

See this article by Brian Stuy on sibling DNA testing of Chinese children.

Twin Girls Reunited At Disney World After Separate Adoptions
Two little girls from China had their dreams come true recently. The girls are twins, but they were separated when they were adopted by separate U.S. families.

At Disney World in Florida, they're celebrating the "year of a million dreams."

Two little girls from China had their dreams come true there recently.

The girls are twins, but they were separated when they were adopted by separate U.S. families.

NYU Panel Discusses Transracial Adoption

Panel: adoption crosses racial boundaries
With trendsetting celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Madonna breaking down misconceptions about foreign adoption, NYU held a discussion yesterday about the experiences of children and parents with transracial adoptions.

Molly J. Deugaw, panelist and human resources generalist at the NYU Student Health Center, spoke about her experience being adopted from China at the age of 7.

"We knew that we were different," Deugaw said. "But we didn't want to acknowledge that difference because we wanted to be just like everyone else."


Panelist Amanda L. Baden, an assistant professor at Montclair State University, was also adopted. She said that many children who are adopted by families of different races do not necessarily recognize themselves as being different, or wouldn't know how to handle themselves in a discriminatory situation.

"Identity is a lifelong process," Baden said. "[It] is an experience throughout our lives."

Today, most transracial adoptions are made by white parents who adopt non-white children. These children often have difficulty distinguishing between their birth cultures and their adopted cultures, as they cannot trace their physical appearances to their parents, panelists said.

Florida Adoption Story

From China with love
When Jim and Marita Watson were married in 2000, they were already looking for ways to grow their family. Three days after their honeymoon, they began the paperwork to bring their first child home from China.

The Watsons met through the singles Sunday school class of Jacksonville’s First United Methodist Church. Marita, who had been married before, had two high school age children at the time, but knew Jim wanted to experience raising children of his own.

They began to look at their options for adopting a child and found their ideal solution when Jim’s aunt, Sandy Primm, who works for Sav-A-Life in Birmingham, told them about the children in China.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Prospective IA Parents Running Out of Options

Russia curtails American adoptions
Russia is effectively shutting its doors, beginning today, to most Americans who want to adopt Russian children. The action follows new obstacles to adoption from China and Guatemala.

Those three countries account for 70% of the orphans who have come to the United States in the past five years — about 10% of all U.S. adoptions.

Russia tightened its rules for accrediting adoption agencies last year and has yet to renew any licenses for the 50 or so American agencies that had been working there. The one-year licenses of the last two agencies operating there expire today.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter in China

China's rising number of young Christians gear up for Easter
Chinese Christians are preparing to celebrate Easter amid a nationwide religious renaissance led by an army of young people seeking faith in the modern world, religious leaders and academics said.

Although young Chinese are largely flocking to traditional religions such as Buddhism and Taoism, many are also turning to Christianity in an effort to seek greater knowledge of the West, they said.

"We are seeing more and more college students coming to our services," said Father Andrew Liu Wenming, priest at St. Joseph's Church in China's populous southwestern city of Chongqing.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

It IS Spring, Right?

Not according to what I found on my car this morning:

Six days ago, it was 80 degrees. Crazy.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kids at Risk in China

Rural Chinese kids face trafficking risk
BEIJING - Rural Chinese children increasingly risk being sold or forced to become beggars, petty thieves or sex workers as their farmer parents flock to cities looking for work, an international rights group said Wednesday.

China has a thriving black market in girls and women who are sold as brides, as well as babies who are abducted or bought from poor families for sale to childless couples or those who have one child and want more.

The government says that it has cracked down harshly on such cases, and that the trend is decreasing.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Study Supports Single Parents

A little too late in light of the impending May 1 deadline.

No harm in singles adopting Chinese babies: study
A single woman in the United States can raise a child adopted from China just as well as a married couple, a study showed on Saturday, countering claims by Beijing that single parenting is bad for Chinese children.

Dr. Tony Xing Tan, a psychologist at the University of South Florida, compared 144 Chinese girls aged 1-1/2 to 11 years old adopted by 126 single-mother families, with 509 Chinese girls adopted by 415 families with two parents.

"Overall, the present study found no evidence that the adjustment of the adoptees from single-parent families differed from their peers from dual-parent families," Tan said in his study, presented on Saturday in Boston.