Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More Violence in Guangxi

Violence flares again in China over 'one-child' policy
Thousands of villagers in southern China have attacked government offices and fought police in renewed violence over a harsh population control crackdown, witnesses and state press reported on Wednesday.

The clashes took place on Tuesday in at least three towns in Guangxi region, which this month has seen repeated riots over abuses by authorities implementing China's so-called "one-child" policy.

The worst of the new unrest appeared to have flared in the town of Yangmei, where several thousand people surrounded the local government headquarters and the family planning office on Tuesday, said a resident who witheld her name for fear of official reprisals.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Personal Odds and Ends

Our house is on the market. We told our realtor we wanted to list our house on Tuesday (today) but she put it in the MLS on Friday, along with the pictures she took and a glowing description of the place. It’s hard to make a townhouse stand out among the thousands of others in the area, but we’ve put our best face on it and will try to sell it this summer. If it doesn’t happen, well, then it doesn’t happen. We still have a pretty nice place and will probably try again next year. We don’t want to keep it listed past the summer because it’s simply too much work to keep it looking pristine for any potential buyers that call on a moment’s notice. And pristine it must be, because the days of putting a sign up in front of your house and getting three offers before it stops swinging are over. You really have to put some effort and market your house as best you can because there are definitely more sellers than buyers out there.

We actually had one potential buyer look at it already. Lauren checked our phone messages after church on Sunday (about 11:45) and a realtor had called saying she wanted her clients to see the place between 3:30 and 5:00. Trouble is, we intended to spend the afternoon shampooing the carpet upstairs. Cue the rapid response team. I dropped Lauren and Ally off while I went to Home Depot to rent a Rug Doctor. It’s unbelievable how much dirt they suck out of your fibers. Disgusting, really. Anyway, we got the house looking halfway tidy and went to a couple of open houses while we were out. Quite a productive afternoon.

Ally’s last day of pre-school is today. Not really pre-school, she starts that in September for three days a week. This was more of a “Mom’s morning out” that met in the teacher’s home one day a week from 9 until noon. She’s done this for the past two school years now, starting when she was two and a half. The first year was pretty much a play time, but this year they did more crafts and a letter of the alphabet each week. I’m still going through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with Ally, and we’re almost half way through it. But we usually skip the writing part, since she’s been practicing this with “Miss Libby” every week. Besides, with my poor penmanship, I’m probably the last person who should be teaching somebody how to write.

Anyway, it’s kind of sad because it’s something she looked forward to every week. When I put her to bed, she normally asks me what day it is tomorrow.

“Tuesday”, I’d say.

“Oh, Miss Libby!”, she’d reply.

When we adopt again, we hope “Miss Libby” is still teaching her class.

Speaking of adopting again, it appears that the CCAA is going to get through the middle of November for the next round of referrals. We’re LID November 13, unfortunately in 2006, not 2005. That means we’re about a year’s worth of dossiers away from getting our referral. It’s hard to say when we’ll go back to China. Predicting what the CCAA is going to do is harder than figuring out which way the stock market will go, though that doesn’t stop some people from trying. Anyway, it’s looking like it will be at least two years from our LID before we are referred another child. That seems like a long time, and it is, but we’re still willing to wait. Ally has two pretend brothers and a sister, but it would sure be nice for her to have a real sibling. We don’t really talk to her about it, we want to wait until the time is closer and we’re sure it’s going to happen. Plus, we don’t want her asking us every day if her new sister or brother is here yet. Right now, we’re enjoying devoting all our attention on her, but it will be even better when our family is complete.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Breann's Story

Home is where the heart is
Prairieville family, disrupted by newly adopted baby’s need for a heart transplant, settling in again after successful surgery

Breann Wusterbarth, just 23 months old, has already journeyed farther than many people will in their lifetime.

Adopted by Mary and Danny Wusterbarth of Prairieville, she was brought home in October 2006 from an orphanage in Baoji City, China.

Three months later, she was making a different kind of journey — coming back from death’s door, after a virus that at first seemed like a cold attacked her heart.

Since then, Breann has survived a heart transplant, and the bright, smiling little girl is working on her next challenge — learning to walk.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


We spent Saturday getting our home ready for an open house next weekend. Someone decided to take a dip in the pool on a hot day:

One Way to Get Around One-child Policy

Chinese challenge one-child policy
When Niu Jian Fang and Jiao Na got married they knew China's rules - one couple, one child.

A woman can only give birth once.

So, four years ago, Jiao Na got pregnant and gave birth to a son, Bei Bei.

And then a few minutes later she had a daughter, Jin Jin, then another son Huan Huan, a second daughter, Ying Ying, and finally another girl, Ni Ni.

She and her husband beat China's one-child policy by having quintuplets.

Chinese Adoptee Links International

A place of their own
Chinese adoptees - nearly 62,000 in the United States alone - are coming together in a new organization to ask and answer their unique questions.

For years, as American parents toted their adopted Chinese daughters to dragon fairs and New Year's banquets, they wondered: Will these girls eventually try to band together on their own? And if so, when?

The answers: yes, and now.

For the last few months, a 29-year-old Southern California adoptee named Jennifer Jue-Steuck has traveled the world, forging connections to create the first organization run by and for Chinese adoptees, nearly 62,000 of whom have come to the United States over the last 15 years.

Formation of Chinese Adoptee Links International (CAL) represents a new chapter in an unfolding saga and comes at a turbulent time, as China implements stricter rules that seem sure to limit foreign adoptions.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CCAA Rules' Impact on a Family in Michigan

Read about the O'Neills, who have adopted five girls from China:

Chinese puzzle
New adoption rules put up a great wall for some wannabe parents
If she could, Ami, a former Flint resident who lives in Troy, would add more Chinese girls to her already sizable family.

But the rules for adopting children from China changed on May 1, and she probably won't be eligible anymore.

"I'm sad because it's somebody else telling us (that) our family won't be able to grow," she said. "It hurts a bit."

Arrests Made in Guangxi Uprising

China arrests 28 as tensions high after family planning riots
Police arrested 28 people for instigating thousands of people to riot over population control policies in southern China, state press said Wednesday, as residents expressed anger over government abuse.

Seven towns in the Guangxi region erupted in violence amid tensions over fines and other punishments imposed for having too many children, Xinhua news agency said in the first official account of the unrest that began last Friday.

As many as 3,000 people protested in a number of villages in Guangxi, Xinhua said, adding that government offices had been destroyed and cars and motorcycles burnt.

Residents contacted by AFP said tens of thousands of people were involved in the rioting in some towns, the worst of which took place on Friday and Saturday, while Hong Kong press reports have put the figure at 50,000...

"There may be problems with the family planning work of the government, which have prompted complaints from residents," Xinhua quoted Huang Shaoming, head of Bobai county where much of the rioting took place, as saying.

You think?

Guatemala Ratifies Hague Treaty

Big news:

Guatemala ratifies adoption treaty to reform corruption-prone system
Guatemala has ratified an international adoption treaty, committing to bring adoptions under government regulation and make sure babies are not bought or stolen.

Guatemalan law currently allows notaries to act as baby brokers who recruit birth mothers, handle paperwork and complete adoptions in less than half the time it takes in other countries.

But U.S. officials have urged Guatemala to tighten up the procedure amid concern brokers were paying or threatening mothers to give up their babies. More than 4,000 babies from Guatemala were adopted by U.S. parents last year, making it the second highest source of U.S. adoptions after China.

On Tuesday, Guatemala lawmakers ratified the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions, which requires that government agencies regulate adoptions to ensure babies have not been bought or stolen.

Easing the Pain of Adoption Costs

Targeting the high cost of adoption
The experience of being adoptive parents of their 4-year-old daughter, Lilah, has been a joy for Geoff and Heather Shaw of Wheaton. They want to share everything about it with other parents who are interested in adopting—except the high cost.

That's why the couple formed the Asian Bridge, a non-profit organization that provides information about adopting children from China and helps defray the cost...

The organization, which recently garnered $14,000 at its first fundraiser, is providing matching grants of up to $3,000 to help people become adoptive parents.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More on the Unrest in Guangxi

Harsh Birth Control Steps Fuel Violence in China
BEIJING, May 21 — An intensive campaign to enforce strict population-control measures, including forced abortions, prompted violent clashes between the police and local residents in southwestern China in recent days, witnesses said Monday, describing the latest incident of rural unrest that has alarmed senior officials in Beijing.

Villagers and visitors to several counties of the Guangxi Autonomous Region in southwestern China said rioters smashed and burned government offices, overturned official vehicles, and clashed with the riot police officers in a series of confrontations over the past four days. They spoke on the condition of anonymity, fearing retribution.

They gave varying accounts of injuries and deaths, with some asserting that as many as five people had been killed, including three officials responsible for population-control work. A local government official in one of the counties affected confirmed the rioting in a telephone interview but denied reports of deaths or serious injuries.

The violence seemed to stem from a two-month crackdown in Guangxi to punish people who violated the country’s policy that sets legal limits on the number of children families are allowed to have.

According to accounts posted on the Internet by villagers and witnesses, officials in several parts of Guangxi mobilized their largest effort in years to roll back population growth by requiring mandatory health checks for women and forcing pregnant women who lacked approval to give birth to undergo abortions.

Corruption, land grabs, pollution, unpaid wages and a widening wealth gap have fueled tens of thousands of incidents of unrest in recent years, many of them in rural areas that have been left behind in China’s long economic boom...

Coercive measures, including forced abortions and sterilizations, were common in the 1980s, when the so-called one-child policy was first strictly enforced. More recently, many parts of China have been relying more on financial penalties and incentives to limit the growth of its population, which is 1.3 billion.

But local officials who fail to meet annual population control targets can still come under bureaucratic pressure to reduce births or face demotion or removal from office.

Several people said in the Internet accounts of the campaign in Guangxi that officials had issued fines starting at 500 yuan and ranging as high as 70,000 yuan, or $65 to $9,000, on families who had violated birth control measures at any time since 1980. The new tax, called a “social child-raising fee,” was collected even though most violators had already paid fines in the past, the people said.

According to an account on Longtan, a Web forum, officials in Bobai County in Guangxi boasted that they collected 7.8 million yuan in social child-raising fees from February through the end of April. Many families objected strongly to the fees and refused to pay.

Witnesses said that in such cases villagers were detained, their homes searched, and valuables, including electronic items and motorcycles, confiscated by the government.

“Worst of all, the gangsters used hammers and iron rods to destroy people’s homes, while threatening that the next time it would be with bulldozers,” said a peasant who identified himself as Nong Sheng and who faxed a letter complaining of the abuses to a reporter in Beijing.

Mr. Nong said the crackdown was widespread in several counties in Guangxi. He said local courts had declined to hear any cases brought by opponents of the policy, citing an edict from local officials.

Other villagers reached by phone described an escalating series of confrontations that began Thursday and continued through the weekend.

Several described in detail an assault on the government offices of Shapi Township, Bobai County, by thousands of peasants. They said villagers broke through a wall around the building, ransacked offices, smashed computers and destroyed documents, then set fire to the building. There were inconsistent reports of death and injuries during that clash and a later police crackdown.

[My emphases]

Monday, May 21, 2007

Uprising in Guangxi Over One-Child Policy

China's child fines 'spark riot'
Thousands of villagers have rioted in south-western China over the country's controversial family planning restrictions, reports say.

The villagers, in Guangxi province, reportedly attacked government offices after officials imposed heavy fines on families who had too many children.

The rioting allegedly took place on Friday and Saturday.

Beijing allows urban dwellers to have one child, while villagers can have two if the first child is a girl.

The policy - which was launched in the 1970s - is aimed at controlling population growth in the world's biggest nation with some 1.3 billion people.

'Property confiscated'

Angry villagers targeted several local government offices in Shapi township in Guangxi, setting fires and destroying public property, local residents were quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

At least one person was injured in clashes after riot police were called in, Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News newspaper said.

"The farmers were really angry because the family planning team was going around to homes and making farmers pay fines if they had too many kids," one local resident told AFP.

"If the farmers had no money they took things from them," the resident said.

It was not immediately clear when the fines had been imposed and how many families were affected.

Local and provincial officials have not yet commented on the unrest.

In China, Some Are More Equal Than Others

The long road to equality for Chinese women
"Women hold up half the sky," said Mao Zedong. And indeed, they now account for 45% of China's workforce and 40% of positions in government. So the Chinese leadership was within its rights last week to boast of the progress women have made under Communist Party rule. What officials don't say, however, is that there is still a long way to go for Chinese women, and the road to equality remains blocked at key points...

Of course, the greatest inequality for Chinese women has been the one-child policy, adopted in 1979 to curb runaway population growth and recently reaffirmed through at least 2010. The policy has revealed that all the Communist Party's egalitarian rhetoric about women didn't make that much difference after all.

The traditional Confucian preference for boys has combined with the modern technology of ultrasound and the commonplace practice of abortion to produce a ratio of 119 boys per 100 girls under age five. The ratio is as high as 130:100 in some regions.

This means that the women who make up 45% of China's labor force are, roughly speaking, about half the women in China. That's pretty close to fulfilling Mao's maxim of holding up half the sky.

And, in yet another irony of Chinese life, the perverse one-child policy that has disproportionately reduced the number of females in the country may ultimately empower them. It's getting harder and harder to find a wife these days.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Couple of Great Wall Stories

Couple trek Great Wall of China
A couple from north Devon are believed to be the first in the world to have walked the full length of the Great Wall of China unaided.

Tarka L'Herpiniere, 25, and Katie Cooper, 27, from Clayhidon, walked the 3,000 miles (4,800km) in 167 days.


Calvo wins Great Wall Marathon in record time
KUAIHUOLIN, China (AP) Running the Great Wall Marathon wasn't so tough after all.

At least not for Salvador Calvo, who trains relentlessly over the mountains near his home in northern Spain.

"For me, the hardest part was running the flat ground here, running on asphalt," said Calvo, who set a course record Saturday of 3 hours, 23 minutes, 10 seconds. "The wall was easy for me because it's the kind of training I do at home."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Melbourne Adoption Story

Long wait to adopt, but few want to foster
A SCENIC spot on the road to Nanjing's Purple Mountain was where Bai, now 5, was found by strangers as a baby. By her adoptive parents' account, it is a place of peace.

Melbourne couple Robert and Linden Johnson visited the site after they collected their daughter from an orphanage in China three years ago.

They chose to name her Bai, after the bay tree near where she was found.

CCAA Delegates Visit Oz, Meet Adoptees

Chinese adoptees' taste of home
ABOUT 30 Victorian children adopted from China had a special reunion with their homeland yesterday, when they met visiting delegates from their homeland.

The children and their parents met visiting delegates from the China Centre of Adoption Affairs against the spectacular backdrop of the Melbourne Museum's Great Wall of China exhibition.

More than 500 children have been adopted by Australians since 2000, including 200 by Victorian families.

Alabama Adoption Story

Former T'ville couple gets adoption in China
Former Thomasville couple Ty and JJ Parten had been married for nine years when they decided it was time to have a family. Little did they know that decision would take them halfway around the world.

After moving to Maplesville in June 2000, the Partens went through three miscarriages, losing a set of twins and one other child.

"After losing three babies, we realized we were missing something," JJ said.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Guatemalan Adoptions: Not Looking Good

Adoptions From Guatemala Face an Uncertain Future
The Guatemalan Congress dampened hopes for an imminent overhaul of the system yesterday by failing to pass a bill recognizing the country’s endorsement of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, a multilateral treaty intended to reduce corruption by standardizing international adoption procedures.

The United States expects to ratify the treaty late this year and begin enforcing it early next year. Guatemala’s president endorsed the convention in 2003, but constitutional challenges have slowed enactment.

“We’ve been very clear that if Guatemala does not implement the treaty by the time we are implementing the treaty, that we cannot do adoptions with Guatemala,” said Catherine Barry, deputy assistant secretary for overseas citizens services at the State Department.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

1980s Flashback

While we're waiting for our referral, we thought it would be a good time to put our house on the market and move into something a little bigger before the next set of little feet start running around. Of course, this necessitates the purging of all things not seen since we moved here eight years ago.

In going through some of our junque, I found something from my wife's past that gave me pause and elicited a small chuckle. This is for my Aussie readers (both of you). Here it is:

For those of you too young to remember (or fortunate enough to have forgotten), Air Supply was a musical group fronted by these two gents: Graham Russel (the guy on the left, an Englishman) and Russel Hitchcock, an Australian. They had a string of hits in the late seventies and eighties and most of their songs can now be heard in elevators all around the world. These guys epitomize syrupy, saccherin enfused pop. According to their Wikipedia entry, they're still performing. Good on them.

It would have been amusing enough to have just found the record, but to have one autographed is just too funny for words. Apparently they made an appearance in Maryland, where my wife grew up and her friend worked at a record store and yadda yadda yadda, twenty five years later, we have an old Air Supply single turn up in one of our closets.

My question to her is this: Where were you when Springsteen was in town? An autographed copy of "Hungry Heart" would be epic.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Adoptive Parent Takes Action

Read about what Leane O’Daniel is doing to help fight water-borne parasites in her daughter's province:

Westfield Public Works woman travels to China
“I kept seeing this reoccurring pattern of girls that would come home and after they would get medical tests done, a lot of girls were coming home with Giardia,” said O’Daniel.

Giardia is a parasite that lives in untreated water and once ingested, lives in the intestines. Once Giardia is consumed, flu-like symptoms can occur, and if not properly treated, it can become fatal.

“I kept asking myself, since I am in that industry, what I can do to help prevent these girls from contracting Giardia,” said O’Daniel.

Spain: Adoptions From China Could Drop 40%

So says one agency:

Chinese top of the adoption pops
Half of all registered adoptions of foreign children in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia are of Chinese descent, according to a report by a regional adoption agency published on Monday.

The Piao agency, which on Sunday celebrated its tenth anniversary, said 702 Chinese youngsters found homes in the region between 2003 and 2006 out of a total of 1 432 children...

Nonetheless, a change in Chinese adoption legislation which took effect on May 1 and laid down a range of new restrictions is likely to reduce the number of cases from that country by about 40 percent, according to Piao.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

We were blessed with terrific weather today, which made me look like a genius because I planned an outdoor brunch at Hillsborough Vineyards in Purcelleville, Virginia. Hillsborough is one of the few wineries in Loudoun County we've never visited, which is our loss because it's beautiful there. It's not too far off the main road but the view from the patio is very nice. For the price they were charging, I would have expected wine with the meal, but the food and the scenery made up for that.

We came from church, so we were about an hour late for what I found out was a noon seating. No worries. They seated us right in front of a pretty good blues/R&B band that provided good entertainment. Ally quickly made friends with some of the other kids (as usual) so she had a couple of bites then was off to play. It was a challenge getting her back to the table.

Afterward, we took a stoll around the vineyard and enjoyed the pleasant weather while at the same time hoping Ally wouldn't fall into the koi pond. They do have a similar arrangement for Father's Day, so maybe we'll be back next month.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Colorado Mother's Day Story

Special mothers celebrate special Mother's Days
Robyn was 9 months old when she met her mother, Aleda Kresge, at an orphanage in China.

“She was a healthy, bouncy little baby,” said Aleda with a giant smile as she told the story of the trip that changed her life.

It all began in 1990, when she started looking into adoption, but it wasn’t until four years later when a friend told her of an agency that accepted those who are single that she was able to make it happen.

On June 27, 1995, Robyn entered Aleda’s world, and two weeks later the newly formed family returned to Summit County. Now, the little baby girl Aleda brought home is in seventh grade at Summit Middle School.

"She's our daughter, we love her."

If you don't cry after reading this story, check your pulse:

My First Lesson in Motherhood
And now we were in a hotel room with a Chinese doctor, an older man who spoke broken English. After listening to Natalie’s chest, he said she had bronchitis. Then he turned her over and looked at her scar.

Frowning, he asked for a cotton swab and soap. He coated an end in soap and probed her sphincter, which he then said was “loose.” He suspected she’d had a tumor removed and wondered aloud if she had spina bifida before finally saying that she would need to be seen at the hospital.

TWO taxis took us all there, and as we waited to hear news, I tried to think positive thoughts: of the room we had painted for Natalie in light yellow and the crib with Winnie the Pooh sheets. But my mind shifted when I saw one of the women from the agency in a heated exchange in Chinese with the doctors, then with someone on her cellphone. We pleaded with her for information.

“It’s not good,” she said.

Read the whole thing.

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

No Visa? No Problem. Sen. Thune Comes to the Rescue!

New family back from China, with Thune's aid
Glitch had delayed baby's homecoming

How satisfying would it be to take this sledgehammer to an inflexible bureaucracy:

"I called (Secretary of State) Condi Rice's chief of staff and said, 'I've got an emergency problem here. Can you help?' " Sen. John Thune explained of his role in breaking a logjam that was holding up visas for 96 families stranded in Guangzhou, China, last month. The families had gone to Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, to adopt children.

"When a senator himself calls, different things happen," says Lisa Richardson, who alerted Thune to the situation.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

TV and Videos: Bad For Kids

One more reason why I'd like to take our television and leave it on the curb:

Too many babies are teeny couch potatoes
Study finds 90 percent of kids under age 2 watch TV and DVDs

About 90 percent of U.S. children under age 2 and as many as 40 percent of infants under three months are regular watchers of television, DVDs and videos, researchers said on Monday.

They said the number of young kids watching TV is much greater than expected.

“We don’t know from the study whether it is good or bad. What we know is that it is big,” said Frederick Zimmerman of the University of Washington, whose research appears in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

I think it's bad, Mr. Zimmerman, and I'd say that pretty much regardless of what the kids are watching.

A second study suggested excessive TV viewing can lead to attention and learning problems down the road.

You think?

The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that children in the United States watch about four hours of television every day. They recommend that children under age 2 should not watch any and older children should watch no more than 2 hours a day of quality programming.

Parents are deluded into thinking TV is healthy:

But 29 percent of parents surveyed by Zimmerman and colleagues believe baby-oriented TV and DVD programs offer educational benefits.

“Parents are getting the message loud and clear from marketers of TV and videos that this is good for their kids. That it will help their brain development ... None of this stuff has ever been proven,” Zimmerman said.

Many youngsters have TVs in their bedrooms:

In a separate survey of 1,051 parents published in the journal Pediatrics, 75 percent of children aged 0 to 6 were found to watch TV every day, often in their own bedrooms.

“We don’t know that it is bad but we don’t know that it is harmless,” Zimmerman said.

Mr. Zimmerman seems incapable of making a judgment one way or the other. This next study seems to indicate that it is not harmless:

A second study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that teens who watch three to four hours of television a day are more likely to have attention or learning problems and are less likely to get a college degree.

Even watching more than an hour of TV per day had some adverse consequences, but three hours was much worse than one hour, and two was worse than one,” Jeffrey Johnson of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute said in a telephone interview...

Kids who watched less than one hour of TV per day were twice as likely to go to college as those who watched three or more hours per day,” he said.

International Adoption on Fox News

The author is an adoptive mom but I don't know who came up with the title for this piece:

If Your Daughter Doesn't Look Like You, Are You Still Her Mother?
Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan and Madonna. They all have children who don't resemble them, who aren't even the same race as they are, yet their kids know them simply as "Mom."

If your daughter — or your son — doesn't look like you, are you still their mother? This year, as we approach Mother's Day, it looks like more and more Americans are answering "yes" to that question. State Department statistics reveal that in the last decade, international adoptions have more than doubled from nearly 9,000 in 1995 to roughly 23,000 in 2005. And although we don't have any firm statistics for 2006-07, all signs point to a growing awareness of adoption.

But that doesn't mean there isn't still a great amount of misunderstanding out there.

As the mother of a toddler adopted from China, I’ve had my own experiences with the range of attitudes toward adoption.

My family has been approached many times in public places and asked whether or not my daughter was adopted and where she was born. It's a logical, albeit nosy question.

International Adoption in Loudoun County

Another local story, this time dealing with the number of families in our area who have adopted internationally and the on-line community that was formed out of that, of which we are a part.

International adoption
After their youngest child started college, Wes Hagood asked his wife, Denise, what she wanted their next life's adventure to be. He did not expect her to say, "adopt a little girl from China."

"I think my husband thought I was going to say, 'Go to Nova Scotia,'" said Denise Hagood, of Ashburn...

From that moment on Hagood always said, "If I ever go to China, I will adopt a little girl." She now has two Chinese daughters, Mia, 5, and Mei, 3.

Like many other families in Loudoun who have chosen international adoption, the Hagoods say they are happy with their decision. "It is a dream come true," Hagood said.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Adoption-Friendly Companies

They're family friendly
Michele Hooper, a Timberland employee who adopted a baby girl from China two years ago, said the financial help she got from her company was the only way she could afford an adoption without taking out loans. Hooper, 37, is a single mother from Barrington who has worked at Timberland for seven years. She started thinking about adopting because she wanted to have a baby before she got too much older and "Mr. Right didn't show up."

The company gave her $12,000 to put toward the adoption and two weeks of paid leave to fly to China to pick up her daughter, Jocelyn.

"I didn't know how I was going to be able to afford it," said Hooper, whose adoption cost more than $20,000 in agency fees, travel expenses and legal paperwork. "I can't even imagine my life without her now."

Jackie Mitchell, senior manager for work life for Timberland, said the company added adoption assistance to the company's benefits package in 1994 at the request of an employee interested in adopting. Since then, 20 children have been adopted by Timberland employees, Mitchell said.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Oklahomans Not OK With New CCAA Rules

New Adoption Restrictions Make Getting A Child Harder For Oklahomans
About 10,000 American families adopt a child from China every year. [It's actually more like 10,000 worldwide, with about 6,500 coming to America. - ed.] But some of them will not be able to adopt again. It's because of some new rules that took effect May 1st, further limiting which parents are able to adopt from China. The News On 6’s Emory Bryan reports among the rules for prospective parents a weight restriction, a ban on single parent adoptions, and a rule against people with handicaps or certain health problems.

Article in Canadian Paper Supports New CCAA Rules

The author's name is Dane Liu and she did graduate work at Columbia University on identity development of Chinese orphans adopted by American families. Have at it:

China's tighter adoption rules mean the best for the children
Canadians with children from China and Canadians who wish to adopt have called China's new rules on foreign adoption discriminatory and overly restrictive.

I say it's about time.

By raising the bar on foreign adoption, China has a real opportunity to place its orphans in the healthiest and most stable homes possible.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

"China has not abandoned you"

Adopting patience
Bringing a child home from abroad has never been easy, but the rewards are worth it for these families

Among the most precious possessions in Alice and Gregg Goldstone's Valley Village home are two little bags of dirt.

The two parcels, wrapped in red velvet, carry the soil of the provinces of China where their daughters, Hannah Mei, 9, and Tess Jinna, 5, were born, with a saying that translates to "China has not abandoned you."

In fact, China is seeking to keep more of its daughters within its borders and exercise greater caution in adoption after more than a decade of releasing thousands of them to foreign parents each year.

The change is a response to an anticipated shortage of girls caused by the country's one-child population control policy and its cultural favoritism toward sons and a spike in adoption applications.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

One-Child Policy = Less Global Warming?

Even if true, I don't think it justifies all the sociological problems the policy will cause:

Poor nations brake greenhouse gas rise: U.N. draft
"China is already doing a lot," said Hu Tao, of China's State Environmental Protection Administration.

He said China's one-child per couple policy introduced in the early 1980s, for instance, had a side-effect of braking global warming by limiting the population to 1.3 billion against a projected 1.6 billion without the policy.

"This has reduced greenhouse gas emissions," he told a conference in Oslo last month. China is the number two emitter of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, behind the United States and ahead of Russia.

The New Rules and Their Impact

Well, we've passed the dreaded May 1 deadline, concluding a month where I'm sure the CCAA saw more applications than ever before. The below link is to a story from Nashville's News Channel 5, on the effect the new rules will have on prospective parents:

China's Adoption Rules May Offend, Disqualify Prospective Parents
"I can tell you, it has eliminated about 50 percent of the families that we currently work with would not be eligible," [regional director of Children's Hope International Brenda] Barker said.

It's all a numbers game.

"They have more families wanting to adopt than they have children available and they do have that right," Dorris said.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Epoch Times Interview: Talia Carner

Read it here:

Exploring 'Gendercide'
Novelist Talia Carner recently responded to an Epoch Times email interview about researching her novel, China Doll and the tragedy of female infanticide in China. On her website, the writer states, "What I discovered was that in China there is gendercide defined by singling out baby girls for death vs infanticide which is gender neutral."