Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gotcha Day + 4 Years

Actually, it's Saturday, but we've got a busy next couple of days, so I thought I'd post early.

Hard to believe she'll be starting kindergarten in the fall. Tempus fugit.

The video is from our first few minutes with Ally. The music is "Swept Away" by Geoff Moore.


Gotcha Day + 2 Years
Gotcha Day + 3 Years

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chinese New Year in Australia

[Sorry for the cringe-inducing headline; you can blame ABC Sydney for that. Of course they don't adopt dolls out of China, they adopt children.]

Welcome cheers for these adopted China dolls
Taking part in the Chinese New Year parade was a big thrill for Liu Kang Yi and her family.

She was born in central China, but was adopted by parents Grant Simmons and Antoinette Lee eleven months ago.

Kang Yi and her family were among the two and a half thousand participants in the 2008 Chinese New year parade, and she certainly looked the part being dressed in traditional qi pao (cheong sam in Cantonese) and a useful parasol, she seemed to epitomise the growing relationship between China and Australia.

Monday, February 11, 2008

What We Already Knew

As this article from USA Today says, it appears the pendulum is swinging from foreign to domestic adoptions in the US:

Fewer foreign children adopted
A decline in foreign adoptions since restrictions imposed by Russia and China is prompting greater interest in U.S.-born kids, including those in foster care.

A USA TODAY survey of a dozen large adoption agencies found an increase from 2006 to 2007 in inquiries, home studies or placements of U.S.-born children.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Pessimistic Outlook for China's Adoption Program

Is adoption door closing?
The number of couples hoping for a baby now so dramatically exceeds the available abandoned infants that it could take at least three years, if not more, to adopt. Officials for the China Centre of Adoption Affairs said there were an almost insurmountable 25,000 files - including 600 Canadians - waiting to be matched with Chinese orphans.

With each passing week, China matches fewer babies to foreign couples. Some months only 400 referrals are sent out worldwide - compared to 1,000 just a year before. And it seems likely it could take five years or longer to match waiting couples with infants. Growing wait times are reflected in the operations of the world's adoption agencies, some of which no longer accept files from people wishing to adopt from China.

Georgia Adoption Story

Family Adopts 4 International Children
Stefanie Leist knows well the challenges of motherhood. She has two grown children and, each morning, she wakes up sons Dalton and Asher to gets them ready to head off to school...

Then one day her husband came to her with an idea that would change everything."God had just really put on his heart that there was a little girl in China and I thought he was crazy! I mean really," she said. "We have 4 kids, a full house, we're busy."

In the summer of 2004, Leist and her husband began the process of international adoption. A year later they came home from China with little Isabelle and a year after that with Sophie, both orphaned special needs children...

Then in June 2007, they brought home little Jude. The boy's clubbed feet were so severe at the time that he couldn't even stand. The adoption process wasn't seamless but Leist will tell you that no addition to the family is. ...

Stefanie wears a pendant around her neck of Shepard, the little boy she will bring home from China this summer.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Celebrating Chinese New Year

In Tennessee:

Jackson rings in the Chinese New Year
Adoptive parents and their kids gather to celebrate holiday

The year of the rat was ushered in with style Thursday by families gathered at the China Pan restaurant to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The group included about a dozen families from West Tennessee Adopted Families, a group of parents who have adopted children internationally...

The group meets annually to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Easter and around Halloween, said member Stephanie Coleman.

In Virginia:

Adoptive families join together
International Adoptive Families of the Shenandoah includes 12 families from Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County. The group provides support for potential parents and a place where the children can learn about their Chinese heritage. Since many of these children have no knowledge of their biological history, Wine and Arritt said it's important to teach them about their culture.

In addition to an upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, the group plans to celebrate the Lunar Moon Festival, and both Wine and Arritt expect to enroll Will and Xinru in a Mandarin Chinese class come fall.

"I want to give Xinru as broad a spectrum of knowledge as I can find for her regarding her birth heritage," Arritt said. "I don't want to push her into it, but at this point, I do want to expose her to it."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy New Year

We're keeping it pretty low key this year, just dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. To all of you gathering with your various FCC groups, we hope you have a very happy celebration.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lunar New Year Event Raises Funds for Adoption

Lunar New Year
For the Johnsens, Sunday's Lunar New Year celebration is as much a celebration of family as a cultural festivity.

In March 2005, Greg and Debbie Johnsen adopted their daughter Alyssa from China. Two years later, they returned to finalize adoption on their youngest child, Alaina...

Debbie Johnsen, a former pediatrician, is in her second year on the planning committee for Dillon International Inc.'s Lunar New Year Celebration, and this year, Alyssa, 3, will join the procession of children at the event.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Kentucky Family Shares Their Story

Local adoptive parents sharing their stories
ALEXANDRIA - Jackie Egan of Alexandria realizes she can't adopt every child who needs a home, but that's not stopping her from trying to convince others to consider adopting.

Egan has adopted three children from China, and is one of several organizers of an adoption information fair at her church Sunday, Feb. 10.

It's the first outreach effort by Main Street Baptist Church's new adoption ministry that's focused on spreading awareness of available adoption options, Egan said.

"I just felt there were so many children out there that needed homes that I couldn't bring them all home," she said.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

NY Giants 17, NE Patriots 14

Giants Stun Patriots in Super Bowl XLII

Wow. That had to be the best Super Bowl ever. Congratulations to my team, the New York football Giants.

Chinese New Year in Lancaster County, PA

It's a rattling New Year
LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa - Groundhog? What groundhog?

Saturday, the rat, not the groundhog, was the relevant rodent at festivities kicking off Chinese New Year in Lancaster County.

The Year of the Rat got off to an early start, as more than 200 people gathered at the Lancaster campus of Harrisburg Area Community College for a celebration that included Chinese dance performances, karaoke singing and violin music, and traditional Chinese New Year treats.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

An Update on Zhien Liu

The Austrailian government is going to review the case:

Deborra-lee Furness' adoption success
AT night, in the confines of her small room in China, orphan Zhen Liu frets for her adoptive mother, who is thousands of kilometres away.

"She said to me on the phone yesterday: `Mamma, when are you coming to get me?','' Diana Liu says.

Ms Liu hopes it will be very soon, after Deborra-lee Furness and The Sunday Telegraph won another victory in a campaign to overhaul Australia's adoption procedures...

Furness, who has two adopted children with husband Hugh Jackman after enduring their own bureaucratic nightmare, applauded the move.

"I'm hugely supportive of the new leadership having the sense to look at individual cases such as this,'' she said.

Friday, February 01, 2008

China: Making Girls Disappear

An unsettling story about the ramifications of China's one-child policy:

China’s Population and Adoption Policies may Result in Skewed Sex Ratio