Thursday, March 29, 2012


A friend of mine gave me a book she found at a thrift store called "Pictures By Chinese Children" printed in 1976 and I LOVE it.  It's a compilation of artwork from children in China ranging from age 5 to 13 and boy are those kids impressive.  My favorite images seem to come from the 9 to 10 year olds because they're just impressionistic enough to suit my tastes.  I love the images in it and I've decided to scan several of them, print and frame them for Pearl's room.  Since there is no copyright anywhere in the book and it's been out of print for ages I figure it's ok.  If it's not - let me stay ignorant!  Also, as a side note - these are total pro-communist images but I still love them.

Here are my top favorites:

We Sing "The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Is Fine"  Pang Hsiao-li, girl, age 9

Radio Calisthenics - Hsu Sheng-lien, girl, age 9; Liu Shao-pin, boy, age 11 
China's Climbers Have Reached The World's Highest Peak - Pang Hsiao-li, girl, age 9

This one is on the back cover and it isn't sited.

This last one may be my favorite - though it's hard to narrow it down since they're so cute.  This one just has so much movement to it.  And it's a Chinese farm girl with chickens - come on, cuteness!

I Whistle And They Come - Liu Chang-jun, boy, age 12

Aren't those amazing!  I can't wait!  The colors are so cute.

Top Ten Questions not to ask an adoptive family

I know that because of my nature I am probably guilty of asking some of these questions but since starting this process I can already see why these questions can range from insensitive to downright damaging.

Is she your real daughter?

This question is so insensitive and if asked in front of the child is quite a painful thing to say.  OF COURSE SHE IS MY REAL DAUGHTER!  I know you're wondering if the child is adopted but it's really none of your business.  And if you really cannot keep yourself from asking it why not ask something that takes the pressure off of the child like, "Are you an adoptive family?

How much did you have to pay for him?

We don't pay for the children but for lawyers and the government agencies who must complete all of the paperwork(which is quite a bit).  Please don't make my daughter think she is someTHING someone can go pick up from a store somewhere.

What a lucky girl!

Do you really want my daughter growing up thinking she was "lucky" to get a family of her own? That somehow, she didn't deserve one quite as much as everyone else?   It might be better to say something that takes the pressure off of my daughter like, "What a beautiful, lucky family.  Beautiful is mostly optional. :)

Why didn't their real mom want them?

Oh goodness, please please please don't say that in front of my kids.  Besides being such a heavy load that my girls will have to bear their whole lives, is there really any way to answer that in the aisle at the grocery store anyhow?

Aren't you afraid of all of the problems they'll have?

No more than my other kids.  Yes, there are issues that we'll have to sort through as a family but are we suggesting that biological children don't have issues?  Umm, Dr. Phil, anyone?

Why didn't you want an American baby?

Do you really want an answer or do you just want to find another way to judge someone else?  This is complicated, VERY personal, and in my mind, irrelevant.

Aren't you afraid their real parents will try to get them back?

No, and NO.  I am her REAL parent.

What's wrong with them?

I am assuming that you believe that since they weren't adopted until they were older that there must be some defect that made them undesirable and passed over until now.  First off, adoption is a complicated process that takes orphanages resources and time that most do not have.   Also, there over a million children without families in this world that will never be adopted.   I'd say that isn't a child's problem but a world/adult problem.  And in the end, she was supposed to be mine and we found her right when we were meant to.

Can't you have any kids of our own?

This is really personal, isn't it?  Let's just leave it at that.

You're a Saint!

Though this isn't a question it implies quite a lot and I am really uncomfortable with it.  To me it means: You are something better than me so I don't have to feel guilt about not adopting/You must be an amazing mom to think you're good enough to seek out new children/You must be so charitable to actually want to go through that process.  All of those feelings are FALSE.  I don't know why this was how our family came together but I do think more people should open their hearts to it.

And as a great man once said, "Now you know and...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meet Azure

Once you open your heart to adoption it seems that you can't help but a let more than just your child in.  I see lots of children waiting for families listed on several boards and sites but this little girl seems to particularly pull at my heart strings.  So, I am advocating for her with the hope that I can help her find a family willing to love and cherish her.  The name we advocate for her with is Azure - this is not her real name but something to protect her identity.

Meet Azure!

Azure is a delightful, active, creative and gentle girl. 
Azure gets along well with caregivers and other children. She lives with a foster family and they all love her very much. She is in the third grade and she studies carefully in classes and especially enjoys studying Chinese. She loves playing with other children. She has a best friend on her class and they often play together after classes. Azure is introverted and a quiet little girl, and in her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, drawing, and reading books  - especially fairy tales. She also likes sports such as running, playing football and she loves physical education class, at which time she is more active and outgoing. She is soft spoken, and therefore, she prefers being talked to in the same gentle way.
Azure has a video from her foster family - which is a real treat  - and here it is!  She is soo sweet!

You can ask for her full file here if you want to learn more about her.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Little momma, Pearl.

This week while sitting in the Denver airport some one sent me some updated photos of Pearl.  I don't know why but some times it hits me harder than other times.  When I saw these I couldn't help but get all weepy.  I'm sure people around me felt a little awkward but I didn't care.  Here they are along with some others we got our hands on last week from her orphanage's website(I know, since when do orphanages have websites?)

Lollipops in her pj's.

Some of these images are from an adoptive mom named Emily.  She sent her son this cake and the people at the orphanage sent back these photos of him eating it.  He's the doll in the crown.  These were taken just over a month ago.  Pearl is in green.

Anyone seeing a trend for her?  In her information it said she liked to help with the babies and was proactively changing diapers.  A lot of the images we see of her she is hanging out with the little ones.  In a quote from them it says:
[She] knows things and wear cloth by herself. She helps nanny for cleaning, taking care younger brothers and sisters, changing diapers proactively everyday for them. During break time, she was taught simple words and children rhymes by care givers. She was smart and learn fast. Sometimes she learn and turn around to teach another child Guo ZHi Wei who plays with her. Now, two of them play words games, ex. little Yi Lin ask Guo Zhi Wei to guess a word. If right, she will give a kiss, very lovely.
The translation is a little rough but I love seeing her little motherly personality come through in the images we find of her.
Hanging with the babies.

Peter doesn't like this image - he finds it alarming that his sister looks sad in it. When ever he sees it he says, "Pearl is sad! We have to go get her! She is sad cuz she wants us to come bring her home!"  Breaks my heart every time.

Karaoke anyone!?

All bundled up!

Last, I love this one.  Pearl is in red on the left.   I love how lovingly she looks to the girl working with her and how happily the girl looks back.  I am so grateful for those women who work at such unglamorous a job to love and care for these children.  I hope some day to let them know how much.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thank you, youtube.

Like so many of my generation, I am a pro at internet research(a.k.a. stalking).  And I've definitely put my skills to use in researching other adoptive families.  I've watched countless videos of other families picking up their kids from China, spending their first few days at home with them and what not.  Most of these videos are of super adorable babies and toddlers with only a few of older kids.  The videos are great because in an effort to prepare us, our agency has us read through and think about all of the ways in which this adoption could be really really hard.   Things from health issues to attachment to problems with our other kids.  And boy, can that get you down.  So, this afternoon when I found this video it made me smile from EAR to EAR!  These two seven year old boys came home from China four months ago and this video is of them about 6 weeks after they came home.  So sweet.  So happy.  Can't wait.