Friday, January 12, 2007


January 5, 2007
Paula Zahn Now featured a segment on the new rules regarding international adoption from China. The so called panel of experts was really a panel of idiots, Ms Zahn included. They laughed and joked their way through a very sensitive subject, offending and denigrating every adoptive parent in the world. One panelist a law professor from Seaton Hall University was there mainly to promote her agenda that everyone who adopts internationally is racist and discrininatory whether they realize it of not. A so called journalist from Chicago, Roland Martin joined her in branding anyone who adopts overseas when there are African American children available here at home as racist, "preferring to adopt their 'porcelain dolls' from China because they think they are prettier and smarter".

Paula Zahn and her other panelist were no better, especially the taglines proclaiming that "many will be too fat, poor and ugly" to adopt from China. Even FOX News would have been ashamed to have aired that mess. CNN has had a reputation for solid reporting and responsible journalism, but that reputation has died, and Paula Zahn is the killer.

In two followup shows, there has been some backtracking, but still the issue has been badly handled, and the public misinformed. For such a sensitive issue to be handled so frivolously is irresponsible at best.

Unhappy Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of our adoption application documents being registered with the China Center of Adoption Affairs office in Beijing. It is a most discouraging anniversary, and we are not excited or celebrating with abandon. When our dossier went to China, we were sure we would have Miaya home well before this past Christmas. At worst, we thought we might be in China to be united with her around Christmas of 2006.

I have been working on her room again, got the new closet mostly done except for doors, and when painting the inside I noticed the paint was mixed November 12, 2005. Each day that passes brings us a little closer to the day we are united, and while each day may pass quickly, the days in total pass slowly. We have the feeling of far too many seasons passing, and the anticipation becomes both more intense and more abstract, as if the whole adoption is more of an idea than a reality. We both begin to get the feeling that people wonder if we are really going through with it, or just talking big and not acting. The hardest part of building a family this way is nothing to show for it until the big day. No belly bump to watch grow, just marks on a calendar.

When we bought that paint and the still unassembled crib we were so optimistic about when our dear daughter would be in our arms, now we still have optimism but it is tempered by the knowledge that we are now a year older and our arms are still empty. We do not hold anyone to blame, the process is still working, just slower, but our time will come. It would be very easy to become bitter and angry, but it would solve nothing, and only cause more stress. We have a small but growing collection of clothes and other baby goodies waiting for her, the fruit of clearance sales and optimism.

There was a time not that many years ago when I could not even conceive of ever becoming a parent, then I met Kimberly and suddenly that possibility became a reality. This adoption did not come easily, we tried many things, then suddenly this seemed such a good fit, and the final decision became very easy. We often remark that nothing has come easy for us, it took us many years to find each other, and it seems somehow apt that this process is grinding so slowly.

We began this process 18 months ago when we began researching adoption options, and then applying to an adoption agency, then collecting all the documents and sending them to China. In that time, somewhere, a couple has met, married, and had their first child.

We're still waiting.

With no obvious end in sight.

Monday, January 01, 2007

It'll soon be a year

An anniversay we will not be celebrating with joy -- or with Miaya! January 12, 2007 will mark the one year anniversary of our dossier (adoption application documents) being registered at the China Center Of Adoption Affairs office in Biejing. At that time, we felt confident we would either have her home for Christmas, or be in China picking her up.

The slowdown in the pace of matching children to applicants seems to have several causes: an increase in the number of inter-country applications, decreasing number of of children being abandoned, and increasing numbers of domestic adoptions in China. Opinions on all theses factors vary depending on the source. China has an estimated 1,000 orphanages or Social Welfare Institutions (SWI), of these, about 250 are participating in International Adoption (IA). The other 750 SWI's do not participate for various reasons. Many apparently do not meet certain minimum standards for child care, and it has been reported that many of them are not aware of the IA program.

According to various reports, the SWI's participating in IA have seen decreases in abandonments, especially for children without special needs. There is also a waiting list for domestic adoptions in China as well. Chinese officials are working to bring more of these other institutions up to standards so they can participate in IA as well.

It is diffcult to see this anniversary approach, especially with no firm end in sight. If the rate of macthing stays the same, we may not get our referral until August or September of this year (2007). A 19-20 month wait for our referral, plus another 6 to 8 weeks to get all the approvals and arrangements to travel. A very long wait from when we began paperchasing in August of 2005. Then it was 6 to 7 months wait time to referral, had things stayed the same, we should have already been back with her several months ago.