Families in Waiting/China Adoptions
My husband and I are a "family in waiting" once again. But in the fall of 1999
- a hundred years ago - we were a "family in waiting" for the first
time, and first time parents-to-be as well. I started this web site then and have
been adding to it ever since. Right now it is the beginning of June in the year
2002 and I've just added another new link - that is how fresh and ripped from
today's headlines this site it!! But for some reason, I can't hit the delete button
on this corny "you are there" account that I wrote about two years ago
today, when we were just about to leave for the airport. So if you are here for
some actual helpful information, just scroll down to the next horizontal line
and skip this sentimental clap trap. If you, like me, like sentimental clap trap,
you probably understand why I can't bring myself to erase this little section
Our plane departs on June 22nd,2000 at 6am. We will land in Changsha on June 26th,
in the year 2000 - a day we very cleverly call Baby Day. We will fly to Guangzhou
on July 1st and spend my birthday getting Raimi's picture taken for her visa.
This qualifies as the best birthday ever.
(Hey, wanna guess what the temperature is in Changsha right this very minute ?
Well, you don't have to guess! Just take a for
but getting back to the waiting..............
If you are reading this and you are in any stage of pre-adoption from China, you
probably know any or all of the following:
It is a process that takes a strong constitution and alot of intestinal fortitude.
You may be in the middle of the frustrating "paperchase" and think it will never
end. ( It does). You may be waiting out the time it will take from when your documents
have been accepted by the Chinese government (DTC) to when you receive that most
wonderful of calls: "the referral" (DOR). OR you may already have your referral,
and are clutching that tiny picture of your new daughter - and you're still waiting.
You are either waiting to be notified of your travel date (DOT) or you have finally
received your official date of travel...... but you're still HERE and your child
is THERE. You are still waiting.
I'm presenting resources that have helped us as we struggled to get to where we
are now - still unpacked at 1AM, doing my sixth load of onesies and pretty much
in love with the whole world. We will be leaving in 30 hours to spend sixteen
and one half days in and around the Peoples Republic of China. We're going to
get our munchkin and bring her home.
Well, that was then. And I so brilliantly observe that this is now. And we
are waiting again - this time for Munchkin #2, due sometime at the end of 2002
or the beginning of 2003, or whenever the CCAA is ready to pick up our dossier
from the pile of November 2001 DTC's and start making another match that will
change our lives irrevocably and irretrievably. The resources below are still
very much a part of our waiting process. I hope they can be of some help to you
- Our story and a letter to our daughter: It's never
too early to start embarrassing your children!
- My account of Gotcha
: We went to China as regular people and came back strangely transformed.The
shocking details are all revealed!
As promised, the Questions for the Pediatrician
now live here in a printable format.
- The arm of the government in China that handles
almost every aspect of "foreign adoption" is the China Center of Adoption Affairs
, or CCAA. They make the rules concerning who can and cannot adopt. They
scrutinize your dossier. And they are also in charge of the matching process.
On October 26th,2001, CCAA announced a quota system for adoptive
families, effective December 1, 2001.
- Find out what those wacky guys and gals on Capital Hill did when they passed the Child Citizenship
Act of 2000. It's a long overdue bill that has made a significant impact on
all adoptive families and on how adoption is perceived in our society.
- Perhaps you'd like to share some of your thoughts
concerning legislative matters of the day with the Beltway Boys and Girls.
You can contact your Senator or your Congressperson via email. Tell 'em
I say "Howdy!". Another one of our favorites are the folks at INS. Drop them a line, too, when the urge
strikes you. Regards to the cute fingerprint guy at our local office!
- Nothing says "I love you" better than the Federal Adoption
Tax Credit Law. Read all about it and then call your accountant and show
him/her what a smarty pants you are.
- If you are a member, then you know the important
role Families with Children from China (FCC) plays in your family's life.
If you are not a member, you can find out how and where to contact a chapter
near you on the FCC general information
- Dumb Frequently Asked Questions: Questions - we
get questions! And we also get comments, "compliments" and some insight into
what a handful of people consider appropriate conversation. We invite you
to email us with your own "I can't believe they just said that!" moments.
- If you're like me, and I bet you are, you are
concerned that your head may explode any at any minute from the experience
called International Adoption. Again, RUN - quickly, now, hop! hop! - and
check out the list serv/bulletin boards that are available thru Yahoo. Waiting
parents can sign up for the Adoptive Parents-China
(APC) group. When you return from China ,check out the comprehensive list
of all other China-adopt
info groups , meticulously compiled by the list owners of RaisingChinaChildren
- Statistics: Ralph
Stirling, with assistance from the lovely Ann Tembreull, compiles stats from
a large sample group of families and faithfully updates them on a weekly basis.
They track average wait from DTC to referral; average time of travel after
referral; average age of children referred and more.
- Audio Chinese Tutorial
for Adoptive Parents: Haiwang Yuan, website maven and Assistant Professor
at Western Kentucky University, added a page to his already wonderful audio
tutorial of Mandarin Chinese in pinyin format just for parents adopting from
- Two comprehensive umbrella sites that provide
tools for learning and using
Chinese characters and language are http://www.mandarintools.com/
and http://zhongwen.com/ .
- If you are trying to pick out a name for your
daughter or son, the world famous Peggy - Keeper of Names - has a Yahoo group
called Names of our Chinese Children, which is a collection of just that.
. Go here to find scillions
of names - from Adrian Xian to Zoe Yue Yue.
- More names that you can shake a stick at can
be found at the Social Security Names
Distribution site , brought to you by the delightful Office of the Chief
Actuary. Here you can read the top 1000 names for the year 2000 as well as
the top 1000 names for the 1910's. And they've got all the other years in
- And this is the place to find Chinese names (with translations)
for girls:, thanks to Mark Tooker, China-Dad and part-time name wrangler.
- How are parents and children matched? The process
is a mixture of bureaucracy, happenstance and magic.That process is refined
and finalized at offices in the China Center for Adoption Affairs in Beijing
called the matching
rooms . How ever the pairings are determined, the results are pretty amazing.
- Also pretty amazing (and more recent ) are
some pictures of the matching rooms taken by a China-Mom who visited the CCAA
in the summer of 2000. Check out the entirety of this beautiful site .
The rest of this family's story will have you laughing thru your tears and
crying thru your laughs. It's good!
- Mark Tooker is at it again with his My Home Town
site. He initially designed the site so that our children could learn more
about where they came from. But you may find it helpful, as an anxious, waiting-to-go
Parent, to be able to read about your child's birthplace, place of residence,and
to communicate with other families with children from the same area.
- This is a link on the FCC site that will take
you to Asian growth charts.
Upon getting your referral and/or when you have returned home and gone for
your first pediatrician's visit, this site may be very helpful. Our kids tend
to be judged by Caucasian growth standards and the discrepancy can sometimes
be alarming to both prospective parents and new parents and their doctors.
These charts may allay some of those fears.
- An even more comprehensive weather checker
than the Yahoo
site is wungerground.com .
You can find the minutiae of a city's weather; check out the layout of the
night sky; check on hotels and relevant points of interest in the city(ies)
you'll be traveling to.
BIG NEWS..... the feature that promises to
give you the weather history of a certain day *at last* it works! It is
a wonderful treat for those of us with children born in China - we can see
what their world looked like on the date they were born and include that
as one more piece of their birth story.
- Follow the magically appearing link and find
a remarkable five
pages of questions to ask your child's nannies, orphanage director or
foster parent. They are in English and in Chinese for your edification PLUS
there is added a bonus page of instructions in Chinese regarding the use of
the disposable camera you may wish to send ahead of you to your child's orphanage
or foster home.
- Planning a trip overseas? Isn't it time you
- And speaking of conversions...............when
you get The Call and you are scribbling down metric measurements at the same
time that you are laughing and crying and calling your best friend, you'll
be really happy you can go here to find out how
big a 6.8 kg baby really is.
Just don't try to convert your barleycorns
to light-years. It gets weird.
Good luck to you all and stay strong!
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