Thursday, February 28, 2008

Interesting News Out of China

Reuters reports that the Chinese government is considering doing away with its policy of allowing only one child per family:

    China, worried about an aging population, is studying scrapping its controversial one-child policy but will not do away with family-planning policies altogether, a senior official said on Thursday.

    With the world's biggest population straining scarce land, water and energy resources, China has enforced rules to restrict family size since the 1970s. Rules vary but usually limit families to one child, or two in the countryside.

    "We want incrementally to have this change," Vice Minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission Zhao Baige told reporters in Beijing.

    "I cannot answer at what time or how, but this has become a big issue among decision makers," Zhao added. "The attitude is to do the studies, to consider it responsibly and to set it up systematically."

    The average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime has decreased to 1.8 in China today, from 5.8 in the 1970s, and below the replacement rate of 2.1.
What isn't addressed in the article is how this might affect international adoptions. I can only assume that since no drastic change would be implemented overnight, the effect in the near future probably won't be very noticeable. This is, however, definitely something to keep an eye on.

You can read more on the history of China's one-child policy here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Day Brightener!

I gave my niece, Jenny, a few pictures of Patricia. She saw that her daughters, Corene (5 1/2) and Ava (3 1/2), had one taped up by each of their beds on the wall. When she asked Corene about it, Corene said, "Well, Ava and I were talking, and we thought if we taped them here, then we'd remember to pray for her since she doesn't have a mommy. Well, she does have Aunt Dawn for a mommy, but she doesn't know it yet."

Isn't that sweet? Even better, though, is that Patricia DOES know she has a home and a Mommy and Daddy. A few weeks ago, we had a great opportunity to meet the directors of Patricia's orphanage while they were visiting in Des Moines. Here is Pierre, (the kids call him Papi Pierre)the director and pastor at her orphanage, telling us how Patricia found out about us. (I am the one recording it.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

We Have A Referral!

Well, we do, but not for Olivia. We are still in the process of adopting from China, but we also are adopting another little girl as well. God has brought us Patricia (pronounced Pa-tree-see-a) who is from Haiti. Because of the long wait for China, the CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) has now opened it up for waiting families to pursue concurrent adoptions. We weren't looking for another child, but God had something else planned for us!

Her adoption will take place after Olivia comes home from China, as the Haitian courts process paperwork very slowly. But as with all things, and in this hurry-up-and-wait world of adoption, it is in God's hands and His timing.

I found her on the internet on December 5, and we received her referral on January 24. Above is the first picture we ever saw of Patricia, and below are photos that another adoptive mom sent us.

My favorite quote during our journey to parenthood is, "Out of difficulties grow miracles" (Jean de la Bruyere, 1645-1696).

A couple of verses my brother Paul shared with us to help us on this journey are Hebrews 10:38-11:1: "But my righteous one shall live by faith,and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

There is a devotional by Os Hillman that I printed out and put on our fridge entitled "God-Inspired Delays". In it he refers to John 11:6: "Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days." The main message is that sometimes God makes us wait to accomplish His purpose, and in the case of Lazarus, he waited for him to pass so he could raise him from the dead for the miracle to have it's full effect. God also did this with Abraham and Sarah with their long-awaited child, Isaac. Read the rest of the article here.

Lee said to me recently, "If we had the kids we thought we'd have in our 20's, we probably wouldn't be on this adoption path in our 30’s." My mom, in a completely different conversation, said, "If it wasn't taking so long for Olivia to come home, you may not have found Patricia, and she needs to come home!"

And so our adoption adventures continue...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Cativersary!

Wow! It has been 16 years today since we found our cat...I mean, since he found us. It was only about 7 weeks after we were married and we pulled into the parking lot of our apartment building and right in our headlights as we parked was a skinny, (yes, at one time he was skinny) dirty orange kitty. I "accidentally" held the main door open for this kitty while Lee scolded me (some things never change). I "accidentally" held our apartment door open for him, too.

My rules-follower hubby said, "What if he belongs to somebody?" I said, "LOOK at this cat - he doesn't belong to anyone! He is so skinny and dirty! He needs food!" I told him I would run up and ask the manager if she knew anything about the cat. She said that she was told that if she saw that cat again, she was to call the pound, so keep the cat. We were both so excited!! Lee ran right out to the store and got litter and food. We had to bathe him and de-worm him as he was so filthy and had been eating anything he could find, and he didn't, um, smell so good for a while, but this has been the sweetest kitty we have ever had (yeah, ok, with Nika around, that isn't very stiff competition). Actually, he's the sweetest kitty I have ever known! He puts up with everything kids, dogs and Nika dish out. Little did we know that one day his nickname would be "Grandpa" as he is about 18 years old now.

So here's to you, old man! Happy Cativersary, Ezra!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Something Stinks!!!

It has been 23 months since our LID (log in date, 3-13-06). The Poop Patrol says, "That Stinks!" The official statement from our agency is now 26-27 months with the trend increasing. With the projections of a referral in January 2009, it is more like 34 months. Lee has visions of us in China over Christmas...could be unrealistic optimism but I hope he is right!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Good-Sized Group of Referrals!!

America World is excited to announce that we received 20 referrals today for groups 243 and 244. (LID's 12/20/05 & 12/22/05) America World received 19 little girls & one little boy. The children ranged from 6 months to 37 months in age, and were from the Jiangxi, Gansu, Sichuan,and Guizhou Provinces. Please join America World in congratulating these families and pray for them as they prepare to travel and meet their new little ones!

Leah Rockey
Asia Family Coordinator

We are now heading into Chinese New Year so things will come to a stop for a bit, but our prayer is that they get through December 2005 very soon (we had all hoped they would get through 2005 in 2007) and get to MARCH 2006!!!

LID - log in date - March 13, 2006
Travel Group 252
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