Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Name Game

My friend at work is about to go on maternity leave; she'll be giving birth to her first child in the coming weeks. She's not letting anyone in on the name game, which is quite funny because I remember saying to her about a year ago that I didn't understand the concept of withholding baby names.

I know that if you tell people the names you're thinking of in the lead-up to the birth (or in our case, referral/adoption) that they'll likely tell you straight out what they think, but if you just surprise everyone after the birth they generally wont tell you if they don't like it. Not sure why, maybe people think that they can save a baby from a sucky name before they are born, but afterwards it's just too late. Maybe parents have a fear of being offended if they tell a name and get a not-so-pleasant response. Maybe they just want to keep it personal, because it's so exciting and special. Anyway, I truly do respect the right of parents to not tell before the birth/referral, even if I don't fully understand it.

We are waaayy off a referral, as we're still paper chasing and checking boxes for the next ten months or so before our file can even go to China to begin the wait, so we haven't seriously discussed names... however cruising baby name sites is a bit of a hobby for me. I've spent plenty of time over at the Baby Name Wizard checking the popularity of names throughout history. I recently came across a discussion forum called Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing, which is a bunch of name purists strongly opposed to any 'tryndee' names that 'mummeighs' give kids. Heh.

Anyway, at the abovementioned forum I came across a link to this post about what not to name your child, from a fellow Aussie blogger called redcap. She cruises the birth announcements in newspapers for what she considers inappropriate names. Anyway, I did think twice about whether to share this link, as some people could be offended if their chosen baby name is pooh-poohed, but hopefully you're all big enough to handle it and can appreciate her wit. I like a couple of the names she deems inapproriate, but for the most part it should be compulsory reading for all expectant parents. I'm sure my teacher friends would have a few to add to the list!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I've been away for work for a few days in Melbourne. It is such a beautiful city, I'm totally in love with it. Of course, I checked out Chinatown. I had dinner at a place called Post Mao Cafe. The master chef is 93 years old and used to cook for Chairman Mao. Hrm. Not sure how true that claim is, or why he'd still be working at 93, but I'm pleased to report that there were no false teeth or stray grey hairs in my meal.

At the airport before I left, I bought a book to read on the plane about an Aussie journalist who spent a year in Beijing. Wow, that's another city that blows my mind and I look forward to going someday. It's too late now, but I would like to have visited it before all the preparations for the Olympic Games began. The only city we have experienced in China is Kunming (Yunnan province) - and it's considered to be 'out in the countryside' by most Chinese, so I'm pretty sure life there is drastically different to Beijing.

What about you? What city do you love - and why? What city would you really like to visit?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

the rainbow family

Congratulations Angelina Jolie on your precious new son! I hope the world leaves you alone for a while so he can get to know his new family.

All in this together

Generally speaking, there are three kinds of adoptive parents: those who cannot have biological children, for whatever reason; those who already have biological children; and singles who aren't waiting around for a partner to become a parent.

None of these is better or worse than the other. There is no heirarchy of eligibility, and none of these are more 'deserving' of children than the other. We all arrive at adoption from different pathways. How we get here is important, but also kind of irrelevant. We all need to support each other, regardless of the reasons for arriving at adoption.

Having said that, it is also important to connect with others that have journeyed a similar pathway. There's something special about the 'understanding' that can only come through shared experience. You can say, "I know how you're feeling / I know what you're going through", because you really do.

The value of this connection has been heightened for me this week, after reading multiple email posts to our local support group discussion list. There's a stronger link and greater empathy when you have walked a similar path to someone.

This is where we feel out of place. We don't have that connection with others like us. Is there anyone out there? A couple who don't know if you can have bio kids cos you've never tried to become pregnant? The truth is, people don't understand us. They simply can't. It is so beyond the realm of what is normal for so many people we come across. This is clear whenever someone finds out we're hoping to adopt. "oh, can't you have kids?" "don't know, we're choosing to adopt" *blank stare* *blank stare back*

We cherish relationships with all adoptive and prospective adoptive families and know that in the end the pathway is just a detail, yet we would still love to connect with others like us. Anyone?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

China Photos

Like lots of bloggers, I use Bloglines. As well as subscribing to the blogs I like to read, i also subscribe to any photos uploaded to Flickr that have been tagged 'China'. There are so many beautiful photos to look at each day. Today I came across a set of 93 photos called 'CHINA in Red and Black' by kurtvansteelant. Just lovely, check it out!