Friday, August 24, 2007

Last weekend

Last Saturday we went to another IAFQ dinner for waiting parents. We caught up with friends, and made some new ones, and had a complete blast. When we were introducing ourselves to a couple we hadn't met before, the wife said, "Do you have a blog? Checking Boxes? Are you Emma?" Hahha! I don't think that's happened to me before. She's happy to lurk and hasn't left a comment before, but checks in every day. Hi L! Great to meet you and hope we can catch up again soon!

On Sunday we met our adoption case worker (social worker), who is doing our assessment**. We have four more interviews and then she writes our report and recommendation. We have a couple of things to think about before we meet next. First, we need to get our wills written. Second, we need to decide who will take care of our child/children should we both die, and our case worker then has to talk with them. Hrmmm. No idea about that one yet.

**After being assigned our case worker and not hearing from her for over five weeks, I contacted the Dept to advise them. It turns out they had our file on hold (remember this post?), and told our case worker that, despite us never asking for it to be put on hold and specifically saying that we were proceeding as normal.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The right to live

There's an article in today's Courier Mail that states that there have been 10 million baby girls in India aborted or victims of gendercide in the past twenty years. It's heartbreaking. TEN MILLION. I don't even know how to comprehend a number that big, especially when it relates to human life.

I don't want this to be a morbid entry, but I share it because awareness and education about these issues need mainstreaming.

As most of us know, the same issues are prevalent in China... still. This presentation was shared at the 2007 UN conference on the status of women. It's focus is on the issues related to female abandonment and preference for boys in China. Some alarming facts are presented, but they need to be made known. Whacked out ratios. Steady patterns. Social insanity. And laws that mean if you abandon a baby girl you are punished, but if you kill her it's ignored.

And the wait to adopt gets longer.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tagged with a meme!

Blondie over at Doing the Adoption Limbo tagged me with the following:

The meme
*Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
*People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
*At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and they should read your blog.

Here are my eight things (8 is the Chinese lucky number!)

1. I love to read the newspaper. In a perfect world, I would read the paper every day. (online papers don't count. I'm a purist about this one... even though I do read online papers most days, it's not my preference)

2. I'm scared of dogs.

3. I can write shorthand. Really fast. I think I was the last class ever at my high school for shorthand, because it disappeared out of the curriculum after that. Pitman 2000 is the version I learnt.

4. When I listen to the radio, I switch between stations to hear the DJs. If there's a song playing I'll usually flick to another station.

5. I love visiting cemeteries. I'm not a morbid person at all, I just love the historical aspect and wondering about all the peoples' lives and families.

6. I go to church in a movie theatre ('theater' to my yankee pals). Not an abandoned old derelict cinema, but a fully operating one. We have to clear out on time so the movies for the day can start. Comfy chairs, a big screen for multimedia - and the lovely aroma of popcorn.

7. I don't wear nail polish or anything like that which puts chemicals into my bloodstream (I'm even scared of panadol) and I try to only use products that are made from 100% pure oils and organic herbs (shampoo and conditioner, body wash, moisturiser etc.) BUT... I get my hair dyed. I'm a walking contradiction. I know I could buy hair dye that is made from natural ingredients, but I would have to apply it myself and I'm too unco for that.

8. I've kept a blog over at livejournal for over six years - and because I'm lazy I took the first five facts for this entry from a similar meme that I did over there back in January. I was really active the first two or three years, but now I only update on an ad hoc basis. I can't keep up with my online presence!! Facebook, myspace, blogger, livejournal, flickr, youtube, schoolfriends, teachertube... aaaagh!

I have to tag eight people. There's probably only eight people who read this blog, so consider yourself tagged! Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Family planning slogans in China

Three posts in two days. This has to be some kind of record for me.

Those who refuse to use birth control, have a ligation and pay the extra birth fine will be severely punished' - family planning banner in Guangxi

I read an article today that China has decided to update some of its harsh family planning posters and billboards.

Some of the existing slogans on walls and billboards say things like:
'Raise fewer babies but more piggies'
'Houses toppled, cows confiscated, if abortion demand rejected'
'One more baby means one more tomb'
'Better ten graves than one extra birth' (there's a human rights book by this name)

The slogans which have been approved to replace the questionable ones include:
'The mother earth is too tired to sustain more children'
'Both boys and girls are parents' hearts'

While searching for photographs of such posters, I came across this site which shows the population policy propaganda posters over time.

I also learnt about the incredibly sad case of Jin Yani in China, who is suing family planning officials due to the ramifications of a full term forced abortion seven years ago. Ugh.

"Adoption heartbreak" article

Adoption has been making the news more than usual around here. In today's Sunday Mail there's an article about how Deborra-lee Furness and husband Hugh Jackman returned to the US to adopt their children because the Australian Government's 'anti-adoption culture' and overwhelming red tape was making it difficult for them.

The paper version (ie. not online) has another article which provides some interesting figures. In Australia in 2004/2005 there were 410 babies adopted in Australia, from 25 countries. In comparison, the US had 21, 000 during this period. Australia rates as the lowest country in the Western world for its rate of intercountry adoption.

Debora-lee has called for Prime Minister John Howard to meet with her to discuss overhauling the adoption process.

I have mixed thoughts. I agree the process here isn't easy, but I don't think it should be. There have been many improvements in recent years, and it seems much of the wait is due to country quotas and long queues once a couple is approved. I believe Australia needs more agreements with more countries, and for current quotas to be reviewed and increased.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Zhang Empresses

I just ordered a documentary called The Zhang Empresses, which is about some Chinese girls adopted to Sweden who go back to China after ten years and visit their orphanage. The first ten minutes of the documentary can be viewed here.