Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mama Bear Instincts

Posted: April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

As an adoptive mama, I have become accustomed to curious glances from strangers – rarely does a day go by when I am not asked about our family or adoption. Just last week, I met a lovely couple simply because they were curious about our two younger boys. It was an older Chinese couple, and the man approached me and first asked if all four kids were mine. When I said yes, he asked if my younger boys were adopted. I explained yes, from Taiwan. Turns out his wife was born in Taiwan. He asked some questions about our adoption and even offered to teach me Chinese – it was so sweet. I hope I get a chance to see them again. I love talking about adoption and Taiwan. But our family does look different from most. My protective mama instincts kicked into high gear yesterday when a stranger kept staring at my children and watching us as we walked into our gym. The man was not dressed to work out, and was watching us a little too closely for my comfort. He followed us into the gym and sat down in the lobby. I mentioned my concerns to the childcare coordinator and she was able to figure out he was there to pick up a child from one of the children’s programs. That put my mind at ease. I am fairly certain he was just curious about our family and probably didn’t mean to alarm me. But you can never be too careful and I would rather mention my concern and for it to turn out to be nothing, than ignore it and regret not saying anything.

Wordless Wednesday: Brothers

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Wordless Wednesday
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The NBA has an up and coming star in its midst – his name is Jeremy Lin and he is a Taiwanese-American. In Friday’s game between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers, Lin scored a career-high 38 points to help the Knicks beat the Lakers. It’s great to see a Taiwanese-American be so successful as an athlete. The Telegraph said today “”Lin-sanity” reigned at Madison Square Garden for another night” as the Knicks won their fourth straight game. I like what the Wall Street Journal blogged about last night’s game against the LA Lakers and Kobe Bryant:

“One quarter into the game, unveiling an amazing ability to penetrate, discombobulate and elevate against the Lakers suddenly Swiss cheese-like defense, Jeremy Lin stood at 10 points, three assists, against future Hall of Fame lock Bryant’s six points, zero assists. Bryant frequently watched stunned as Lin made his teammate Derek Fisher look frankly ridiculous with jellyleg cartoon crossovers and one insane spin move to the basket that became the evening’s signature offensive play. Twitter suddenly boomed with people tweeting: “WHO SAID ASIANS CAN’T DRIVE?” and linking to pics of Lin whipping past a frozen Fish.” – read the full post here at the Wall Street Journal

Normally I would not take such an interest in professional basketball or an athlete. But as a mom to two Taiwanese-American boys, it’s an opportunity for us to talk about his success and the challenges he has apparently had in getting to this point in his basketball career. Despite Lin’s recent success on the court, he has been cut by two other teams this season and only received the opportunity to play for the Knicks when another player was injured. I wonder if the other teams now regret their decisions to cut him so quickly? This Wikipedia article offers more info on Lin and how he got to where he is now.

I just finished reading A Heart for Freedom, the memoir of Chai Ling, commander-in-chief of the student protesters at Tiananmen Square in China. It’s an incredible story as she recounts her family life growing up in rural China, the events leading up to the massacre in 1989 and her daring escape from China. Although I was familiar with the incident and the images from the massacre, this book helped me better understand what exactly happened in 1989. Even now as I look up stories about the incident, it’s unclear how many people died that day – I have found reports ranging from hundreds to upwards of 2,400 people killed in the massacre.

Chai Ling eventually settled in the United States. In the book she talks about the culture shock she experienced and the challenges of adjusting to life in America. She went on to complete her education at Princeton and Harvard, and became a successful entrepreneur. Her desire for freedom and democracy in China continues, despite being unable to return to her home country. She became a Christian just a couple of years ago and God has given her a new mission in life: to confront the one-child policy in China; to restore life, value and dignity to mothers and girls in China. It’s a personal fight for Chai Ling – she herself was a victim of three forced abortions in China. She has started an organization to help the women and girls in China, called All Girls Allowed. In her book, she shared some startling statistics about abortion in China:

“The law in China, both then and now, was that a woman could not legally give birth without a birth permit, and permits were not issued to unmarried women or to any woman under twenty-five years old. According to Chinese government statistics for 2009 and 2010, 70 percent of the 16 million abortions each year — that’s 11.2 million women and children affected — are for unmarried woman.” – A Heart for Freedom, page 296

“With more than four hundred million lives taken in the past thirty years, ending China’s one-child policy, the forced and coerced abortion and gendercide of girls, is the most profound social justice cause in the world today. It is one that should unite people on both sides of the abortion issue. Chinese women have no choice, and their babies have no life….Every 2.5 seconds, a baby’s life is taken by abortion in China. Every day, hundreds of baby girls are abandoned and five hundred woman commit suicide. Most of the world does not know about this tragedy.”A Heart for Freedom, page 301

This book is eye-opening and inspiring. Her spiritual journey to finding Christ and becoming his follower is just amazing. She often asked herself after the Tiananmen Square massacre, why did she survive when so many others died? She finally has an answer, after more than twenty years:

“For the first time, I understand why I was kept alive and how God has prepared me each step of the way for this moment of history, for All Girls Allowed and more. Through my journey with God, he has removed my blindfold, showing me a world I never knew existed. I now have a deeper sense of God’s passion to save his children and creation, his love for humanity and his forgiveness for me and for everyone. Not only has he healed me and forgiven me, he has also blessed me with a wonderful husband and three beautiful children. This journey has led me to understand more and more of God’s grace and forgiveness. If he can forgive my sins, whose sins can he not forgive? Whose sins can I not forgive?” – A Heart for Freedom, page 303

Somehow I have managed to get on the mailing lists for several women’s apparel catalogs. I have started receiving one called Title Nine and another one by Athleta. I have *not* bought anything from the catalogs yet so I cannot speak for the quality of the clothing. But that may change soon – I am very tempted by a few of the items in the spring catalogs. While the companies’ main focus is on athletic wear for women, the Athleta catalog has an entire spread devoted to clothes that travel well, and the Title Nine website has a category devoted to travel. You may be wondering how (or if) this is adoption-related. Well, if you recall from our trips to Taiwan, we packed very light. We took only carry-on bags with us, and clothes that washed quickly and easily, and were comfortable for traveling. I mentioned some of my favorite clothes for traveling in this blog post here. If you are traveling and want to pack light, I would suggest checking out these websites. I always look for quick or fast drying in the description, and from what I have learned, it seems spandex, nylon and/or polyester blends are better travel companions than 100% cotton. And for Taiwan, I always looked for clothes that were lightweight, since the climate was so hot during the times we traveled. If you have bought any clothing from either of these companies, I would love to hear your opinion on the clothing.