Tag Archives: Families with Children from China

端午节/端午節 Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival)

The Dragon Boat was pink! Sleek, long, bright, and oared by breast cancer survivors and their friends, she flew across P6130101the water in sync to the beat of the drummer who sat at her helm.

She was magnificent.

We were at the annual Dragon Boat Festival, a joint venture between local Chinese organizations and our Families with Children from China (FCC) chapter. As I sat eating my zong zi (Chinese dumpling) and watching my kids and their friends play games in the cool sunlit grass, I thought about the history and folklore behind the second most celebrated and revered Chinese celebration.

The Dragon Boat Festival began as a tradition for driving out evil spirits and disease and helping one to find inner peace. The festival was later enriched by the legend of Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet and a minister to the Zhou Emperor, a deeply loved and respected public servant. The legend says that Qu Yuan threw himself into the Miluo River (Hunan Provence) on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 278 BC, carrying a large stone and committing ritual suicide to protest a corrupt government. In an effort to save him, people raced out in boats, pounding drums to scare away the fish and water dragons. The tactics didn’t work. Qu Yuan was lost to them. They threw rice into the river to feed him and to keep the fish from eating his body. Nights later the ghost of Qu Yuan appeared to his friends saying that he a river dragon had killed him. He asked them to wrap their rice in a three-cornered silk fabric and throw it into the river to ward off the river dragon. These rice packages eventually became what are known today as zong zi, what I was eating.

P6130110It was a beautiful day; wonderful cultural exposure, good food, and Chinese games and crafts. A lion dance finished off the festival.  – And we all did the 2400 year old tradition proud.

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Filed under China, Cultural Awareness, International Adoption

Update: The Voice of the Adoption Community

FCC LogoThis message is from a FCC-IN (Families with Children from China – Indiana) parent:

“I just got off the phone with Scott Rowe, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Communication at Warner Bros. You will be happy to know that they have changed their marketing materials and have removed the offending statement “It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own” has been removed from all future trailers.

A few items of note:

. The current trailer (with the offending statement) will still be used during the previews of the horror film “Drag Me to Hell”, which opens this week-end. Unfortunately, on such short notice, there was nothing that can be done about this.

. The next movie that the trailer will be shown at is “The Hangover”, which comes out June 15th. By this time, the current trailer will be replaced with the new trailer (sans statement).

. They will swap out the trailers for all television advertising. They have not yet begun advertising for this film yet, so there should be no worries of children seeing it.

. The current trailer is still on the Web site, but they are working to rectify that immediately and Scott has spoken with the Warner Bros. Web team about this again this afternoon.

. Because the film is Rated-R, it will only be shown as a trailer for other Rated-R films. The trailer will also only be shown on television after 10 p.m. (i.e. not during times when young children would be expected to watch).

As I am sure many of you have assumed, there is a hook to the film that ultimately removes the child/orphan stigma, which is neither here nor there as it relates to current public positioning of the film — and that issue is no more.

The producers and distributor took your concerns to heart and have made the changes in the public-facing marketing materials that we had hoped.

I would like to add that Scott mentioned that Warner Bros. employees get death threats for things as trivial as changing the release date of the new Harry Potter film. “Yet, the adoption community, who are protecting their children and who have every right to be angry, has been nothing but respectful.” he said.

Kuddos to all of you! Please do pass this information along so that others can know that their voice was heard.”

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Filed under Adoption, Adoption Issues, Advocacy, In the News

Reluctant Relatives

Sometimes the whole family isn’t on-board with the decision to adopt, especially if the adoption is of a child that differs ethnically or racially.


My father–in-law was, Bruce, “concerned” when we told him of the decision to adopt from China. He said something once and then kept his feelings to himself. That alone spoke volumes about how he felt. This was a man I loved deeply, but was known to tell the occasional off-color joke. Mark and I had already made our decision and proceeded with the adoption. No one was going to dissuade us. We hoped he’d come around.


One of the adoption support networks, Families with Children from China, Indiana, creates and sells a beautiful annual calendar. My father-in-law saw it and told us, “I can’t wait to meet my granddaughter.”  We were so happy to hear that his heart was open.


When we arrived home with Josi ten months later, Bruce was there to greet her at the airport. After Holden, he was next to hold her. She went right to him. He held her close, kissing her, his face infused with love.


Bruce came over the next morning, but Josi pushed him away after feeling his beard. She didn’t like the scratchiness of his whiskers. He returned later that day, clean shaven.  She snuggled up with him. p7200447


Bruce came daily, always making sure he had no beard. Josi had her own special name for him – “Pa”. 


I never heard Bruce tell another off-color joke or allow one in his presence. He opened his heart to his other grandchildren as they came home, embracing them with his unconditional love.




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Filed under Adoption Issues, International Adoption, Multicultural Families, Parenting