Monday, December 4, 2006

Hello... it's China Calling...

So, I've been considering for a while whether or not to start a blog as we get nearer to having our 3rd child join our family. There are, of course, pros and cons to blogging... as well as most other things in life, I guess.

My two major concerns with blogging have to do with:
1) the privacy of my children- they are not old enough to give me informed consent to blab the details of their private lives all over the internet; &
2) who am I, really, to think that anyone would be interested enough in what I have to say to read my blog!?! Not that I am all that self-effacing, but anyone who writes a blog has to have a bit of an ego to think that it's worth reading, right?

Obviously, after weighing these pros and cons, I've decided to blog, since I figured that I could do lots to protect my children's privacy by simply not talking about some things, and if no one reads the blog, then that's not *really* a problem, is it?

Once having decided to take the plunge into the blog pool, the next thing I had to come up with was a snappy name or title. I've been mulling that one over for a couple of days, when, driving with my husband today, I asked for his cell phone to check for messages on our answering machine. He said, "What are you doing- seeing if China called?" (tongue-in-cheek, of course).

That was it... the name for the blog... China Calling! Because, in fact, I *was* checking to see if China had called, so to speak. Actually, China will not call us, but our adoption agency will... sometime... maybe even within the next couple of months... with news about the little boy, our son, who is waiting for us in China. We don't know his name yet, and we don't know where he lives, but I know that he is meant to be with us and we with him.

We have applied to the Chinese Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) to adopt a boy, up to 2 years old, with a congenital heart defect. The name of the program that we are adopting through is the "Waiting Child Program"- referring to the fact that there are children in Social Welfare Institutes (orphanages) and in foster care with medical conditions (many either already corrected or correctable) that are "ready and waiting" to be placed in a forever family.

Sadly, the birth families of these children are often not able to raise them because medical care in China is VERY, very costly. So, a child with a medical condition, such as a heart defect or cleft lip/palate (two of the most common medical conditions of Waiting Children), born to a working or middle-class family in China, has little hope for receiving any necessary medical treatment if he or she remains in the birth family. As well, there may be social stigmas attached to children with certain medical conditions in China, and birth parents can face a lot of pressure to relinquish their child and try again for a healthier one. Remember that China has a "One-Child Policy"... which is actually less strict in some provinces but often requires families to pay the government hefty fees for having additional children.

These sort of social and economic factors often conspire to result in children, those with medical needs and often those without, finding themselves living outside their birth families in SWIs or foster care. Some of these children are permitted to be adopted by families in other countries who have proved to the CCAA that they are committed to the child and will raise him or her as if he/she had entered the family by birth.

A family's journey to a child living in another country is not always an easy one- there are MANY blogs that will testify to that! But it is a journey worth recording, and a journey worth reflecting on... and I think that's the main reason why I decided to go ahead with this blog.

So, by now you know that my blog entries are just going to be TOO LONG and probably too boring for the casual "blog surfer"! So be it- this is my diary of how my family is bushwacking through new (to us) adoption territory! You're very welcome to drop in, see how we're doing, and even comment on some of the issues that international adoption raises for me personally. I look forward to "meeting" you!


kim said...

Hi Carolyn,
Stumpled across your blog...CONGRATS on starting one!! You will have fun with it...I have met sooo many wonderful people who are adopting aswell!!
Look forward to following along your journey, we may even be travelling together...who knows!!
I'm requesting the same as you, but a girl!!
Talk to you soon!!

Carolyn said...

Hi Kim-
Thanks- I think we're with the same agency (you're waiting for Channing, right!?!). If you are a different Kim, let me know your blog address!

kim said...

Yes, Carolyn this is me.....Waiting for Channing!!! I already have you "linked" to my blog under FOI Families.

Carolyn said...

Kim- when I figure out how to do it (lol!), I will link you as well.

Florence said...

Fancy meeting you on the blogging community:)

I don't know how I came across your blog...but I love reading it:)

I wonder how you got started?:)