Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Update on China Earthquake

As most people have likely heard, as of today the death toll in China has passed 65,000. Those kinds of numbers are inconceivable to me, and the photographs are devastating.

The Chinese government is working hard to reunite families, and is working to expedite local adoption of children orphaned by the earthquake. I am impressed that the government is trying to provide not only food and shelter but also counseling to the people affected.

According to updates on Half the Sky, it appears that the children in the majority of the orphanages in the region are safe with many now living in tents. I wish the children in the schools had been so lucky.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tragedy in China

Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province experienced a massive 7.8 – 8.0 earthquake last night. The initial reports suggest more than 7,000 people have lost their lives. This is also one of the main research and breeding centers for endangered giant pandas. Significant damage is reported in several counties in Sichuan Province, some of which report collapse of as much as 80 percent of the buildings. More minor damage is reported in the large cities of Chengdu and Chongqing, as well as the Gansu and Yunnan Provinces. Please pray for the families who have lost loved ones, those who cannot get in contact with loved ones due to loss of communications, families currently in Sichuan Province to adopt their babies, as well as those who have recently been matched with children in orphanages in the vicinity of the epicenter. I am sure we will hear more as the day progresses.

Half the Sky and Love without Boundaries have set up funds to help children affected by the earthquake, including providing care and housing for orphaned children and for children temporarily separated from their families http://www.halfthesky.org/ and http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/

Thursday, May 8, 2008


We purchased these suitcases for our trips to Kazakhstan (and future travel if they hold up ok). Aren’t they cute! I hope the dots are not too much for traveling to Kazakhstan, but we do not really intend to walk around much with them while we are in country. The suitcases are hard sided, supposedly tough, and really light. The large suitcase only weighs 10 pounds, so that will help with weight restrictions. Our current plan is to check the middle and large ones and then take large backpacks as our carry-ons/computer bags. We may decide to get another medium sized one rather than taking the large. I know we should try to pack light, but we’ll see how we do. Having a bad allergy to laundry detergents makes me wary of assuming I will just wash everything there. I have heard people recommend Charlie’s soap, which dissolves even in cold water, so maybe I will try it. I hate trying new laundry detergents, though, since bad hives make me miserable.

Monday, May 5, 2008


We heard from our adoption coordinator today that our dossier has left the Consulate! This is all she wrote:

“Jim just e-mailed me. Your dossier is back in Kazakhstan.”

This is great news, but I want more details! Is it logged in at the MFA? Why didn’t she use the words “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” but instead just said “in Kazakhstan”? When did it arrive at the MFA? What timeline are we looking at now? I wish she had not said “back” in Kazakhstan because the word implies backwards progress. I know that our dossier was there during translation, so I assume that is what she means. I am trying to read a lot into a one-line email.

We got a little more information. Our dossier should be registered at the MFA some time this week. Our coordinator thinks that we still have about a 3 month wait until region assignment. I had hoped it would be quicker since we are open to either gender, but 3 months is not too bad. It does potentially mean travel in winter, though, which I had hoped to avoid. We will see what happens, there are still too many variables to make accurate predictions.

Friday, May 2, 2008

China - May Referrals

Wow, I can't believe it has been another month already. China referrals came out today. The official cut-off has not yet been announced, but it is looking like the cut-off is 1/12/2006. This is a fairly big batch based on the Rumor Queen polls, but it is hard to get too excited about a 3-day batch. I cannot believe China may only cover one month of 2006 LIDs before the Olympics.

I admit I did not read the reactions this month, in part because it is hard to hear the stories of so many upset people. Also, I am absolutely swamped at work. If anyone knows an archaeologist with a Master's degree who wants a job, let me know!