April 28, 2017

For Potential Adoptive Parents/ Adoptive Parents

Hi CCI, 
 I have been working on compiling a list of things that I want to share with potential adoptive parents and adoptive parents in general. 
 I can only speak from my experience as a Chinese adoptee and only speak for myself. Anything written here is not sponsored by China's Children International and is simply my opinion. This is also not a call out post, but rather things I have thought about for a long and hard time that I think are important to say. Ultimately, this post is real, but I hope that through being honest it can be helpful for parents. At the end of the day, I'm here to make sure that adopted kids don't feel  as alone in this as I did as a kid. I want smaller versions of me to build a healthy identity and feel worthy, to feel brilliant as they are, and to feel a sense of belonging. And in many ways the adoptive parents have a huge role in this. Thanks for reading! 
  • If you are adopting from an Asian country because you don’t want a child of color (aka a Black child), stop and reflect and understand that Asians are people of color too. We are labeled as minorities and will be seen as foreigners in the US even though this is our home. If you cannot be an ally to your immigrant, child of color please do not adopt internationally. Also, if you dislike the place the child comes from and are not willing to respect the community from which they come, don’t adopt from there.
  • Chinese dance and making dumplings are great (very fun and important)! But I cannot stress how important it is to have real life role models who look like us. The kids need real life examples of adults who look like them, so they don’t feel that they are the only one in the world like themselves. Role models can be found through mentor groups like Connect a Kid.
  • Unfortunately, your love does not make issues surrounding adoption go away. The world is unfair and it is naive to believe that the love of the adoptive family will protect a child from racism, issues with identity, and policies that impact them as immigrants and as people of color. Like no amount of love will protect a child who’s adoptive parents didn’t do the correct paperwork for their citizenship. So love your kid, but also stay informed and be willing to be their advocate. 
  • Adoption comes from loss. While as adoptive parents you might feel “lucky”, just a reminder that another family has lost a child. Please come from a place of humility and know that this child was placed in your life from a previous family. From a real-life family of human beings with feelings and hopes and dreams just like you.
  • If your child is not talking about race, identity, birth parents, etc. that does not mean they are not thinking about it (ex: I thought it was normal to be called Chinese kid instead of my name. And so I never told my parents because I thought I deserved the way I was being treated). Dialogue, truly listen, and create a space in which the child feels comfortable talking about this with you. Make sure they know that in talking about birthparents, race, or identity they are not hurting you.
  • Finally, Chinese people have been successfully rearing children for thousands of years. So just because the family is poor doesn’t mean that these people are immediately disqualified from raising a child. Indeed, Chinese are highly capable of raising children, they’ve been doing it longer than almost anyone else in the world. So please don’t dehumanize the people of their birth country, people everyday are raised and thrive in China. Instill a sense of pride in your child that they are Chinese and a member of this ancient ancestry.

August 11, 2014

For my CCI sisters, Charlotte and Jessie :)

Dear CCI Friends & Family,

I am in love...in France! His name is Ben (le chien), and isn't he beautiful? He's only 3. This past weekend we went to the market (the Saturday marché)...we found beautiful plump purple tomatoes, artichoke hearts (reminds me of the giant ones I shared with my cousin Stephanie near Notting Hill in London), rosy orange carrots, a box of fresh peaches, and of course, plenty of fromages (cheeses).


Normally Ben walks sans leash, but in a market setting there are far too many temptations - including cheese, bread (like any true Francophone, Ben loves bread & cheese - his eyes grow large at the slightest whiff), other puppies, interesting people (possible contenders for a good sniff or a jolly and generous lick?), and other exciting goodies. 

Sometimes Ben cannot contain his excitement and lifts Jen straight off the ground, sending us both flying through the air as he lunges towards fellow four-pawed friends au marchéWith his shiny dark fur he gets hot v. quickly, so we made sure to give him regular sips from a water bottle today.

"A Dog Abroad: Monsieur Baron Ben-le-Chien in France Diaries"...(tbc).

Much Love, 

August 1, 2014

Happy Summer to my CCI Sisters!

- e.e. cummings

(Cross-posted from One World: Chinese Adoptee Links Blog.)

Dear CCI Friends and Family,

Greetings from France! Hope you're enjoying some time off this summer. I'm in the process of making some healthy changes, and will share more in a bit (still getting settled in Europe).

Much Love,

July 23, 2014

Taking a Break

Hello CCI Members,

Just a quick post. We are taking a break from this blog. To get the latest CCI updates, please visit our website here: http://www.chinaschildreninternational.org/

Thank you!

May 25, 2014

A New Partnership with Connect-a-kid!

Hi everyone! Happy spring!
Charlotte and Laney, here, reporting from Central Park in New York, New York, where we have just attended a picnic, sponsored by the New York branch of the non-profit  Connect-A-Kid, for adoptee mentors and mentees!  It was such a great day to hang out together, play ball, and eat Italian subs in the shade.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Connect-A-Kid (CAK), CAK, founded by Korean Adoptee Brian Conyer, is a non-profit organization that provides post-adoption services to adopted children and their families in the form of a mentorship program.   In their words, “the group-mentoring approach will help ensure a safe and interactive experience for each child.  Children will benefit not only from the mentors, but also from their peers in their group. We believe each group offers a diverse and culturally rich dynamic that will help adopted child to view adoption as nothing else but normal.”

China’s Children International first got in contact with Connect-a-kid about a year ago, and we were intrigued. Here at CCI, we truly believe in what CAK is trying to do - building a strong and healthy adoptee community for years to come through fun, safe, and engaging programs for the younger adoptees of our generation. But we wanted to see how the programs run in person, and try to get a feel for what the program is all about, so that’s why we travelled all the way to New York City to attend an event as special visitors.

The specific event we attended was run by the New York branch at the famous Central Park and brought together local adult adoptees with a group of youth adoptees to play, hang out, and bond with one another, through playful activities and a nearby puppet show run by a park entertainer. The event itself was not centered around adoption related discussion but rather it was a fun playdate for young adoptees to interact with adult adoptees. However, both the parents and the mentors understand and appreciate all of the benefit that can eventually emerge from a program like Connect-a-kid. Speaking from an adult adoptee perspective, we both wish a program such as this had been available when we were children.

After having attended this amazing event, seeing first hand the impact and sheer joy the adult and youth adoptees gain, we are even more excited to officially announce CCI’s partnership with Connect-A-Kid. That’s right - we plan to work on developing a CCI / CAK mentorship program specifically for the Chinese Adoptee community based on Connect-A-Kid’s model! Stay tuned for CCI’s Connect-A-Kid pilot program to launching in a select city in California this fall. More information to come!

Final shout out and a great big thank you goes to Brian Conyer, Meg Vandervort, Chris, and Paul from Connect-A-Kid. We are so grateful for the chance to learn and model ourselves after such a wonderful organization!

Check Connect-a-kid out here: http://www.connectakid.org

May 23, 2014

Play Based on Message From An Unknown Chinese Mother

Hi CCI Members, 
Just wanted to pass this info along to you all! More details are below.

- CCI Team


Rick Shiomi has written a stage play adapted from the book Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xinran, which will be performed in St. Paul Minnesota.  

In his own words: “For the play, I have selected several of the stories in her book and framed them with Greek Chorus like commentaries, imagined scenes and Xinran's own personal story about Little Snow, the baby girl that she tried to become the foster mother for but eventually lost.  Because the stories are so powerful and traumatic, the Greek Chorus commentaries and scenes are often ironic and humorous in looking at the political and systemic forces that have generated the phenomenon of Chinese women having to give up their baby girls or worse.  My play looks at the impact Xinran's work had in reporting these stories, with the conclusion that she was one of the leaders in questioning the validity of Chinese traditions and the One Child Policy in terms of how they have come together to negatively impact the lives of both the birth mothers and baby girls.  There is a social revolution happening in China in terms of the place and treatment of baby girls and Xinran's writing and reporting have played a role in that.”

After working extensively with the Korean Adoptee community, Shiomi is excited to take on this adaptation of Xinran’s novel.  Shiomi is the recipient of the Sally Ordway Irvine award for Vision, The award for Leadership from State Council of Asian Pacific Minnesotans and the Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement in the local Minnesota theater community.

He will be presenting a workshop performance of this new play on May 30th and 31st at 7:30 pm and June 1st at 2 pm at Dreamland Arts, 677 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul, MN. 55104. This event is FREE though seating is limited. To make a reservation to attend, go to the website for dreamlandarts.com  and go to ticketing. Suggested for adoptive parents and older adoptees due to the graphic nature of some of the stories.

May 11, 2014

3rd Birthday Video!

We need your help to make this project a success!! 

Check out our videos to find out what we're talking about! 
Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra5oCDS6vak
Sneak peak of celebration video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L4j_Qir3xc&feature=youtu.be

It only takes a few minutes to record yourself and email us your video clip!  
We can't wait to share the final video, but we can't do this without your help -- so spread the word and get excited!!!

April 13, 2014

Letters For Them

Hey CCI Blog readers! 

We've just been contacted about by Chinese adoptee and RISD Junior Robin about an awesome project that she is leading!
In her own words (and pictures!)...
"Letters for Them is an ongoing project I started at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). I was adopted from Hefei, China in 1994 at eight months old. I am currently a junior at RISD pursuing a BFA in Graphic Design. I'm constantly looking for ways to explore my personal history in my work. For a while now I've had this idea...

It all began when I found some old drawings I had made as a kid (maybe six or seven years old). They were letters that I had written to my birthparents when I was first beginning to understand where I came from. They were never sent as neither I nor my mom know my birthparents nor had any way of contacting/finding them.  We went back to China between my senior year of high school and my first year at RISD. While there, we were able to visit my orphanage, which has since changed quite a lot. We saw my file, which like we had expected, offered no new information as to who these unknown people were/are. Since then I continue thinking about what I'd want to say to them if I ever did have the chance to meet them. Letters for Them came as an idea that perhaps other adoptees think about this as well. Wouldn't it be cool if we all had a common place to send thesetechnically unsendable letters? Thus, Letter for Them was born. 

Letters for Them is an open invitation to any and all adoptees. No matter how old you are or where you were adopted, whether you know your birthparents or not, if you are an adoptee, you are invited to participate. This is meant to be a public, open space for adoptees to write to their birthfathers and/or birthmothers. The letters can be as creative as you wish; they may be simply typed or handwritten notes or they may be collages, drawings, etc. Another way to think about this: given the chance to say anything to your birthparents, what would you really want to say? What would you want them to know about?"

On May 1st the letters collected thus far will be made into a book for her family album class at RISD. Learn more about her open invitation on her website Lettersforthem.com

April 6, 2014

Calling All CCI Members- Be a Part Our New Promo Video!

Calling all CCI members! 

In honor of CCI's 3rd birthday this May, we are making a new promo video featuring our members. One of the amazing things about CCI is the fact that our members are not only from all around China but also they now live all around the world.

If you are interested in being apart of this promo video, please submit a video recording of yourself in a place that includes scenery from where you are currently living. All forms of video recordings are accepted.

in the video you will say: " I was born in: city & province, I now live in: city & state or city & province" 

Please send your videos to chinachildreninternational@gmail.com

April 5, 2014

Update for CCI

Dear Jessie and CCI Family,

As many of you know, I'm very excited to announce that I am in the early stages of pre-production for my first adoption documentary film (based in part on my Ph.D. research, as well as my personal adoption journey). I'd love your feedback as the film develops.

Meanwhile, since many publishers have been approaching me to review books over the past few years, I'm delighted to introduce a new blog for book reviews called My Inspiration Garden.

If you've written a book, or would like a review your book posted, you can write to me directly at jenniferjuesteuck@post.harvard.edu, and I'd be delighted to read and write about your work.


Much Love,

March 23, 2014

Survey Opportunity

Study Advertisement: 

Hello! My name is Candice Presseau, and I am graduate student in the College of Education at Lehigh University. I am currently completing my doctoral dissertation research study under the supervision of my dissertation co-chairs, Dr. Cirleen DeBlaere and Dr. Arpana Inman, and am interested in studying the life experiences and well-being of racial minority individuals who have been transracially adopted by White parents or a White single parent. It is our hope that with this study, we can contribute to the understanding of the experiences of adopted persons raised by parents with different racial backgrounds and experiences from their own perspectives. Your participation is essential to achieving this goal, so we hope that you will take part in our study.

In order to participate, you must identify as a member of racial minority group, have been transracially adopted by White parents or single White parent, currently live in North America, and be 18 years of age or older. If you would like to participate in our study, please click on the link below and you will be directed to the online survey:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/transracialadoptionsurvey.

Thank you very much in advance for your time! Please feel free to pass on this link to other people who might be eligible. If you have any question about this study, please feel free to contact me at cdp309@lehigh.edu. This research has been approved by the Lehigh University Institutional Review Board (IRB# 397756-2).

Candice Presseau, M.A.

March 6, 2014

March 3, 2014

FCCLA Project

Hi, My name is Amy Huang, I currently live in Georgia and i’m a senior in high school. I’m doing a project for FCCLA, a national club where i’m doing a project where I'm advocating for the rights of Chinese Girls who were/are adopted from China. I would love to hear feedback/ have an interview/ ask questions to adoptees who are interested. My questions would include basically your personal experiences, thoughts on the whole adoption process, the struggles you face being an adoptee and etc;. I understand this may be a sensitive and personal topic to some, but i will try to be sensitive to your feelings, also. Since this is a project, people will see the information given to me (basically just my school advisers and judges) about your experiences, but if you choose for me not to mention your name and personal facts, i will respect that. I won’t sell or take advantage of your information, but will only use it for this project to get people more aware of this topic. If you are interested, or know of someone who has been been adopted or is an adoptee please leave me a message at amy_huang1@yahoo.com If possible, i would like to receive these by Thursday or sooner. Thank-you! -Amy Huang

February 28, 2014

Case Study Opportunity

CCI received an email from Sophia Gonfiotti-Mattingly. She is doing a study that will "help give a voice to our unique population and help inform the understanding of their needs. This study includes a short 20-30 minute survey.

"The results of this study will be used to further the goals of the participant community as they are truly the only ones who know where the work needs to be done. It may be used to help develop parent educational programs for adoption agencies, independent workshops, seminars and text for adoptive parents and their children and to educate and inform the population at large, etc... "

CCI just wanted to spread the word to the adoptee community!

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VZC9KL6

Thank you,


February 20, 2014