Monday, October 10, 2005

China's Good Things...

Most of what I have read about China thus far is bleak, probably because I am focusing on issues surrounding adoption and the abandonment of little girls. I don’t want to feel that way about China; so, I am determined to find some of the heartwarming traditions and customs of the Chinese people. One I have found that is truly lovely is a tradition in Northern China of making a quilt of 100 Good Wishes for a new baby. The way it works is, 100 people send an expecting mother, 2 swatches of the same fabric along with a note of good wishes for the baby. The mother uses one swatch in a quilt for the baby and puts the other swatch in a scrapbook next to the note. The scrapbook serves as a reference of who sent each piece of fabric and the good wish associated with it.

My great-grandmother made the quilt in the picture for me. It hangs on the wall in my room at my family’s house in Vermont. Growing up I would stare at it from my bed, tracing the pattern in every possible way. I have just come to learn that this pattern is called A Trip Around the World. This pattern is defined by a series of concentric squares.

I am going to try to make a 100 Good Wishes quilt to welcome this new child. Of course I would love for all my friends and family to participate. I am going to try to incorporate some of the pattern my great-grandmother used for my quilt. When I get closer to starting the project, I will post information on what size and kind of fabric I will need. (Thankfully, I will have a good long time to work on it since I have never made a quilt!)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

One, Two...Oh Let's Make it Three!

It was never a secret that we wanted three kids, until we had 2 in 15 months. For some people that is not a challenge- for me- the planner, the detail person, the organized one- that was definitely something hard to wrap my tightly wound brain around. Luckily for me, we got well behaved babies (as toddlers they have their moments) and I started to see the incredible advantage to having two in two years. We have built-in playmates 24 hours a day, they like the same things and the same people, and frankly, I'll be done with diapers sooner than I planned!

Until about mid-summer if asked, I was definitely set on two kids. I wasn't sure why, but that was always the answer that popped out of my mouth. So many of my friends had real reasons why they were done- they felt fulfilled with two or they were just thrilled to have one of each and wanted nothing more. Although I touted that I was "done" I did not have any of these concrete reasons why.

Over the past month SJ and I have have come to the conclusion that although we feel we have everything we have ever wanted in our two kids, we would like a third to complete the picture. The strange thing is that we have NO desire to see a third version of our gene-pool cocktail. (Not to mention, I am not thrilled at the prospect of a pregnancy in a three story house) So I am very excited to tell you that we have decided to adopt a little girl from China. We would love another daughter and we have talked for many years about the desire to bring a child-in-need into our family. It is now falling into place. The only way we can seem to describe it, is that it just feels right.

I am sure that most of you are aware of the plight of baby girls in China. It is a sad sad story that did not begin with the one child policy in the 1980's but in fact began with the writings of Confucius thousands of years ago. It is a long and complicated story of a patriarchal society mired down by tradition, an unmanageably large population, and a desire to break through into the world marketplace.

Over the next few weeks and months I will post information on China, the adoption process, and links I think you all might like to see. The adoption will be roughly a 12 month process. We will probably be placed with a little girl around the age of 1 and since we would like B to be about 4 when we travel to China we will start this process in February or March of 2006. More later... SP