Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Earthquake In China

Like many China adoptive families, we've been closely  following the news on the devastating aftermath of the earthquake in China.   While our girls are not from the area most impacted by the earthquake, we are certain La Nina's province felt it.  The Magster hails from far South China and it's entirely possible they didn't feel the shaking.  

While I look at pictures of schools flattened by the tremor and parents grieving the children lost in the destruction, I'm so greatly saddened.  These people have lived their entire lives with the One-Child Policy and the children who died were most likely their only child.  The odds of the government allowing them another child is probably low, so they've lost everything: their child, their houses, their hope for care in their old age...everything.  

But parents aren't the only ones grieving.  According to the daily reports sent by Half the Sky, newly orphaned children are now beginning to flow into the SWIs who have little capacity to care for them.  Many of the orphanages in Sichuan were damaged, at least one was destroyed but most of those children were in foster care and survived.  According to the reports, the SWIs are receiving assistance from the government as well as different charitable organizations, but certainly trying to care for injured, grief-stricken children in tents with bottled water and military rations is no easy task.  

I trust the reports from Half the Sky.  I believe their information more than the general media.  I have enough experience with China to know that the journalists are tightly controlled with the Olympics less than three months away and anything on AP, Reuters or any other news source is highly sanitized.  

I debated telling the girls about the earthquake and in the end, I decided to do it.  There was too much risk that La Nina would hear about it at school and I hated the thought of her hearing the news from anyone but me.  Her response was concern for her birth family, which was certainly understandable.  I told her in all likelihood they were fine, which assuming they are still in Anhui province, is true.  The Magster commented "so sad".  And she's right.  It is sad.  

With the publicly projected death toll around 50,000 (and I expect the real number is higher), you have to wonder the impact this tragedy will have on China adoption.  Will the government continue to clamp down on the process or open it up to assist finding the children newly orphaned homes faster?  It's hard to say.  But for all the waiting families, my fingers are crossed that the government will do what is best for everyone.  Lighten up the one child policy in the impacted areas and allow the orphaned children to find new families as soon as possible.    


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