Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Earthquake in China

As you may be seeing there are terrible reports coming out of the southern southwest of China - recent reports say the death toll could be over 25K before the week is out. Specifically around an area in Sichuan province - where our friend (and the mother of the other two cutest children mentioned here) resides in Chengdu. A terrible 7.9 earthquake has struck leveling buildings, crumbling roads and leaving many people homeless, hungry and searching through the rubble for loved ones. Especially hard hit were several schools in the region.

It happens that we have been tuned into NPR Chengdu Diary since we have a fondness for the area and NPR so we heard about the quake rather quickly and worried. Thankfully our friend and her children are safe and sound. (Really thankful) But so many are not. You can't imagine what having this connection to a place so far away can mean. While we were waiting for the Emperor - there was that terrible snowstorm and so many children in Southern China (where the Empress originated) were cold and hungry - orphanages unprepared for winter storms in relatively warm climates. We knew our child was in a place that had probably enough blankets but might still suffer due to food shortages or lack of reliable transport for heating materials. We worried and wondered. We were united with our son and so know he was okay during that time... but as is the case in Adoption we left a little piece of ourselves behind when we boarded the plane to take our son home. Just as we left a little piece of ourselves in Jiangxi when we brought home the Empress... we can never really stop thinking about where our children came from - some days we might wish we could. Most days, we are so thankful and others... well, we just happen to be parents of children born in China.

We felt our hearts break for the parents who waited for news that the orphanage where their child waited was ok and had all it needed. Sadly many did not - and as usual the China Adoption community somehow managed to fund an Emergency Spring Storm Fund through Half the Sky called Little Mouse (in honor of the Year of the Rat being welcomed at the time of the storms) and Half the Sky has already established a Children's Relief Fund to help with the earthquake.

I can imagine how waiting parents all over the world are yearning for news... whether in China and waiting to hear that precious children are safe or half a world away waiting to hear that precious (recently referred or previously matched) children are safe. Mothers and Fathers are the same everywhere. We worry about our children - when something like this happens we rush to hug our loved ones, say thanks that they are safe and happy... but for some (too many) this will not be the case. I mourn for those children... perhaps only-children of parents who have now lost their most precious child. I mourn especially for the parents... for all the people, the world is mourning and many many many are reaching out to give aid.

China Daily News: for updates on rescue and status updates

XinHua News: news and updates, links to in-China donation sites

American Red Cross: Updates and donate specifically to China Earthquake Fund

Our Chinese Daughters Foundation: another fund to donate to relief efforts in China

Mercy Corps: Also establish a network of orgs on the ground in China to provide relief

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