Sunday, July 1, 2012

Help Orphaned Children in China Hold up Their Half of the Sky

On the Wings of a Dragon

This summer Jingju is participating in Art from the Heart: Half the Sky's third annual art-a-thon fundraiser. Jingju created this work of art to raise money for the children still waiting in China’s welfare institutions for their forever families.

Half the Sky works to enrich the lives of orphaned children in China by
  • Establishing and operating infant nurture and preschool programs
  • Providing personalized learning for older children
  • Establishing loving permanent foster care, medical care and guidance for children with disabilities.
I believe that every orphaned child must have a caring adult in her life and the chance Jingju had for a bright future.

We have set a personal goal to raise $600.00 in donations by July 31. We need your help in order to reach our goal! Please join us in supporting this very important cause by sponsoring Jingju's artistic effort. You can sponsor online through our personal fundraising page - It’s easy and secure, and you can see our progress towards achieving our goal. Follow this Link to donate.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day, China, and Artifacts

Jingju (right), Tessa (left)

I received an incredible Mother's Day gift sent via text from China. Jingju's friend, Yanni, and her mom are in China adopting Yanni's new sister. They visited the orphanage and were allowed inside, which rarely happens. Apparently the children were moved to a new building shortly after Jingju and her friends left. The building Jingju grew up in now sits empty of life and frozen in time. Almost everything is still there-- the walls decorated with art and photographs, Chinese lanterns and decorations still hang from the ceiling left over from a dance performance. In the bedroom, Jingju's name and the names of her little sisters are still written on the walls in crayon. The beds are now gone from the room, but Jingju's name is scrawled high up on the wall where she would have scribbled it from the top of her bunk bed. The picture at the right is of Jingju with Tessa. It was still up on a wall along with the above picture that Jingju made in 2006. Yanni's mom is bringing it back for us. The nannies also made a video letter to send home to Jingju and her friends.

I have mixed emotions about receiving this and other information from Beihai. I am so grateful to the Beihai and Half the Sky caregivers for the loving care Jingju received. I am also very happy for the children currently living at Beihai who now have a new building and perhaps an even better living environment.  I'm so happy to hear that the nannies remember our girls. And to be receiving more pieces of my daughter's history three years later is such an unexpected gift. I have always wanted to believe that Jingju left an impression on those who cared for her. We are so fortunate to have a thorough documentation of Jingju's early years growing up in China. But while I know that whether or not her first home stands empty, or filled with the daily bustle of children, Jingju left 5 1/2 years of history behind her there. I can't help feeling a sense of Jingju having been abandoned and found again. The thought of her drawing, so vibrant with her spirit, or her dear little face fading in a photograph on a forgotten wall in Beihai just makes me sad. Yet I have these precious artifacts rescued from a fate of certain decay--I have the chance to honor their importance.

I plan to take Jingju to China in about 2 years when she'll be 10. Jingju has been starting to verbalize her questions and feelings about her abandonment and her life in China. She recently told me that she's sad she can no longer speak Chinese, and she is afraid she won't be able to communicate with her nanny when we visit. She even fears her nanny will have forgotten her. It is with all this in mind that I project my sadness on Jingju's behalf about the condition of her first home. I don't know that we would be allowed inside, or if her building will even still be standing when we eventually return. I continue to be so hungry for any pieces of the puzzle of Jingju's past, and I know there are pieces that will always be missing. Well, I guess it's not just for Jingju that I'm sad. I didn't realize how important it was to me to go to Beihai until I found out about the changes at the orphanage. But time moves us on--Jingju just keeps growing, life in china continues without Jingju, and I am just trying to hold on to what I can for me and my girl.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jingju has been studying Kempo for about two years now. 
She recently earned her green belt with brown stripe. 
She is here pictured in her sparring gear. 
She is one tough cookie.

Monday, February 20, 2012