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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The news after a long week away

First, the latest as of today out of Nepal:

Reshuffel delays listing

Kathmandu: Under the recent reshuffle of 45 Joint Secretaries the Coordinator of the International Adoption Investigation Recommendation Committee Mr. Binod Kumar Adhikari and Coordinator of Matching Committee of Central Child Welfare Board Mr. Mahendra Bahadur Shrestha have also been transferred. This has slowed the listing process of international adoption agencies, the listing process was almost done otherwise. The two Joint Secretaries have been transferred to the Prime Minister’s office. Ms. Mandira Poudyal and Mr. Hari Krishna Poudyal has replaced as Joint Secretaries at Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare though it’s not yet decided who will fill in at which post.

And the latest from China:

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered before February 28, 2007.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered before February 09, 2006.

The current wait is 31 months from LID which means we still have 13 months to go.

Also, this was an interesting article:

Post-Olympics Step One: Illegalizing De Facto Adoption

After months of speculation and behind-the-door negotiation and brainstorming, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs has finally received the blessing and support of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Health, and the General Office of Family Planning Commission and published the Notification on Resolving Issues Related to Domestic Common-law Adoption on September 22, 2008.

There are many reasons for the gradual decline of the orphan population in China . Private de facto adoption in China is considered to be one of the major factors. It has been a growing trend in recent years that abandoned children found by private Chinese citizens are often not delivered to the government-run orphanages—social welfare houses, as the Chinese government calls them—but kept by the “finders” and therefore become part of a “de facto” adoption.

When a child is abandoned and subsequently delivered to an orphanage, the orphanage will first publish an announcement to look for the child’s birth parents for sixty days. If no birth parents or relatives come forward to reclaim the child, the child will legally be under the government’s custody, which allows the child the following benefits: receiving a birth certificate and a certificate of residency, which is essential for the child to receive public education, Medicare, and other governmental benefits that a legal citizen/resident is entitled to.

Since no de facto adoptions go through a public announcement for a birth-parent search—a necessary legal step to grant a child’s legal status—all the children of de facto adoption become illegitimate citizens (or “black residents” as they are commonly called in China) and therefore face the real possibility and danger of losing legal protection in the event of “adoptive” parental divorce, family financial difficulties, issues of inheritance, public education, future employment, and so on.

The CCAA strongly believes that legal protection for these children and finding them a loving home internationally far outweigh the de facto adoptive parents’ desire to raise the children they “found.” The latest announcement is no doubt a huge success for the CCAA’s advocacy on behalf of the abandoned children.

How will this impact international adoption, or specifically the time frame of child match? It is hard to guess its short-term impact, but in long run, the CCAA expects not only the final stop of expansion but eventual shortening of the wait-time, if the Notification is carefully and effectively followed.
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In other news, we just got home today after a week of house hunting in Chicago and now, drumroll please....we put an offer down on a place in Chicago on Friday! We saw around 20 condos in 3 days and then went back to 3 for a second look. In the evenings, we hung out in the neighborhoods and talked to people walking home after work from the L. Wednesday I hung out in the local playlot and talked to parents and then went to the BEACH! for the afternoon before Len got off work. So, we decided on a place, made the offer on Friday, spent the rest of the day Friday and a great portion of Saturday haggling out the details of the offer with the seller and voila! We signed the contract and forked over our earnest money deposit. Now, we just have to sell this house!

Based on voice mails, we had 9 realtors show the house while we were gone and our realtor said about 25 groups of people came for the open house. We are also getting a fair amount of web traffic generated through realtors and web-based house searches.

I will try to post pics tomorrow of our new place and of the trip in general. For now, our new condo is located in Uptown about 4-5 blocks from the lake/beach in the city of Chicago. Yay.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Moving to Chicago Party

We had 54 of our closest friends over on Saturday. Len and I were honored to have so many friends come to help us say goodbye to DC. We have only lived here 10 years but we have made some really great friends and we will truly miss throwing these parties. Please enjoy the photos!

Monday, September 15, 2008

From Nepali Times

Click here for an article about the Nepali government's response to the UNICEF/TDH report.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Name Game (it's harder than it sounds)

We have now been waiting for our Nepal adoption for 25 weeks. According to American Pregnancy.org this week my FBH should offer to give me a mani/pedi. That would be great...if he weren't in Chicago. At least we can look forward to the perineal massage that he should be offering to do at week 34.

The same website assures me that my current weight gain of 16-22 lbs is perfectly normal and required for a healthy delivery. The fact that it is the result of stress eating and not gestation need not be mentioned.

Since there is no equivalent chart for the gestation we are experiencing with our China baby (73 weeks and counting) I am focusing on gestation #2 which may result in baby #1 (will that screw up their birth order personalities?).

It also recommends we start thinking about names for our baybees. We are planning on keeping at least part of our children’s given names and integrating it with a Western name to indicate their dual heritage. Since we don’t know yet what our girl’s names will be it is hard to settle upon a Western name. Will it sound good with her given name? What will the initials spell out? Can it be rhymed with something less than flattering…Shaggy Maggie for the unfortunate girl who is not follicularly challenged, Zitty Kitty for the girl with an oil refinery on her face...don't tell me you don't remember middle school...

Since I am hyphenated, do we torture her with that name or just ditch my maiden name? I personally think the combination of a Western-sounding name, a China/Nepali name followed by a Hungarian-Czech name is a recipe for stardom.

So my blog readers, let me hear your opinions. What are some of your favorite names? Least favorite names? Leave your choices in the comment section—I am quite interested in hearing your suggestions!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Listing of Children's homes announced: 38 listed

Per Adoptionnepal.com today:

Listing of Homes Announced: 38 Listed

Kathmandu: The Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare has recently announced the names of 38 orphanages allowing them to do adoptions according to the new terms and conditions. 48 children homes had applied for listing. After close study and several checkings of the children homes from government levels, 38 children homes were listed. These homes can now recommend children who are free for adoption to the government of Nepal. GON will be matching the child and family or applicant as per the new terms and conditions of International Adoption.

The listed homes are Nepal Children Organization, Hamro Ghar Nepal, Sangrackchan Bal Thata Mahila Anath Kendra, Bal Asa Kendra, Asaya Bal Balika Sanragchan Griha, OCID Nepal, Kanti Bal Griha, Ama Nepal, Sanjevani Children Home, Asaya BalBalika Sikcha Kendra, Baristha Bal Griha, Swa Griha, Anath Balbatika Sangh, Sangrackhan Ashish Bal Ghar, Nepal Children Home, Matriwatsalya Nepal, Saiyogi Smaj, Bal Ujwal Bhawishya Nepal, Bharosa Nepal, Kathamandu Bal Bikas Samaj, Sanyogi Smaj, Bal Chahari, Hoped Bal Tahtha Mahila Uthan Samaj, Sahara Samuha, Panchakanya Bal Bikas Sang Children Home, Bal Kalyan Kendra, Sagarmatha Children Home, Nepal Prerna Samaj, Nepal Helpless Children Home, Mitratako Bagaicha, Asaya Thata Tuhara Bal Balika Sangrakchan Foundation Nepal, Maiti Nepal, Shristi Nepal, Surya Bal Kalyan Sewa Kendra, Bal Bhawishya Sangathan Nepal and Prayas Nepal.

Likewise, the listing of international agencies are expected to be announced soon.

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Once the list of international agencies is announced, it is expected that matching will begin. So today is one step forward...

An update on us: Len's last day at work here was Thursday and now he's working in Chicago until Friday. I still have a few things to do before one of our photo shoots on Wednesday. We got our portico painted and some new house numbers installed, recarpeted the main stairs, and I finished doing some touch up painting in the basement and in the kitchen. Today I will recaulk the tub upstairs and start the staging of the house for the photo shoot. Monday or Tuesday I need to plant some fall flowers and do some mulching.

Saturday is our last big party so I need to start getting some food and drinks gathered for that. Looks like we'll have over 50 people here for that! Then on the 16th we are having a longer photo shoot for the virtual tour that will be on a website listing our house which will hit the market on the 18th.

In the meantime, Len met with our Chicago realtor yesterday and went on a several hour tour of city of Chicago neighborhoods so we can narrow down the 132 listings that I've culled through. We are planning on living in the city and doing the condo thing. Although by condo thing I don't mean large towering condo on the lake. We're looking at smaller units much like what you would see in Dupont Circle or Greenwich Village--3-6 units in a row-house type setting. We figure it's easier to start in the city and then if we don't like it, move to a suburb than the other way around. It will be a big change from living in a single family home in the 'burbs but we're pretty excited for the opportunities of a big city!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Interim minister

This explains why the new Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare has not been named.

If you'd like to see some photos of the new Cabinet members click here.

Our Nepal adoption agency has been in contact with her sources in Nepal and basically said that the Nepali government has already introduced the new law for intercountry adoption and has called for new licensing procedures for any agency that wants to facilitate adoptions in Nepal. Even though our agency had already completed adoptions in Nepal she had to re-file based on these new rules. Also, all adoptions now go through the government not individual orphanages. Hopefully these new measures will prevent the adoption of children who are not truly orphaned. Nepal has not announced which agencies are fully licensed yet so we wait with everyone else to hear.

Busy Labor Day weekend

We are having a busy weekend here that actually started last week. Getting the house ready to market has not been the most fun and has included scrubbing and staining the deck, putting in sod where the vegie garden used to be, cleaning up the flower/herb gardens and putting down mulch, touch up painting in basement and kitchen, trimming the bushes and tree branches, cleaning out the closets to make them appear "bigger", moving furniture around to make rooms look "bigger", and re-stacking the firewood in a compact, neat pile. Now I don't want to move, it's all so nice! Next weekend I will plant new fall flowers in the front yard.

For fun we went to the Redskins game (they played horribly but at least there was a free buffet), went to Charity Game night at Spiff and Paul's ($600 was raised to aid Nepali girls in need) and had dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant, Haandi. Enjoy the pics!

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