Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Earthquake History I can't sleep and have been on-line trying to catch up on the latest on what is going on in China. I truly can say that some of my late night searches on the net have brought up a vast variety of topics. I have volumes and volumes of useless information stored in my head from my "research".

So, with that explanation, here we go: On the subject of earthquakes....just not necessarily this specific earthquake in China.

The largest earthquake ever in the US was on 03/27/64 and registered a 9.2!! But, I don't really know that this one should count in all fairness, because it happened at Prince William Sound. But it caused a tsunami, which in turn did to damage to land in Alaska. The records say that a total of 128 lives were lost, 15 due to the earthquake and 113 due to the tsunami. Which really leads to another question of how they know the earthquake or the tsunami killed they specific people. Maybe the 15 who the earthquake killed were on the water in Prince Wm Sound at the time?! I probably can research that specifically on-line and find out exactly how each of the 128 died, but I think I will save that for another sleepless night maybe. What in the world did we ever do without the internet?!

Okay...back to the earthquake trivia:
The largest death toll in the US from an earthquake was an earthquake in San Francisco, CA on 4/18/1906. There were approximately 3000 deaths. But again...I believe these to be somewhat "skewed" numbers...because the earthquake caused the fires that most all of us have heard many people parished due to the fire. But there would not be a fire for the earthquake.....hmmmm....point taken....why/how do people die from an earthquake? It is not like they just get shaken to death. The earthquake must cause another act that causes the death...building collapse, fire, etc....

Anyway, now I am starting to feel guilty that I am making fun of earthquakes...which I am not! It was just one thing let to another...and so on....and so on......and I ended up here:
Go ahead...type it in your will find everything you never thought you wanted to know about earthquakes.
This is what happens to a girl who grew up in the Midwest and now lives in the desert and thank God has never experienced, nor even really heard much about earthquakes.

One of my points of looking at the history of the US was trying to wrap my head around how devastating the China earthquake is. There is really no comparison of the tragedy though. But during all of this late night "surfing" I did find something that I will strongly support and recommend to anyone reading to consider supporting as well. Half the Sky, which I have brought up in other posts, you can go to their website if you are unfamiliar with the organization, has created the HTS Children's Earthquake Fund, in cooperation with government officials.

From HTS Website:
"Your donations to the fund will be used to provide emergency and long-term relief to children in Sichuan and Chongqing affected by the quake."

I encourage any of you who are able to and wish to help to consider a donation to this fund. You can find more information about Half the Sky and donate through their website or Global Giving @

Earthquake News

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know there was a devastating earthquake in China on Monday, May 12th (US time). The quakes epicenter was in Eastern Sichuan. Sichuan is a province in south central China. The quake was a 7.9 and following, there have been no less than 40 aftershocks registering 4.4 to 6.0.

I know the devastation has to be more than most if not all of us reading this can imagine. The last I heard the "state run" official death toll was 12,000 with an estimate of 18,000 still unaccounted for assumed to be trapped in rubble. According to some information that I have read the "non-official" death toll at this point is already closer to 20,000.

At this point, I do not believe the soldiers/rescuers have been able to even begin efforts in the hardest hit areas due the inaccessibility from damage to roads. Tragically, those areas likely have a very high death rate versus survival rate.

Of course everyone in the adoption community is following the story with a great interest. Some of you already have children from the area. There are numerous SWI's(orphanages) in the areas damaged. Some of us who are waiting families, wait, wondering, the one who is suppose to be our daughter in this she her birth family okay? The most difficult position would be for those who currently are holding referrals for a child in one of the orphanages in the areas devastated. I can't imagine the anguish, the grief, the stress those are going through. Information from China on a good day about adoption is limited. I have to imagine those families who are trying to get specific information on their children are having a even more difficult time, if not completely impossible now, due to all the communication outages.

Half the Sky and Love Without Borders have been trying their best to keep the adoption community up to date with what information that can obtain. The good news is that there are many SWI's(orphanages) in the area that are fine. Well, maybe the orphanages are not fine, but the children are well. There are 4 specific SWI's that are in very devastated areas that no one has been able to report on yet. These are: Aba, Deyang, Zitong and Mianyang. "Official reports" are that there are approximately 100 children housed in each of these locations. I am holding out hope and faith that all are well.

Ultimately, NO, this earthquake is not adoption news! It would be incredibly selfish for me or anyone else to see it that way...and I don't think they do. It is news of a tragic natural disaster. Several have occurred lately...the cyclone in Myanmar, recent tornadoes that have taken lives in the US. But this China earthquake hits our hearts deeply. It's our child's birth country, it's her people, it will be part of her history. Years from now what stories will we be telling about where Willow was when the "Great Quake" hit China?! Will we have a story to tell?

My heart goes out to any an all of you that are impacted by this tragedy. My heart breaks for the 1000's of mothers and fathers who have lost children (probably their only child, due to China's law)in the disaster. I have no words of wisdom...just know as your heart hopes, so does your heart aches...mine does as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another Mother's Day

Well...another Mother's Day has come and gone. While it was a good day, it was a day with sadness around the edges. Not anger or frustration as it has been in the past years...just sadness. If anyone had ever told me, when we started the process, that I would be celebrating Mother's Day 2008 without Willow being home with us, I would have told them they were crazy!

I would like to be able to positively say that this is absolutely the last Mother's Day without Willow...but we all know by now that there is nothing positive in international adoption. I believe it will be the last one...I believe we will bring Willow home in 2008. Obviously I hope and pray that it will be sooner than later. But ultimately...we just don't know.

Willow has thrived in my heart for years. She is this person, who already has such an important place in our family, who is already taken into consideration when making decisions that will impact our lives as a family. She is already included in plans for the future...not only by Tom and I but by extended family and friends. It is all so matter of fact. I can't began to estimate the number of times the phrase "when Willow comes home" has crossed my lips.

It was a beautiful Mother's Day....just a little sad around the edges...because I missed my hug and kiss from this beautiful little girl who lives in my heart.