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, worrying...is the one who is suppose to be our daughter in this area...is she okay...is 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 mine...as your heart aches...mine does as well.