Tuesday, September 30, 2008

China eases restrictions on illegally adopted children

A new policy guideline eases the law on most illegally adopted children in China.

The legal rights of these children are currently not guaranteed such as permanent residence of a city, schooling and inheritance.

The guideline was jointly issued by five ministries on Sept 5, but made public on Monday.

It allows people to register their illegally adopted children without fear of punishment.

Ji Gang, director of the China Center of Adoption Affairs, said the number of illegal adoptions has been increasing rapidly in recent years.

"In less developed areas, the number of unregistered adoptions can be two or three times more than registered ones," he said.

"In big cities where people have a better knowledge of the law, the number of unregistered adoptions is fewer."

Shanghai, for example, between 1992 and 2000, had more than 7,000 registered adoptions and about 4,000 unregistered ones.

Ji said China has more than 20,000 registered adoptions every year.

To adopt a child legally in China, a person must be more than 30 years old, healthy, childless and with a good and steady income.

Those seeking registration under the new guideline will be exempt from these requirements except in the case where a single male parent is not more than 40 years older than the girl he has adopted.

If this is not the case, the man will be persuaded to surrender the child to a children's welfare institute.

The guideline also requires anyone who finds abandoned babies to hand them over to police in the first instance.

If the police fail to find their biological parents, the children will be handed over to local children's welfare institutions.

If people who find such babies meet the necessary requirements and want to adopt them, they will be given first priority.

"It means you can not take an abandoned baby home and then apply for adoption. They must be handed over to the authorities first," Ji said.

He said the guideline will help in the fight against trafficking of infants and children.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


So, it's been a busy, crazy week.

Gwenn is doing better. She got a PEG tube put in that will last for 12 weeks until a mic-key can be put in. She came home with an infection, so we are working hard to ensure that she takes her antibiotics, gets her rest, and takes care of herself. She is back at school for half days, and I hope by Thursday she will be able to go full days. She continues to remain way too busy, with time each week for Speech, feeding therapy, riding therapy, and plain old therapy - as well as OT monthly. Eeek.

Ella and I had a great date night last week. We need to continue it, since we did not get everything done that we wanted to - but we had a great night. She is now sporting some new, styling outfits for school - and I have to order more from MiniBoden for her as well. She is loving 1st grade and is already complaining that she won't get homework until November. She is too cute...

Lucy is Lucy, and has again given herself a major head injury. I was upstairs working when I heard that familar, hollow "thunk" of a breaking mellon. I was half way down the stairs before the screaming started. Apparently, she fell while dancing/jumping around, and hit her head on a handle on the TV cabinet. It gave her quite the goose egg, and bruising around her eyes. I watched her and no concussion, thankfully, but I'm seriously considering just letting her wear a helmet until she has completely grown into her head. She is so much better, and does look like a toddler instead of a bobblehead, but it's tough.

Kristin is doing great, and is integrating into the home. Gwenn tells me she loves her, although she is still missing Viivi something fierce. Kristin will re-take her drivers test this week, which is good since I need to insure her so she can start driving at will...

And me, I'm just tired and ready for a week long sleep. I think Rip Van Winkle had it figured out, and a long sleep needs to be in my future...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mitochondrial Awareness Week

The week of September 21-27 is the Mitochondrial Awareness Week. Mito is a disease that strikes thousands of families, but so few people know about it. I was completely unaware of it, until the 8 year old daughter of a close friend was diagnosed with it just over 6 months ago. It is a devastating disease that robs those who have it of energy. Please watch the videos, and learn more about mito by visiting http://www.umdf.org/


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who needs morphine - we have a Gameboy....

Surgery went well yesterday, although the doctors needed to put a mic-key g-tube in, instead of a BARD button as we had hoped. That means for the next 12 weeks there will be a long tube coming out of the tummy, and then it will be replaced with the mic-key button. On the other hand, we won't have to worry about it getting pulled out or any gymnastics mishaps. The first few hours were pretty rough, and while morphine did help, the Gameboy offered just as much comfort and distraction.

If all continues to go well, we'll be home later today and back to school by Monday. Pray for a speedy recovery, no infections and continued willingness to let people look at, and poke at, her tummy...

Back to School

We finally have had our first day of school on Monday. Gwenn is starting 4th grade, Ella starting 1st grade, and Lucy had her first day of big girl Preschool. The first day went well for everyone, including Lucy who was a very brave girl and didn't cry, when so many other 3 year olds were sobbing!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Medical Updates...

So tomorrow I'll be offline most of the day as we go through Upper GI testing prior to the g-tube (a BARD button) surgery next Wednesday. Hopefully she will get the barium drink that tastes like soda instead of the one that is like milk of magnesia (which she won't drink). Cross your fingers, and I'll post more soon...

My daughter deserves more than an occasional education

Yup - that is me in the far left, sitting next to Melodie and me trying not to look at the photographer... The meeting was long, but remarkably controlled. Thank goodness we are not Seattle school district.
Thanks to the Seattle Times for the great photo that went along with the article on the strike and meeting...

My comments at the meeting last night:

My name is Lara Peterson, and I'm the parent of a preschooler, a 1st grader and a 3rd grader at Spiritridge Elementary.

Thank you to the many speakers who have focused the attention on the issues with the Curriculum Web. My concerns continue to focus on the web, but are specific to being the parent of a special education student. With the massive cuts in special education that already occured last spring we have already hit a point where my child will only be educated 4 days a week - since that is all the budget that is allowed for our school. On the 5th day of each week my daughter will be babysat by a teacher all day.

Since my daughter is not at grade level in any subject, her only opportunity to continue to learn outside of the resource room is a sympathetic teacher who understands her potential and adjusts the curriculum to meet her needs. However, if changes are not made any teacher who adjusts curriculum to meet my daughters needs could be reprimanded or fired. That is not okay. I realize that the school districts lanaguage has been updated to allow for "occasional" deviation from the standardized curriculum. My response to you is:

My daughter deserves more than an occasional education.

My daughter deserves and is due daily teaching and education, that meets her needs and allows her to learn and participate in the school.

Thank you for steps made to date, but it's not enough. You need to continue your discussions with the union in order to meet the needs of ALL Bellevue School District students, not just those in the middle for whom the curriculum was created. And if you think this applies to only IEP students, this also would be the case if you have a 504 student, ELL/ESL student, or even a gifted and talented student.

I want to encourage this school board to continue negotiations with the union and the mediator, in order to bring this strike to a resolution. As a single parent, this extended summer holiday is NOT idea - but I believe that we need to continue to discuss this until we have a resolution that everyone can live with. I would rather deal with this now than have it simmer for another 2-3 years. And yes, I prefer a three year contract so we don't have to deal with this for a while.
Let's do the right thing and keep great teachers here in Bellevue, and ensure that ALL students are taught. I truly believe that my child will be more impacted by NOT having changes made to the curriculum than there will be by this strike continuing. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Usually at this time of the year, I have spoken about the first day of school and posted some very cute pictures of the girls on the front steps, leaving for their new year of education. Doubtless, that day will come - but with the teachers strike in Bellevue, that day is delayed for now.

There were some big issues to be dealt with - pay and benefits as usual for teachers, but the big one was around something called "Web Based Curriculum" - also known as a mandated disaster. Basically, every lesson is planned out and online. The lesson plan would have had to be followed exactly as laid out, with no deviation. Which sounds great until you get into a classroom with ESL students. Or special ed students. Or gifted students. And you need to customize the curriculum so that everyone can learn, not just those in the middle who it was created for. Long story short, a teacher could have been fired for adjusting the curriculum to teach Gwenn.

Thankfully, it sounds like the school district has caved a bit on it, and will now allow teachers to use their best judgement. But, they are still dickering over salary and benefits. It sounds like the district offered close to what the teachers offered, but they are now saying that they will fire up to 34 positions to make up for the increases. Ugh.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Medical Updates...

We finally had our GI visit with the doctor at Children's yesterday, and now have the date set for Gwenn to get her g-tube. It will probably not be a mic-key, but rather a newer type called a bard peg, that supposedly is easier on her, stays in well, is still surgically sewn into place (for her gymnastics) - and can be in place for the year or more they say we'll need it.

Next week we'll have her upper GI testing done, and then the week after will be the surgery. We'll be at Children's for only two days if all goes well, and they will also do the 24 hour PH probe while we are there - measuring her reflux, etc. The big negative is that we will delay two weeks of feeding therapy, but in the long run this is the right thing to do.

I'm guessing the week of the surgery will be her first week back at school, but we'll just have to live with it.

Weight for G is now at 59 pounds!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008