Welcome to ONE WORLD: Chinese Adoptee Links (CAL G2 est. 2007) Blog!


They Think I'm Chinese!

They Think I'm Chinese!
[LEFT] "ON ME PRENDS POUR UNE CHINOISE" ("They Think I'm Chinese!") - a Film by Nicole Giguère & "CHINEAS GIRLS" art from IRELAND by Lin Ye, age 4 [RIGHT]

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holiday Season to All!!!

Dear One Worlders,

Thinking of you all, scattered as we are all over the world, yet so closely connected. Wishing you a fabulous season of celebrations and a New Year full of new friendships, adventures, discoveries both about yourselves and the world around you.

Will write more before 2015!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Something to Brighten Your Day!

Dear One Worlders,

With so much going on in the world, turmoil and uncertainty, I thought you might enjoy watching something unusual and of beauty. Please click or copy and paste the following links into your browser.

Click on first link:

Apparently this owl was forced into lake by two hawks, accomplished this amazing feat and was even able to take flight with wet wings!

Hope that everyone is well and getting ready for the holidays. I am in Tuscany where it is raining non stop. Was able to take a few photos here and there but nothing like usual.

Thinking of everyone!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dear Wonderful You - Meet the Writers (Extended Version)

Dear One Worlders,

Back again after a hiatus. Lovely to see all the activity and welcome new contributors! I thought you might be interested in hearing many of the authors whose letters appear in "Dear Wonderful You," talk about the process of writing their letter. Both Jen and I appear.

Sending you love and happy thoughts from windy, rainy Tuscany!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Other Shoe

When I was adopted, I was wearing a pair of red shoes. My adoptive mother gave one shoe to my foster my mother, so that she would always remember me. Now as we leave tomorrow to find her, I hope that she will remember me and still have the shoe.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wonderful Trip to Washington, D.C. - and Warm Welcome to Melissa Yeung, CCI Board Member & New One World Contributor

Dear One Worlders and Friends,

What luck to have met two beautiful fellow One Worlders yesterday during one of my rare sojourns (for 1.5 days) in Washington, D.C.! Susan Orlins, author, fellow One Worlder and Mom to One World co-founder, Sabrina Orlins, generously welcomed us into her gorgeous home. Susan, Jessie and I have been corresponding for some time, but this was our first meeting in person (do you think that I was a little nervous and excited?).
We even met Susan's famous four-legged family member (also in Susan's memoir), Casey!
And we made dinner in her lovely kitchen (we loved green counter, plush & lush pillows and her hand-painted backsplash tiles). Susan told us about her latest projects, including work as editor of STREET SENSE, the DC Metro Area Newspaper committed to transforming lives. We were inspired by her commitment to social issues, and her outreach work. Bravo, Susan! You can order Susan's memoir by clicking here.

Jessie Lutz told us a bit about her studies at university, and I shared a bit about my trip to Monet's gardens in Giverny, France (more on this later). Just off to the airport! Thank you, Jessie and Susan, for sharing your stories with us, and for making my D.C. stop-over so special. 

Meanwhile, we'd like to extend a warm welcome to new One Worlder Melissa Yeung, CCI Board Member, to our global community. Looking forward to hearing your stories!

Much Love, 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Advocating for Special Needs Orphans this Christmas Season...

HI Everyone,
i'm new to this blog and was introduced to it by Jennifer. i had the privilege of meeting Jennifer during a writer's seminar and it was wonderful to connect with her and be introduced to all of you.

A little about me - i'm Sandra. Home is, at the moment, Switzerland. i write, i blog, i manage the home - but most importantly, i advocate for special needs orphans. i was introduced to the heartbreaking and amazing world of special needs orphans more than 2 years ago and i fell head-over-heels into the lives of these precious children. i have not and may never meet any of them but they have no voice and i felt led to be a voice for them. i work mainly with Reece's Rainbow, which is an advocate ministry where these kiddos are available for adoption are listed and advocated for. Where possible, an adoption grant is open for the child.

Every Christmas season Reece's Rainbow holds an extra special fundraising/awareness building campaign, called Angel Tree, from 1st November till 31st Decemeber. During this period, anyone can sign up (actually sign up happens in October) to an Angel Tree Warrior for a specific child. The mission is to build awareness of the child's need for a family as well as raise US$1000 for the child's adoption grant.

i'm writing here to ask for YOUR HELP!

JASPER, waiting for his forever family.
He needs to be adopted by 1st January 2015.
i'm the Angel Tree Warrior for JASPER - who is desperately running out of time for a forever family. He is such a sweetheart. He was abandoned at 8 years and has lived at an institution ever since, waiting for a family to come for him. His special needs are Down Syndrome, undescended testis and some dental issues. These are not huge special needs and in another country he would have had the help he needed long ago. He still can - he needs to be adopted before 1st January 2015. So a paper-ready (homestudy already done, approved for 2 but bringing home only 1 at the moment) family needs to step up for him.

i have an online shop, Angel Crafts Shop, where i sell handmade hair accessories, keyrings and bracelets. 50% of all sales during November & December will go to JASPER's adoption grant. Please stop by, browse and make a purchase.

Here is one of the art-pieces in the Art Giveaway.
i am also running an Art Giveaway - i have 2 commissioned pieces of artwork up for grabs - taking part is as easy as sharing JASPER's profile page. See here for details.

There will be 2 more fundraising/awareness building events coming up... stay tuned.

Please do contact me directly (sandra_chia (at) hotmail (dot) com) should you have any questions.
You can also read more about JASPER and other orphans on my blog, trippingdifferently.com

Thank you so very much.
sandra yc

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Short Video Introducing Several Authors of "Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth."

This video made by Bryan Tucker, documentary filmmaker, is less than 5 minutes long but gives initial feeling for some of the authors of the anthology, "Dear Wonderful You." There is also an extended video about an hour long for those interested.




Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TWIN SISTERS (New York Times film review)

"Everything about the Norwegian film “Twin Sisters” seems too good to be true. The stars are a pair of adorable 10-year-olds as energetic as they are well-adjusted. The supporting players look like the four nicest, most supportive parents you could meet. The story hinges on a set of fateful coincidences that profoundly change the lives of everyone involved. “Twin Sisters” is a documentary, though, so there’s no need to suspend disbelief.
Mona Friis Bertheussen’s film, showing on Monday night in the PBS series “Independent Lens,” is an Asian-adoption story. Movies in that genre are typically about grown-ups, often the filmmakers themselves, seeking out the biological families they’ve never known. “Twin Sisters” turns that narrative on its head...."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Young Performers from Inner Mongolia. Astounding.

Last week I had the joy of spending over two hours watching and listening to 20 students from Inner Mongolia, between the ages of 15 and 18 dance and sing at the Townshend, Vt. High School. Since 1999 there has been a unique exchange program between the Arts College of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot and Leland and Gray. The reciprocal influence of the two cultures on many hundreds of students and their families has been stunning. I video taped many of the gorgeous performances but have been unable to upload them on Youtube. The throat singing was amazing, as well as instrumentals and collaborative pieces between East and West. Have never heard such a memorable rendition of the "Yellow Submarine."
Waiting for my son to help out! Stay tuned. In the meantime, here are some photos [which don't begin to do justice to the artistry of these young professionals. 

Love, Mei-Mei

Congratulations to Ruthanne Lum McCunn! Check out her new novel, "CHINESE YANKEE"

Cover of Chinese Yankee

Dear One Worlders and Friends,

As many of you know, Ruthanne Lum McCunn has been one of my favourite authors since I was 11 and first wrote to her about her amazing novel, THOUSAND PIECES OF GOLD. Her new book, CHINESE YANKEE, is based on a true story. Check it out! 

Ruthanne spent much of her youth in Hong Kong, and her family roots come from China and Scotland. I'll always remember the hand-written letter she mailed to my house in Laguna Beach (when I was 11), telling me how much she admired "survivors" (the stars of her stories). Of all the 6th graders in my class -- all of whom wrote to their "favourite author" -- Ruthanne was the sole author to write back. Do you think my chubby, 11-year-old bibliophile self was just a little excited...? (I still have her letter.)

Congratulations, Ruthanne!

Much Love, Jennifer

"Dear Jennifer,
CHINESE YANKEE, the incredible true story of enslaved orphan Thomas Sylvanus (Ah Yee Way) who fought for his freedom in the Civil War and for family and justice his entire life. Yes, an orphan from Hong Kong.  So it's a story I feel especially close to...
Ruthanne Lum McCunn"


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth IS OUT!

Just a quick post to let you know that our book has come out early!

Print copy of "Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth", co-edited by Diane Rene' Christian and Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman, is available for purchase as of NOW. 


E-version available as of Nov.29th. Both videos, long and short, introducing authors, should be up very soon as well as "first look."

This is a very special book, written from the heart.

'THE YEAR SHE LEFT US' by Kathryn Ma (New York Times review)

From the New York Times:

"At the heart of Kathryn Ma’s haunting first novel, “The Year She Left Us,” is a young woman who loses her way. Ari is 18 and home from a summer in China, where she worked for a company that takes Western families with adopted Chinese girls on “heritage tours.” They visit the orphanages and, sometimes, the places where the abandoned babies were first found: police stations, department stores and random patches of dirt by the side of the road. For these orphans, their “Finding Day” may be the closest approximation to the simple commonplace most of us take for granted — a birthday..."


Friday, October 24, 2014

Gregory Maguire's full review

Thought you might like to read Gregory's review [he has three adopted children of his own].

“I've always loved that the word we use for a personal written message is the same word we use for the alphabetical building blocks we share with a newly literate five-year-old, with Shakespeare, and with one another. Letters bind us across distance, across time, and across difference. Here are letters to be cherished. They link one to the next with chains of hard-won feeling and wisdom.” 
— Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Dear Wonderful You, Letters for Adopted and Fostered Youth," to be released on November 1, 2014

Am thrilled to announce that both the hard cover and e-version of " Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth," are about to come out. You may actually pre-order the e-version on Amazon as of this Friday. Hard copy and e-version will be released on November 1st.

Gregory Maguire [of Wicked and many other wonderful books], has written a lovely advance review for the book.

Hope you will buy it and spread the word on your FB pages!

Much love,


Both Jen and I have contributed a letter.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Another Excellent Article from Everyday Feminism

Fall colors in Vermont

Thought that this was a useful analysis which sheds light on some of common misconceptions.


Trust that everyone is well and has discovered that the blog is up again. Please help spread the word. Happy Halloween to all!

Nature's Bounty

Love to all,

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Welcome Back!

Sorry that we have been inaccessible for a few weeks. Problems finally solved. More postings coming. Welcome back. I hope you haven't given up on us!

Much love,

[not my photo but is so lovely, I wanted to share. Supposedly taken in Japan. Photographer unknown].

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five Ways to End Bullying

Hope this may be of help to some. Feverishly working on final edits of Anthology, Dear Wonderful You. Sorry I can't write more.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An Inspiring New Project by Melissa Ludke

This is an extraordinary project. Please read about it and support! I already have. Do check out the 
link and I think you will agree that it is unique, empowering, and definitely exciting.


Here's the link to the campaign:

Two teen adoptees from China  — orphanage crib neighbors for nine months — go "home" 
together to China, returning to the rural towns where they'd been abandoned as newborns. 
These girls carried back to America powerful stories of the time they spent getting to know 
Chinese girls who grew up there and became their guides into girlhoods that could have 
been theirs. The mother of one of these girls just launched an Indiegogo (online) fundraising 
campaign so the American and Chinese girls' stories can be shared globally in an interactive 
iBook. Her brief Indiegogo video describes the project and explains how it can benefit a whole 
lot of kids — and not just adoptees — as they move into and through adolescence, a time 
when issues of belonging and identity emerge. Melissa Ludke has published a 
free download of the pilot chapter of "Touching Home in China: in search of missing girlhoods."

Inline image 1

Melissa Ludtke Producer: Touching Home in China: in search of missing girlhood
Twitter: @touchinghomechi, #touchinghomeinchina

YouTubeTouching Home in China: iBook pilot chapter 
phone: 617-354-1728 (home/work)
cell: 617-416-1989

Skype: Melissa.Ludtke

One of the Most Breathtaking Performances of Swan Lake by the Guangzhou Acrobatic Troupe

I have been a fan of ballet ever since I was a child. Took ballet classes in a small French village when I was 8. Surprisingly our teacher was an exquisite dancer from the Paris Opera who had come to Provence to be with her fiancé. I can still remember the steps to the dance we performed on the stage of the local theater. And, to this day I dance on my own every night, to free the spirit.

The performance on this video [copy and paste into your browser if you can't click on it], is extraordinary!


Hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Trailer for Anthology, "Dear Wonderful You: Letters for Adopted and Fostered Youth"

Sounding the trumpets! Am thrilled to share the trailer by Brian Tucker for our anthology, "Dear Wonderful You: Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth, "scheduled for publication in November.
Please help spread the word!
"Dear Wonderful You, Letters to
Adopted & Fostered Youth" is an Anthology of powerful letters written by...

A Magical Evening with Judy Collins Singer and Songwriter

Judy Collins at the Wilbur Theater, September 21, 2014

Dear One Worlders,

Finally back after a month and a half spent between Copenhagen, Paris and mostly my refuge in Tuscany. Due to severe storms, I was without telephone and internet for the greater part of my stay in Italy. So sorry to have neglected the blog for such a long time. Despite my absence, you were constantly on my mind as I have been feverish working with Diane René Christian on pulling together our anthology of letters for adopted and fostered youth. All the contributors have met the deadline and we hope to share a truly amazing treasury of life experiences, words of solace, encouragement and inspiration by November. You will be the first to hear!

Last night I had the unique opportunity of attending a scintillating performance by Judy Collins, now 74, but one of the first great folk singers belonging to the generation of Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Arlo Guthrie and many others who used song as a form of protest, advocacy and to celebrate life's vicissitudes in all their complexity. 

My account:

Judy Collins, Live at the Wilbur Theater in Boston!
More beautiful than ever, almost ethereal, her singing of old time favorites, several Broadway musical hits, Irish melodies and more, enriched by seven decades of life experience, Judy Collins was "divine." No recording compares with the magical aura she exudes in person, suspending all sense of time. She bewitches, enthralls and moves to tears. Exquisitely elegant in a shimmering black dress and sequined jacket, her cloud of white hair and a vase of luscious red roses against the black piano, her voice was by turns silvery, mellifluous, full throated, melancholy, surging with emotion, then fading to a melodious whisper. True, pure, spiritual, infinitely nuanced, she is the essence of music.
She seamlessly interwove salient moments of her personal life with her choice of songs, paid tribute to beloved ones who slipped away this year, Pete Seeger, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, was witty and whimsical, poetic and achingly poignant. She inveigled us to join her over and over, thus giving rise to collective energy, a sense of intimacy and oneness. Her closing song was "Amazing Grace..."

For those who do not know Judy's music, copy and paste the following links on your browser:
The young Judy sings Turn, Turn, Turn [1966]
Both Sides Now [1976]
The Water is Wide [2005]
Love to all,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Tribute to Robin Williams

He gave his all to make others laugh, reflect, empathize, while fighting daily to simply survive the constant attack of his demons. In the end, he triumphed, leaving an unforgettable legacy, choosing to slip away when surviving unbearable.

Behind the twinkling eyes, 
Tears constantly flowed unseen,
The infectious smile 
Hid depths of sadness 
That swathed him in veils 
From which there was no escape.
At times outrageous, flying high,
Seemingly omnipotent,
His inner self vulnerable, 
Insecure, constantly on the run.
He embodied dozens of roles, 
In pursuit perhaps of his true identity.
Tears and laughter, 
Melancholy and compassion,
Complexity and fragility. 
Just words or the core 
Of a beloved yet misunderstood 
Man/child genius?
Outwardly brilliant, larger than life,
Inwardly, lost, aching, searching.
At last, released from all earthly bonds, 
He is at peace,
A shimmering light 
Among a galaxy of stars.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sometimes I Fear the Page (On Overcoming Fears)

Sometimes I fear the page, that vast, empty pregnant space. 
Why do I fear the emptiness?
Does it make me feel alone?
Or remind me of the vast and empty eternity of separateness that stretches, across galaxies for miles on end, the lost links to my family, my ancestry, my belonging, the stories that could have filled me with sustenance...if I had had a chance to hear them being told?

I don't want to fear the empty page.
That beautiful door swung right open,
holding its breath and hoping to be filled with the incandescent light of love,
inviting you, dear reader, to jump through to new frontiers of magic and wonder, a gentle giant in the night sky, stretching its arms across time and dipping its toes into eternity's seas.

What's so scary on the other side, my love?
So what if it's an empty space...
Maybe it's the empty space of solitude (not abandonment), 
the fullness of fresh potential,
that invites faith, courage and the love in us all
to walk, heads high, with dignity and grace.

To walk on,
through the loss.
Maybe you will be waiting for me 
on the other side of the door?
With outstretched hands, 
and smiling hearts.

I wait, and listen for you.
Always and forever.
Maybe we were all meant to fly,
through the window,
the door,
and into the frontiers of future-space,
asleep and alone no more.

Monday, August 11, 2014

In Love in France - L'Amour et le Baron Ben ("A Dog Abroad" Diary)

Dear One Worlders, Friends & Family,

I am in love...in France! His name is Ben (le chien), and isn't he beautiful? He's only 3. This past weekend we went to the market (the Saturday marché)...we found beautiful plump purple tomatoes, artichoke hearts (reminds me of the giant ones I shared with my cousin Stephanie near Notting Hill in London), rosy orange carrots, a box of fresh peaches, and of course, plenty of fromages (cheeses).


Normally Ben walks sans leash, but in a market setting there are far too many temptations - including cheese, bread (like any true Francophone, Ben loves bread & cheese - his eyes grow large at the slightest whiff), other puppies, interesting people (possible contenders for a good sniff or a jolly and generous lick?), and other exciting goodies. 

Sometimes Ben cannot contain his excitement and lifts Jen straight off the ground, sending us both flying through the air when he lunges towards fellow four-pawed friends au marchéWith his shiny dark fur he gets hot v. quickly, so we made sure to give him regular sips from a water bottle today.

"A Dog Abroad: Monsieur Baron Ben-le-Chien in France Diaries"...(tbc).

Much Love, 

Friday, August 8, 2014

"Touching Home in China: In Search of Missing Girlhoods" by Melissa Ludtke

JOIN TOUCHING HOME IN CHINA ON FACEBOOK:https://www.facebook.com/touchinghomeinchina

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iPad, and with iTunes on your computer. Multi-touch books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iPad. Books with interactive features may work best on an iPad. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iPad with iBooks 3 or later and iOS 5.1 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.
  • iBooks is a free download app —  link to download is here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8
Check it out, and learn how you can become involved in this exciting transmedia (book and film) project!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Happy Summer!

- e.e. cummings

Dear One Worlders, Friends and Family,

Greetings from France! Hope you're enjoying some time off this summer. I'm in the process of making some healthy changes, and will share more in a bit (still getting settled in Europe).

Much Love,

Monday, July 7, 2014

Is It Racist to Ask People Where They Are From? [Article from the Atlantic Magazine]

Happy Summer everyone! Am about to go to Vermont for a few weeks and then plan to return to Europe both to do research in Denmark and Paris, and to write while I am in Tuscany for 5 five weeks.

Came across this article and thought that you might be interested in it. As adopted children, teens, adults, we are constantly asked, just based on our looks, especially if we don't look like our parents, "Where do you come from?" If we answer, "I am 'American,' or 'British,' 'Swedish,' 'Turkish,' 'Indian'" or wherever we were raised, almost invariably the person will persist and say, "But where are you really from?" For some it isn't a problem. I don't mind. Depending on who is asking I answer, "I am Italian!" or else, "I am Chinese!" or "I am American but Italian (or Chinese) at heart." Most often I simply respond, "I am a citizen of the world." For others, especially as the issue of identity can be very delicate, the above question may be upsetting and feel racist. Being judged or pigeon-holed just on the basis of the color of one's skin, the shape of one's eyes, is being blind to who one really is, inside. It can have little or nothing to do with one's actual culture, religion or lack thereof. On the other hand, we can feel deeply connected to our Chinese heritage and homeland, but it really is nobody's business unless we wish to discuss our personal feelings. Most often not with a complete stranger, or someone we have met for the first time.

At any rate, this article may generate an internal debate, or a discussion among your family, friends. Hope you enjoy it! [copy link and paste into your browser].


Much love,

Saturday, June 28, 2014

For Jen

I just got back from Italy and wanted to share these photos with you!
Much love,

Pizza in Roma 

Small Canal in Venice 

Grand Canal

Getting lost in Venice 

Gelato :)