Welcome

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

FOUNDED BY A GROUP OF EIGHT, YOUR ONE WORLD HOSTS ERIN, ANGELA GEE, JAZZ, JEANNETTE LOAKMAN, JENNIFER BAO YU 'PRECIOUS JADE' JUE-STEUCK, DR. MEI-MEI AKWAI ELLERMAN, AND SABRINA SPAN 3 CONTINENTS and REPRESENT 6 GENERATIONS of CHINESE ADOPTEES. (scroll down for more details)

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]

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...."
CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

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...
Warmly, 
Ruthanne Lum McCunn"

TO LEARN MORE, CLICK HERE.



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. 

http://amzn.to/1yCQnHx

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..."

CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

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,

Mei-Mei

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.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/10/stereotypes-asians-domestic-violence/

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,
Mei-Mei

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,
Mei-Mei

[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.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/12/being-an-upstander

Love,
Mei-Mei

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.

Love,
Mei-Mei

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!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDUN3ZKxM5s

Hope you enjoy it!

Love,
Mei-Mei

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...
YOUTUBE.COM



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]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3kKqfTjsj0
Both Sides Now [1976]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4bPxqlC_cU
The Water is Wide [2005]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g2t5N3WD70&list=RDX7vHj_6Qxqg&index=11
Love to all,
Mei-Mei




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).



image.jpeg


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, 
Jennifer

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
DOWNLOAD A COMPLIMENTARY PILOT CHAPTER:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/touching-home-in-china/id893434122?mt=11

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!



"THE HARDEST BATTLE IS TO BE NOBODY BUT YOURSELF IN A WORLD, WHICH IS DOING ITS BEST, NIGHT AND DAY, TO MAKE YOU EVERYBODY ELSE."
- 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,
Jennifer

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].

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/question-where-are-you-from-racist/373818/

Much love,
Mei-Mei


Saturday, June 28, 2014

For Jen

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


Pizza in Roma 


Small Canal in Venice 

Grand Canal

Getting lost in Venice 


Gelato :) 
























Monday, June 23, 2014

Ten Most Powerful Women in China Today [according to Time Magazine]


Gong Li

Really exciting to watch the individual videos of these ten amazing women, all from very different walks of life. Some, like Gong Li, are world famous; others though very influential, aren't well known outside of China. But this article will change that! To see the videos, copy and past the link in your browser.

http://time.com/2907424/makers-china-10-powerful-women/

The critically acclaimed MAKERS series goes to China

After its critical acclaim last year with the documentary MAKERS: 
Women Who Make America, AOL has taken its storytelling brand 
to China to highlight women whose accomplishments have shattered 
expectations and serve as an inspiration to their peers. The selection 
process was overseen in part by Yang Lan, a broadcast journalist 
often dubbed the “Oprah of China.”

Fu Ying
Li Yinhe, First female sexologist in China, Gong Li, Actor,  Fu Ying, 
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guo Jianmei, First public interest 
lawyer in China,   Li Yan, Short-track speed skating coach, Hu Shuli, 
Investigative journalist, Dong Mingzhu, Chairman and President, 
Gree Electric, Yang Liping, Dance artist, Laura Cha Shin May-lung, 
Former vice-chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, 
Yan Geling, Novelist and screenwriter.
Li Yan
Enjoy! 
Love,
Mei-Mei


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Take a Moment to Appreciate the World We Live in! (David Attenborough)



We are bombarded on all sides, radio, television, newspapers, internet, by bleak and depressing occurrences here at home around the globe. There are many ways to escape into a more positive space, by taking a walk in the woods, reading a riveting book, listening to our favorite music, dancing, meditating, or, in a matter of seconds, watching this brief, magical video.

David Attenborough is one of the world's foremost naturalists. He has a mesmerizing voice and an inspiring attitude towards life, nurtured by the beauty and unveiled secrets of the realms in which he has immersed himself decade after decade.

Enjoy!

http://www.wimp.com/wonderfulworld/

Love to all One Worlders and Happy Summer!

Mei-Mei [photographs by David Attenborough]



Thursday, June 19, 2014

New and Improved Everyday Feminism Relationship Course, Open to all



The first time this course was offered, over 200 people signed up. The impact was amazing, truly life-changing for so many. It has since been further streamlined and improved for greater effectiveness. Note that there are scholarship opportunities for those who cannot afford the $97. for this unique 4 month-long course.

Not matter how positive your relationship may be, it can become even better! And, if there are problems, ingrained patterns, communication issues, this is the course for you! Good luck.

http://everydayfeminism.com/relationship-course/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=ad&utm_content=RC-Course&utm_campaign=Home-RC-Ad

Just copy and paste link into your browser. There are now 750,000. followers of Everyday Feminism!

Much love,
Mei-Mei

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Day for Reflection, Fathers' Day

Great Pyrenees

I wrote this yesterday but didn't have a chance to post it.


Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Thinking of my two fathers. The one I never knew but have learned so much about over the past several years [was adopted at the age of 7 months], and "Daddy," who slipped away making only occasional appearances in my life after I turned six. He died when I was 16 and living in Europe. I last saw him when I was 14. 
  Daddy, the brilliant jazz muscian, who was the life of the party and whose sense of humor and repartees kept everyone in stitches. He gave me my first dog, Pyree, a Great Pyrenese. Before we knew it, we had 20! I spent many hours at my father’s side, washing and grooming our thoroughbreds for dog shows throughout New England. The large box of blue, red and yellow ribbons tucked away at the back of my bottom desk drawer are a reminder of the intoxicating wins. I can still evoke the smell of wet fur, the cacophony of hundreds of dogs barking with excitement, the stillness and sudden silence as we walked our chosen dogs around the ring...
Until just a few years ago my family had a stunning array of pets, dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, a pig, even tarantulas. Now that I am on my own, I travel too much to keep any two or four-footed companions. It would be unfair to them. 

  Daddy gave me my first camera, a German brand. I have been drawn to photography ever since. He surprised me on my 9th birthday with my first record player, a Grundig, still functional. Music is one of my great passions, classical more than jazz, though over the years I have come to appreciate the greats of the 30s, 40s and 50s.
     Two men who left their mark in mysterious ways, mostly positive. Nature, nurture... The lasting bond has little to do with blood; far more to do with the silent conversations, vivid memories or imagined connections that I continue to cultivate to this day. Their presence perseveres and warms my heart. I owe my love of music, animals, photography to the father who partially raised me; my passion for human rights and a global worldview, plus many other traits, to the father I never met. Two men, both long gone but gently held within my heart.

Cornet
I hope that this resonates with many One Worlders.
Much love,
Mei-Mei