Happy Mother’s Day from Xinran and more MBLers!

When Chinese Culture Revolution first broke out, I was seven and a half years old. One day, my neighbour, a young mother to a three years old daughter, received nightmarish news — her thirty-two years old husband had been tortured to death by a group of teenager Red Guards. That night she told her daughter a story, a story that I’ll remember forever.

Here is the story: A baby caterpillar asked her mother why she had never seen her dad. The mother said that when the baby was still sleeping in her belly, her dad was working hard to grow wings in a little house. When the baby was born, daddy became a beautiful butterfly. “If you want to see dad, you must sleep well, eat well and study hard, then someday you will grow beautiful wings that will take you to see him,” the mother said to the baby caterpillar.

From then on, my neighbor’s daughter often asked me if my father had also turned into a butterfly. At that time, I, along with 13 other “political orphans,” had no father.

I often think of my neighbor, the mother who endured so much hardship for her daughter. …Heartfelt thanks to our mothers for being a love bridge between life, families, generations, and cultures!

Happy Mother’s Day!

来自欣然的祝福及一个中国妈妈的故事:

中国文化大革命爆发时,我只有7岁半。我有一位邻居,是一位年轻的母亲,她的女儿只有三岁。一天,她得到一个噩耗,她32岁的丈夫被一群十几岁的红卫兵折磨死了……那天夜里,她给女儿讲的故事飘进了我永远的记忆……

一只小毛毛虫问妈妈,她怎么没有见过爸爸。妈妈说,在宝宝睡在妈妈肚子里的时候,爸爸在一个小时房子里努力长翅膀,当宝宝出生后,爸爸就化成了有着美丽翅膀的蝴蝶。要是你想见爸爸,就要好好睡觉吃饭学习,那样就可长出美丽的翅膀,去见爸爸了……

从此,我那个小邻居便常常问我,你的爸爸也化作蝴蝶了吧?那时,我与其他13个政治孤儿都没有父亲。

我常常想到那位母亲,难以想象她是如何为了心爱的女儿忍辱负重的…

敬祝每一位母亲安康如愿!

感谢母亲在我们的生命中犹如一座爱桥,为我们传承生命,融合家庭,传递文化!

— Xinran (UK)

 

Mama is my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love, and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love. Happy Mother’s Day!

— Julie Zhu (China)

 

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I didn’t know what being a mother means until I became a mother myself. When my daughter was born prematurely and had to be in the NICU for three weeks, my mother called me from China and told me to take care of myself. “You need to be happy, healthy and strong for your newborn and your family,” she said.

Now I’m a mother of two children. Whenever I feel stressed, frustrated or exhausted, I think of my mother. How she raised five children on a remote state-run farm, where she, as a biologist, had to endure family tragedy, physical labor as well as political persecution. How she made clothes and shoes for my brothers and me after a long day of work, and how she brightened our shabby apartment with beautiful songs on her four-string lute (月琴), which she had played since a young age.

Later my mother returned to the city to be a librarian. In the evenings, when my brothers and I were doing homework, she would teach herself English. “If you keep learning, you will never grow old,” she once said to me. After retirement, she took up Chinese water-and-ink painting (水墨画) and, with passion and devotion, transformed herself into an artist. She still paints several hours every day.

My mother has taught me about industriousness, integrity, perseverance, and most importantly, love. The love of who you are. The love of learning. The love of life. Thank you, Mama.

Happy Mother’s Day!

— Fan Wu (U.S.A)

Mother's Day Tingting

Tingting

每次要提到我的母亲, 我眼前就有这样一个情景出现:

我小的时候家里用的还是铁锅柴灶.  记得有一天我坐在灶前要帮妈妈烧火做饭. 我一个劲的往灶里加柴, 好好的火苗很快成了烟雾, 正在炒菜的妈妈弯下腰拿过我手中的火钳在灶里左右上下晃动着把火中心掏得空空的,很快的那火焰就蹭蹭的开始往上冲, 再把火钳递给回我说; “你看, 火要空心,人要忠心. 你对妈妈一定要忠心, 要做一个诚实有爱心的娃儿哈!”

4,5岁的我好像都不明白什么是忠心, 但我明白这诚实的娃儿就是不撒谎, 爱心就是对人好. 从那一时刻我学会了怎么样架柴烧火.

每一个母亲都是一个伟大的艺术家, 用心尽力的雕塑创作我们一生的作品—我们的孩子. 母亲节快乐!

— Lin Ping (UK)

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Maya Cedergren, 8

I find this intresting sentence from a book that I’m reading at the moment which can be use for Mother’s Day : “The only woman I ever loved was another man’s wife …… my mother!”
— Thibault Marcellin (France)
***
今年的母亲节,我在美国妈妈在中国。昨天在妈妈不知情的情况下,我让闺蜜给她买了一束花送到了家里。收到花的妈妈开心得像个孩子,赶紧洗净一个花瓶把花养了起来,还发到家庭群“炫耀”了一番。来美国快一年了,最大的感受应该就是生活的矛盾性吧。有时为了继续前行,我们不得不减少陪伴家人的时间。而家人却始终在那里,不关心你飞得高不高,只关心你飞得累不累。祝天下的妈妈母亲节快乐,身体健康,青春永驻!
This year’s Mother’s Day, I am in the United States while my mother is in China. Yesterday, without telling my mother in advance, I asked one of my best friends in China to buy a  bouquet of flowers to my mom on behalf of me to give her a surprise. When receiving the flowers, my mom was greatly excited and immediately cleaned a vase and put the flowers in it, and even took a picture and sent it to our family chatting group to “show off”. I’ve been the United States for almost one year, and felt it deep that life is always contradictory. Sometimes when you want to move forward, you have to sacrifice the time that you should accompany you family. But even so, families are always there. They don’t care if you are successful or not, but if you are tired or not. Best wishes to all the mothers around the world! Happy Mother’s Day!
— Katherine Lu (U.S.A)
Luca Cedergren, 5

Luca Cedergren, 5

Thank you to my best love — my mother! You make me feel not alone when I am away from you and your encouragement makes me stronger. Happy Mother’s Day.
— Chloe (China)
20多年前,20几岁的你生下了我,从妙龄少女变做超人妈妈。超人妈妈上得厅堂,下得厨房,换得了灯泡,斗得过小强,一切只为我的成长保驾护航。如今,我长大成人飞出温室,你又从超人辣妈转变成欢乐小老太太,和你的老头一起看山看水,重温那段为人母前的蜜月时光。你有时埋怨说我离你太远,赌气说爱你的老头比爱我多,可还是会转发我所在城市的天气和新闻,提醒我加减衣物,注意安全。在你眼里,我始终是个没长大的孩子。
亲爱的妈妈,母亲节快乐,感谢你的付出与辛劳!也祝愿全天下的母亲幸福安康,你们是世界上最可爱的人!
— Lena Bingliang (U.S.A)
今年的母亲节,我在伦敦,妈妈在江苏老家,万里之遥。

想起4年前父母一起过70岁生日,都是妈妈一手操办。她把小时候的玩伴当时在叫做“大队”和“生产队”里的好友都请了过来,还安排了接送的面包车。父母商量,宴席不叫喜宴不叫寿宴,妈妈叫人在横幅上写着:七十岁答谢宴,她在致辞中感恩兄弟姐妹和乡亲在她忙于工作的时候帮着照顾家庭和孩子。看到酒店里19桌客人我是真心敬佩:她迎接、寒暄每一拨客人,没到的还电话联系,问人家到哪里了;率领我们姐弟到每一桌前向亲朋致谢;最后坚持自己给每一桌每一家发寿桃和寿面;最后,再站到门口送别。当然,这并不包括她为这一天所作的所有准备。年轻的我们在外地工作,没给她帮上什么忙,惭愧哦。她说:你们回来妈妈就最开心了。

她感恩于生活,以达观作为对岁月的回报,而且70多岁仍然充满热情,事必躬亲,我希望她还有这样的80、90岁喜宴。

我的超级妈妈!

— Red 红艳 (UK)

Featured art: Maya Cedergren, 8, U.S.A 
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MBL strengthens Its cultural impact in 2017

After more than 10 years of research, exploration and action, MBL continues strengthening its cultural impact. It’s a bridge of communication between birth and adoptive culture, of understanding between East and West, and of support between rich and poor.

Please take a look at MBL’s latest summary. Thank you very much for your love, support, and participation!

MBL 2017 Presentation

2017 presentation 2

 

2017 presentation 3

2017 presentation 4

2017 presentation 5

2017 presentation 6

2017 presentation 8

2017 presentation 9

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Adoption related information in Germany & Chinese students in Germany

Overview of German Adoption Law

Overwhelmed By Thousands Of Refugee Children Traveling Alone, Europe Considers Adoption

“As the number of unaccompanied minors increases across Europe, governments are discussing new ways of responding to the crisis to ease the steep costs of housing them. One suggestion was to fast-track refugee children into the foster and adoption systems. In Germany, officials said the government has already started processing some unaccompanied minors for adoption.”

sk.natural-breast-pills.com Chinese Students in Germany

Why Chinese Students are Flocking to Germany

“Not all of the Chinese enrolled at German universities are geniuses. There are the high flyers, but there are also problem cases. According to the association of nine technical universities, TU9, the Chinese students are as varied as the German ones.”

Chinese in east Germany don’t see bias in Dessau murder

“The murder of a Chinese university student has shocked locals in the eastern German town of Dessau. Amid reports of growing xenophobia, DW’s Kate Brady headed east to talk to the region’s Chinese population.”

 

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MBL is using Wechat NOW! Add” MBLlondon_2004″ as your Wechat friend

MBL Wechat QR code

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Adoption-related news in Spain, Portugal, and Elsewhere

Spain – Intercountry Adoption

“Spain is not considered a country of origin in intercountry adoption. There are few children eligible for adoption, with a long waiting list of Spanish prospective adoptive parents. Most intercountry adoptions in Spain are by legal residents of Spain who adopt in third countries..”

Adopting a Child in Spain

“Only  non-emancipated minors may be adopted. Exceptionally, it is possible to adopt an emancipated minor, had the minor cohabited ceaselessly with the parent to be willing to adopt, before the adopted has turned 14 years of age or if the adopted has been in a situation of pre-adoptive asylum…”

Overview of Spanish Adoption Law

Overview of Portuguese Adoption Law

Adopting from Portugal

Portugal is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptionprocessing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention.”

How This Mom Involved Everyone in Her Adoption Day Celebration (The Huffington Post)

Tighter Laws Take Toll on Chinese Adoption Rates (NBC News)

“Adopting from China once provided hope to thousands of childless Americans. But as NBC’s Lester Holt reports, new rules have made it tougher for prospective parents.”

Jenna Cook: The adopted girl claimed by 50 birth families (BBC)

“When Jenna Cook went back to China at the age of 20 to search for her birth parents, she knew she was unlikely to succeed. What she didn’t expect was that she would meet dozens of families who desperately hoped she was their lost child…”

 

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CACH Reunion with MBL

And Happy International Women’s Day!

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Adoption in Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Netherlands

Netherlands 

News: 

Dutch government will not ban foreign adoption.

Organizations (or useful links):

Sweden 

News: 

An Indian woman met her biological mother after being adopted to Sweden for 42 years.

Organizations (or useful links):

Denmark 

News:

Denmark stops all adoptions from Ethiopia

Organizations (or useful links):

Finland 

News:

Eastern European countries declared wars on child protection agencies in Norway, Finland and the UK for “forced adoption”.

Organizations (or useful links):

World news and misc.  

  • Inter-country adoption of children falls sharply.
  • Recent Activities of MBL
    • The Mother’s Bridge of Love (MBL) is collaborating with V&A Museum of Childhood (Bethnal Green, Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9PA) to celebrate Chinese New Year on 11th February (Saturday) 2017. The theme this year is “diverse Chinese culture”.
    • Call for children’s paintings for MBL global charitable events (Stayed tuned for detail)
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Love on the Road – Visiting ‘left-behind’ children in a mountainous region of Sichuan province.

At 5am on 18 December 2016, we (a group MBL volunteers) set off on our journey. First we flew from Nanjing to Chengdu, from where we drove for more than 8 hours on mountainous roads before arriving at our destination – a group of schools up in the mountains of Sichuan province:

Hongchun Primary School

Junlian County Shilong Primary School

Junlian County Mutan Primary School, Gong County

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A common sky, the same age, a shared culture… But living conditions which couldn’t be more different

Hongchun Primary School, Junlian County
6 teachers, 6 classes with a total of 131 students. Students are mainly ‘left-behind children’ from villages in the surrounding area.

Mutan Primary School, Gong County
Founded in 1995, Mutan School is located southwest of Gongteng village. There are a total of two school buildings – one new and one old – 5 teachers and 5 classes with a total of 78 students, who mostly come from the local village. More than half of the children’s parents work in different parts of China.

Here, a teacher will be responsible for teaching all classes to a whole year-group

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Love & Care 

Some children here in the mountains walk for over 2 hours in flimsy shoes to get to school, come rain, shine or snow.

There is no heating in the classrooms, and many of the students suffer from frostbite.

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Hope – In pursuit of knowledge and happiness

No matter how hard, no matter the obstacle, their will to learn is undimmed.

In their eyes you see their focus, in their smile you see their passion.

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Message of Love – Library Donations

MBL volunteers have been setting up school libraries and making donations in impoverished parts of China for over 12 years. On this visit to Sichuan province, they set up the 19th, 20th, and 21st libraries.

Volunteer Frank often says that what we are giving these children are not libraries, but wings that give these children a chance to see beyond the mountains they live in. They may be small, but these libraries are filled with joy.

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Feel – Joining the class 

Hello everyone, my name is Lily. I am 10 years old and I am the youngest MBL volunteer. Today I joined the local kids in DT, Sports and English class.

These classes were all prepared by the big sisters from the MBL volunteer centre.

I was really surprised that it was the first time these children had these kinds of classes, because they don’t have the right equipment.

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Treasure – Treasure the time we have

Hi everyone, I’m Zhang Hong. At 63 years old, I’m the oldest MBL volunteer.

I want to take everything I have seen and heard here back to the city, to tell my child and many other children from the city about what life is like up here in the mountains, about children who grow up in poverty without parents , but are still willing to work hard for a better future.

Children from the city should treasure all they have.

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Donations

Gonghe School

Hongchun School

Shilong School

Books

880

860

1150

Bookcases

4

3

/

Heaters

6

5

6

Computers

2

2

2

Files

One set

One set

One set

Other

Clothing

Clothing

Clothing

 

Organizers

The Mothers’ Bridge of Love

Nanjing Volunteer Centre

Sino-UK Bridge Cultural Education

Our heartfelt thanks to: 

MBL volunteers: Frank Pan, Julie Zhu, Pan Tong,  Zhang Hong,  Zhao Haisong,  Zhao Yutong, Zhou Jing, Dong Pei, Wei Yonghong, Xu Mingyi, Liu Wei, Wu Fengjie and Liu Huayi.

Will Spence for translating the text from Chinese to English. 

Robert Coates Family for their donation of NZ $5,000 to support MBL B4K project & Shilong primary shool library

Li Yuan and her family for sponsoring the courier services

Mrs Yang’s support of RMB1000 to MBL volunteer center to buy books.

 

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Adoption news and organizations in Brazil and other countries in South America

News:

Brazil Eases Child adoption for Foreigners
“The National Council of Justice (CNJ) moved to approve a change in the country’s National Adoption Registry (CNA) that facilitates the adoption of Brazilian children by foreign would-be parents.”

Adoption Rules in Brazil

“According to a report by CNA, which is the National Adoption Register in Brazil, there were over 5.400 children and adolescents ready for adoption in Brazil in 2013. Of these, 3.000 were male and 2.400 were female. Also, slightly more than 32% of all children and adolescents ready for adoption in Brazil were caucasians.”

I’m a Child of Argentina’s “Disappeared”

“Hundreds of babies of parents killed by Argentina’s military dictatorship were given new families and identities, their true origins kept a secret. Jorgelina was one of them.”

Organizations:

Orphan Care Alliance – South America 

Across The World Adoptions – Brazil

Children’s Home Society of Minnesota – Brazil

Hand in Hand International Adoptions – Brazil

RainbowKids Adoption & Child Welfare Advocacy – Brazil 

Nightlight Christian Adoptions – Nicaragua 

La Vida International – Colombia

A Love Beyond Borders – Caribbean and South America

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Happy New Year of 2017 from MBL!

MBL New Year Greeting 2017MBL wishes you and your loved ones a Happy New Year! We’re deeply grateful for your support and encouragement, and look forward to another wonderful year ahead.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit here.

(A big thank you to our volunteer Gloria for designing the greeting card.)

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