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Friday, August 8, 2008

Beijing Welcomes You

Y'all, I feel so relieved that I'm not the only only one with past Olympic dreams delusions. I'm thrilled to hear that so many of you also sported the Dorothy Hamill and Mary Lou Retton haircuts. As for myself, the Hamill haircut was about as close as I ever got to Olympic gold.

And I'm totally excited about tonight, y'all. Many waiting parents within the China adoption community just want these Olympics to be over -- O.V.E.R. -- but even they must be at least a teeny bit excited, too. If the Beijing Olympics is the cause of an artificial slowdown, then thank goodness it's here and almost gone. If you are like me and feel this slowdown came about because of a "perfect storm" effect... well, then at least one of the numerous variables is about to disappear.

Can I just say that I'd like to bop Bryant Gumbel over the head right now? Not hard -- because I strive to be kind at all times -- but a little bop might be warranted. Does that make me a mean and nasty person?

Don't answer that.

For those of you not following along in the conversation, allow me to take you back in time to the Seoul Olympics of 1988. Journalist Bryant Gumbel of NBC commented on-air that Korea's primary export commodity was its babies, while articles like "Babies for Export" (The New York Times) and "Babies for Sale: South Koreans Make Them, Americans Buy Them" (The Progressive) deeply embarrassed the South Korean government. As a result, the South Korean government delayed the already scheduled departures of adopted children before and during the Olympics.

In the long-term, the number of Korean children adopted by American families decreased significantly, from over 6,200 in 1986 to just over 1,700 in 1993. This decrease came about because the South Korean government, following the Seoul Olympics, created a long-term mandate to cease international adoption by 1996. From 1994 until 1997, Americans adopted biracial and special needs children from South Korea, but the once large non-special needs adoption program vanished. Policies changed once again after the economic collapse in 1997, but the decade following the Seoul Olympics forever shaped international adoption history.

Now do y'all understand why I feel a little frustrated with Mr. Gumbel? Although it's not exactly fair to him, since he's only one of many among this mess. And now do y'all understand why some among the China-adoption community believe this ever-lengthening wait to adopt might be due, at least in part, to the Beijing Olympics? It's only logical that China might want to avoid the embarrassment that South Korea felt in 1988.

Regardless, I truly AM excited about the Opening Ceremonies tonight. Tonggu Daddy and I, for once, are allowing the Tongginator to (gasp!) stay up past her bedtime to watch some of the show. We don't allow the poor child to go to bed late on the fourth of July nor New Years, but we will for this.

Yes, I agree. We totally have our priorities in order.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We can't wait to see it. And we can't wait for our little Tongginator to view it, snuggling between us on the couch.


happygeek said...

Heres hoping that the Olympics are a massive roadblock and now that they are done all the waiting parents will have their daughters home soonest!
I might stay away from RQ this month, it don't look good.
Enjoy the Olympics instead.

Georgia Peach said...

A beautifully crafted piece of ephemera. Thanks for sharing.

Bella's momma said...

Can't wait for tonight!!!

Growin' with it! said...

ahem... mr. gumbel has needed his mouth taped shut for years. how's that for being unkind. pff, ignorance is NOT a bliss in his case. so off that rampage...i'm joining you on the couch thing and look forward to some incredible moments in time. have fun with your sweet thing next to ya!

Lanxi said...

Praying for several of my adoptive friends that things pick up after the Olympics.

Love the video, but sorry, I couldn't stop my mind from seeing the US bike team wearing their masks as they "breathe together in the open air".

I do hope it is a time to celebrate the athletes and not focus on politics.

Becoming Me said...

Loved the video and am excited about the opening as well

Sharie said...

I've watched this video at least 150 times. My daughter is obsessed with it. She sings it now which I have to say is about the sweetest thing ever.
However I just turned the opening ceremonies and she's having a melt down because I turned Noggin off!

Love your blog!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

We are on our way...and missing the opening ceremonies while driving in the car....bummmer!!!

I should have recorded it....too late now!

Have a great weekend!

Almost forgot...I loved this video!


Janet said...

That was a cool video.

Kate said...

Hey Tonggu Momma...

You're funny! I think we could get alnog famously!!! Listen...been hearing a lot about you...first from Danielle, who kept telling me to check out your blog desing because she thought I would like something similar for my recent re-design (I did!) and then from Half Gaelic Half Garlic, who said you were very funny...and that perhaps you knew someone from our adoption group...

And then you left a comment on my blog....so here I am!!! And they were both right!!!

And you were right...by the end of the week without my husband....totally the opposite of put together...chugging diet coke by the gallon and counting the minutes until blessed relief walked through the door!!!

I will be back to visit you...and just for fun might be sporting my kickin' Dorothy Hamill haircut...I so rocked that look in the first grade!!!

Chris and Deb said...

I am so hoping that China does not end like South Korea! UGG!

On a positive note....the opening ceremonies were amazing! How will any country ever top that? China truly did shine last night!