Deadliest Earthquakes

March 31, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
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Adopted Coreans Returning Home to Adopt Their Own

March 14, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Adopted 

Corean jeong, folks!
ST. PAUL, Minn.—When Rebecca Eun Hee Viot speaks of her daughter Ruby, her tone expresses a love that clearly transcends words.

“She has basically done what no husband or therapist or boyfriend or girlfriend has ever been able to do,” Viot said. “She’s basically quieted my heart.”

Viot, a Korean adoptee, grew up in the Midwest feeling a disconnect between her US life and her culture of origin. But, through Ruby (in photo above), her adopted Korean daughter, Viot has filled a void within herself.

Over a half-million children in the United States are adopted, and 60 percent of Americans have either been through the adoption process or know someone who has, according to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a New York-based nonprofit devoted to improving adoption policy and practice.

Once a hushed issue, adoption has become more commonly accepted and practiced over time. Between 1971 and 2001, US citizens adopted 265,677 children from other countries. In the last decade of that period, international adoptions more than doubled from 9,050 to 19,237; girls dominated those adoptions over boys, 64 percent to 36 percent.

The first documented transracial Asian adoptions in the United States date back to the 1900s, but only after World War II did they become more pervasive. Between 1971 and 2001, 156,591 children were adopted from Asia, making it the most popular global region to adopt from (Europe came in a distant second, with less than a third of that figure). In 1990, South Korea dominated US international adoptions; and in 2001, China took the lead.

Today, a growing number of adoptees are adopting children from their birth countries, according to a 2009 study released by the Donaldson Adoption Institute titled “Beyond Culture Camp.” Of adoptees polled in the study, 30 percent reported that they had adopted at least one child. In comparison, 3.7 percent of households in 2003 included at least one adopted child, as reported by the US Census Bureau.

These figures may indicate a potential trend: “No one’s done that kind of work so we don’t know for sure, but if you look at the study, there was a stunning percentage of adoptees who adopted,” said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute.

Asian adoptees can benefit from an expedited adoption process depending on the adoption agency and country they choose. A Korean adoptee, for instance, is still considered a national and, therefore, granted preference in adopting a child from Korea.

When Viot was 6, she left South Korea, her birth country, to live with her adoptive white family in St. Paul, MN. Growing up in the Midwest in the ’70s was difficult. Viot and her biological brother, part of an early wave of Korean adoptees in the United States, were the only people of color in her neighborhood. Their family lacked access to resources to learn more about the children’s birth country and any relevant cultural differences. Viot’s adoptive parents raised her as though she shared their history and experiences.

When Viot was ready to start her own family, adoption wasn’t her first choice. But when complications moved Viot and her husband to adopt, Viot naturally looked to Korea: She felt she could better understand an adopted child from her country of origin.

Ruby arrived at Viot’s St. Louis Park, MN, home in 2008 as a 9-month-old baby. Since then, Ruby has brought peace to Viot’s life and tightened Viot’s bonds to her birth country. “I never took a pride in being Korean,” Viot said, though she wasn’t necessarily ashamed. “I was often confused and sad because I knew I didn’t fit in. I just didn’t know who I was.”

Motivated by her daughter, Viot has begun to explore Korean food (she can now cook kaktugi, bulgogi, japchae and kimchi jigae) and the Korean language (she has learned to read Hangul and aspires to speak it with her biological family). She is also interested in learning Korean drumming and dance through the Korean Heritage House, which recently opened in the Twin Cities; Ruby will be enrolled when she turns 4.

“We’re learning together,” said Viot, who has founded an Internet forum for parents undergoing the adoption process. I have to stop myself from thinking that just because [Ruby and I] look alike that is enough. I’m still learning about the traditions. I have to do my homework, just like my [friends who are] Caucasian adoptive parents.

Looking alike eliminates one complication that often accompanies international adoption: Most people assume Ruby is Viot’s biological child. But Viot anticipates that Ruby may still grapple with cultural and identity issues. She hopes to expose Ruby to her Korean heritage from the outset — something Viot’s parents were unable to do for their adopted children.

“I want my daughter to know from the beginning who she is and why she does some of the things she does and thinks the way she does,” Viot said. “There are a lot of things my parents didn’t do that I am going to do. I am going to make every effort to learn the language. As her mother, I want her to have less holes to fill in when she’s older than all the holes I had.”

But Viot knows she cannot shield Ruby from everything: Ruby will grow up with the label of “adoptee.” “The day she totally intellectually understands that she is adopted is the day that her self-view will change.”

In 1961, at 15 months old, Melinda Matthews met her adoptive family in New Jersey. Despite some challenges, Matthews views her experience as a Korean adoptee in a white family as positive. Unlike Viot, Matthews always had a desire to adopt from her birth country.

“Adopting my daughter didn’t feel like baby-buying to me,” Matthews said. “It was, ironically, the sole thread from my own adoption that I felt compelled to continue. I absolutely needed to pass on my adoptive heritage; it meant far more to me than continuing my genetic heritage.”

An adopted child was someone Matthews could relate to completely, someone she could guide and understand. “Most importantly, I could love full-heartedly and unreservedly, without passing along the twin specters of guilt and gratitude that have haunted me,” she said.

Matthews now lives in Plantation, FL, with her three children: two biological children and her youngest daughter, Kimmy, who was adopted from Korea as a 5-month-old.

Like Viot, Matthews believes that her physical similarity to her adopted daughter, now 11, goes a long way. “I don’t think she is impacted much by her adoption,” Matthews said. “She doesn’t stand out as physically different so she doesn’t draw the questions and stares that I did. She’s never singled out as an adoptee.”

In fact, strangers often remark on Kimmy’s resemblance to her, especially compared with her biological children who are half-Korean and half-white.

Matthews has fostered the same relationship with Kimmy as with her biological children. “I have not emphasized our adoption connection,” she said, though she is always alert and open to that topic being raised. “I want her to be aware of her adoption and mine, but I don’t want her pegged as the ‘adopted one.’ ”

Kimmy, whom Matthews calls a very social “all-American girl,” occasionally asks about her biological parents, but for now she doesn’t dwell on the topic. Kimmy has not yet shown much interest in Korean culture or in seeking out her roots. But Matthews is preparing for the time when that changes. “That is when I hope I can step up and support her the way she needs to be supported. I just hope if anything comes up that I can give her perspective or that I can at least understand.

“Her experience is really different than mine,” Matthews said. “She does not seem to be the oddity that I was growing up.”

Tsunami after the 9.0 Earthquake

March 14, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
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Earthquake in Japan ~ Home Video

March 12, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
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It’s kind of hard to get a reference point for how much shaking is going on as the videographer is shaking a lot, but it’s worth a look.

Nevertheless, the people in the video are genuinely frightened and are running by large windows and under power lines and weak structures. These are things you should NOT be doing.

Japan’s Chernobyl?

March 11, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
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11 March 2011, 9:01PM, Russia Today is reporting that radiation levels at the plant in Fukushima has reached x1000 normal.

Experts say that they have about 24 hours to take measures to prevent a meltdown.

Secretary of State Clinton has requested for coolant to be delivered to the site by the U. S. Air Force.

The Fukushima reactor is x100 more powerful than the Chernobyl reactor.

Update: 3:55AM, PST, 12 March 2011, An explosion at Plant 1, Several reported dead, Nuclear material being released to slow a nuclear meltdown.

Update: 5:12AM, PST, 12 March 2011
News reports are coming in with experts saying there is no cause for immediate concern, but, if you’re say, 250 miles of the reactors, get the hell out of there. Forget what the experts are telling you.

We spoke with a group of farmers several hundred miles away and they told us that there is nothing to worry about. They said that they’re not scared of dying. We told them that they would not die now, but die years later after succumbing to diseases from the nuclear fallout. The subject of the conversation changed, then they went back to their dinner.

Update: 1:39PM, 12 March 2011,
The containment dome (main safety net) has been obliterated by the nuclear explosion and is now releasing Nitrogen-16, Tritium, Iodine-131, and Cesium-137 into the atmosphere. Hopefully, the wind will carry most of it away from the population and into the oceans. The most worrisome out the nuclear materials being released is Cesium-137. It has a half-life of 30 years, i.e, that it takes 30 years to lose half of the material that was released. Even in tiny concentrations, it is water soluable and is easily dispersed into our water and air. Cesium-137 is a known carcinogen and makes the water, land, and food grown on that land unhospitable for 200 years or more.

Update: 2:09PM, PST, 12 March 2011, Plant 3 has lost cooling capacity.

Update: 7:48PM, PST, 13 March 2011, Cooling with seawater has stopped– hydrogen gas being released. These two actions indicate that we should expect a complete meltdown of that reactor (Fukushima 3).

You would only cool a reactor with sea water only in a severe emergency, as doing so will corrode all of the components that make up the inner workings of the reactor. The corrosion would first cause leaks around fittings and connections, then corrode the tubing, leading to a sudden loss in pressure and release of radioactive materials.

Here’s a video by Al Jazeera of what are lacking in the reports by the Japanese authorities.

Update: 8:16PM, PST, 13 March 2011, CBS in the United States is reporting a new explosion at one of the reactors.

More soon!

The Most Common Face

March 3, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
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National Geographic did a study of the most common faces around the world. This is a video presentation of what that face would look like if it belonged to one person.

Here’s a clue: it’s where most of your stuff comes from.

Dog Meat

March 1, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Dog Meat 

The dogs that are eaten are treated horribly. They are caged, neglected, and some are beaten to death. Dogs are majestic animals and have much loyalty and love to offer any decent person; they also deserve the same in return. It’s just sad that dogs are eaten to temporarily feed one’s stomach when they can feed one’s soul for a lifetime.

Beating a dog, or stressing any animal before death, releases toxins and hormones; toxins and hormones poison the meat and toughen it. Some also believe that dog meat will aid those that lack virility and stamina. If you have virility and stamina problems, eating dog meat won’t help. You’ve got a limp ding-dong. And for the super dummies, eating dog soup will not keep you cool in the summer; it will make you sweat!

I don’t know if the sellers or the eaters are more pathetic! The hate one needs to kill such creatures or the severe lack of compassion and decency one would require to knowingly consume dogs that were abused and butchered. And for those that sell or eat dogs, I hope one bites you.

Do have a great day!

Your friend,