Shop to Help Others – Catalyst Foundation

December 13th, 2007
Categories: Products

As I searched online for places that one could shop to help those struggling in Viet Nam, I was pleasantly surprised to come across quite a few organizations that do just that. With the holiday season fully upon us, many are still trying to find meaningful gifts to give. The organization that I’m posting about today; the Catalyst Foundation, has remarkable gift options that will directly help children in need in Viet Nam. Some friends and family members may not fully understand the plight of poverty and disease stricken children and their families, but your gift to them can help open their eyes. I knew of the Catalyst Foundation for their Vietnamese culture camps, but did not know about their humanitarian work, and specifically their dedication… [more]

Craft Link – Shop to Help Others

December 13th, 2007
Categories: Products

Erin has posted some great ideas over on the Transracial Adoption Blog for gifts that help other people. To continue on with her idea, I’ve been doing some research to find gifts that you might consider purchasing that directly help the Vietnamese people. I know it’s a little late in the season, but with so many people doing last minute shopping and ordering gifts online, I hope that some will consider the organizations I’ll be featuring. I have posted about Craft Link before. Craft Link is a non profit organization in Viet Nam that supports Vietnamese artists by selling their wares for a fair price. The organization has retail, wholesale and export divisions and places a focus on promoting the wares of ethnic minority… [more]

Showing Respect for Your Child’s Birth Country

November 20th, 2007
Categories: Culture

Earlier today the Voices for Viet Nam Adoption Integrity blog published an account of the current state of Viet Nam adoptions from the director of Welcome House adoption agency. I read her words with care and was extremely interested to hear her perception of the current situation. One of the points that jumped clear off my laptop screen was one that concerned a provincial official that she spoke with. This official was disappointed and wondered why adoption agencies from the United States “only send families who want babies and have no concern for their country.” Wow. That certainly got the wheels in my head turning and wondering what we could do to change this man’s perception of Americans coming to Viet Nam to adopt… [more]

Our Tet Trung Thu Mooncakes

September 26th, 2007
Categories: Holidays

Please believe me when I tell you that, yes, I am completely and thoroughly aware that these look nothing like traditional mooncakes! As a time strapped mom who wanted to make them myself, this is what I concocted and we were all pretty happy with them. I followed the Asia for Kids recipe that I posted about here, and the directions were really easy to follow and the ingredients were all things we normally have on hand (except for the “fancy” blackberry preserves I purchased just for this occasion.) I am pleased to tell you that these were some of the most delicious treats that I have ever eaten. My calorie count for the day was not pleased, but I’m just going to ignore that for… [more]

It’s Tet Trung Thu (the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival!)

September 25th, 2007
Categories: Holidays

Happy Tet Trung Thu! Since a very large part of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is to celebrate children, I have been thinking about how to make this day all about Ella. Then I realized that everyday is all about Ella, so how could I make this one special? Here are some things that we're going to try to do today:

  • Have a breakfast picnic on the floor in the living room. To get in the spirit of honoring the moon, we’ll start the day with some full moon shaped Kix cereal. She’s been on a huge Kix craze lately!
  • She’s too young to make lanterns or any real crafts, but enjoys coloring, so I’ll draw some pictures of lanterns and the moon for her

Tet Trung Thu Folktales and Books

September 21st, 2007
Categories: Holidays

Since Tet Trung Thu (the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival) is a celebration that honors children, I thought it would be a good idea to share some traditional folktales about the holiday. To celebrate this Tuesday, break out some mooncakes, spend time together as a family and share some of these stories with your children. Cá hóa Rông – the story of a carp who worked hard to reach his goal of becoming a dragon. After much hard work, he was successful. The moral of the story is that with hard work, one can become anything they wish. This can be easily applied to working hard in school. The Lady in the Moon – this particular story is set in China, but still tells a lot about the holiday. The story focuses on… [more]

Tet Trung Thu Festivities Across the US

September 19th, 2007
Categories: Holidays

There are many festivals planned across the country to celebrate Tet Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.) Below you will find a sampling of events, but if you are unable to find one near you, why not throw your own celebration? If you belong to your local Families With Children From Viet Nam group, I'll bet there are other families who would be interested in starting an annual tradition to celebrate and honor the moon and our children. The Westminster Rose Center in Westminster, California will be hosting a 2007 Orange Moon Festival for Tet Trung Thu. It will be held this Saturday September 22 at noon. There will be activities for children, theatre, poetry and more to celebrate and honor the moon. For more information, please click here. In California… [more]

Mooncakes for Tet Trung Thu

September 18th, 2007
Categories: Holidays

Mooncakes first came to be as a celebration food when the Han Chinese defeated the Mongols. They are now a traditional treat during the Mid Autumn Moon Festival (tet trung thu,) and come in many different varieties. Making traditional Vietnamese mooncakes (banh tet trung thu) is a labor intensive process and many Vietnamese families choose to order theirs from local shops instead of making them themselves. They can be found at any Asian supermarket in the United States, and there are several recipes out there online if you’re feeling ambitious. Mooncakes traditionally consist of an outer pastry layer filled with lotus paste, red bean paste, mixed nuts or an egg yolk. The filled treats are then put into molds where they are imprinted with gorgeous markings (or… [more]

Tet Trung Thu is Next Week!

September 17th, 2007
Categories: Holidays

Tet Trung Thu, or the Mid Autumn Moon Festival falls on September 25th this year. Every year it is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month. As the festival’s intent is to honor the moon, it occurs during the part of the year that the moon is at its brightest. There is a great deal of attention bestowed on children during the Mid Autum Moon Festival; it’s sometimes even called the Childrens’ Festival. It is a time to spend quality time together as a family and encourage and embrace creativity with your children. I thought it would be fun to share some ideas about how you can incorporate this day into your family’s traditions. All of the suggestions below are intended to be done by… [more]

An Asian American Girl Doll

August 26th, 2007
Categories: Products

american girl store Depending on how you feel about American Girl dolls, you’ll either be thrilled or completely indifferent to the following information. Rumor has it that they will be releasing an Asian American doll later this year. I have seen discussions pop up about the lack of an Asian American Girl doll in adoption circles for a few years now. In case you’re not familiar with the American Girl company, they have a line of incredibly popular dolls that represent different periods of American history and different races…except for Asian. There are African American, Mexican American and Native American dolls in addition to Caucasian ones. Last year’s “Girl of the Year” doll named Jess was biracial (Japanese and Irish,) but she wasn’t a part… [more]