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About Tongshan




Updated 6/1/06:

Below is an email received from a woman named Karen who heads an internet group of adoptive families from Xianning, Hubei. This city is very close to Tongshan. The news she shares with us is very important and informative.

I do not have news specific about Tongshan, but I believe it is now under
the jurisdiction of Xianning .
Xianning used to be just a small city, but a few years ago it was upgraded
to a prefecture which is quite large.  The old city of Xianning is now
called Xian'An and the pin-point on a map for Xianning City is the new
municipal center away from Xian'An and the old city center (just a few
miles!).  While in China I got a map of Hubei and where Tongshan is written,
Xianning City is written in broader letters (like a county on our U.S. maps).
So, it appears that Tongshan
is now in Xianning Prefecture and the orphanage will be under the realm of
the Xianning City orphanage (Xian'an SWI).  I am attaching [see below] that part of the map - I will test your Chinese! 

The orphanage director confirmed that he
oversees all of the orphanages in the Xianning Prefecture - some as far as
220 km away!  Tongshan is not that far from the now Xian'An - just over the mountains.  He also said that the other orphanages do not do international adoptions anymore.
He then shared that they are doing mostly domestic adoptions
and all the children are in foster care.  There were no healthy children at
the new Xian'An orphanage except those with their foster parents and those were the only ones we were allowed to see.  (The
orphanage we saw is new and not the building our daughter was in - the old
building now houses staff.)  We saw a few older children and he was happy to say that they have recently found their families - locally.  They are
building yet another new orphanage and SWI to the tune of rmb10,000,000 in the new economic development zone.  Only a small portion of the SWI is for an orphanage and the signage states nothing about children, only for those that are old or disabled.  Still, the director said, they will continue to foster all the children as the Hubei government feels this is better than living at the orphanage - no matter how modern!
Our trip was amazing!   Xianning was by far the
most exciting.  We brought a donation of $1,560 and got to go shopping
with the orphanage staff and purchased 4 regular and one very large air
conditioner/heating units. 

We had assumed we were the first to travel there
but found out 3 other families have visited - only one from the States.  I
assume they visited when they got their children but that was not made

So - that is it!  I could go on but it does not directly relate to Tongshan.
 I believe the upgrade of Xianning took place in 1999 but I am not sure.  I found it on the web somewhere and will try and find it again.  I am hoping the information you have might jive with some of what I have.  Also, we are now all Xianning families!  

I hope you are all doing well!  I am in process of tearing down the Xianning
web site and putting everything in our Yahoo groups.  We now also have a
Xianning Culture Forum group as we have a young man who is a grad student here in the US from Xianning.  If you would be interested in joining, or anyone else from your group we would be happy to have you there.  We have learned so much from Chao already.
Best wishes.  Karen