VANCOUVER: Chinese children adopted by white Canadians admit there are challenges

Chuck Chiang: For Chinese children adopted by white Canadian parents, birth culture is both ‘foreign’ and an opportunity

Children at an International Children’s Day celebration at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver. Held by the local Chinese consulate, the event drew members of about 20 B.C. families with children adopted from China.

Photograph by: Handout

Earlier this year, I was doing the dishes when a documentary on TV caught my eye.

Twin Sisters by Norwegian filmmaker Mona Friis Bertheussen detailed the tales of two girls — identical twins — who were adopted from China by two families, one in Sacramento, Calif., the other in a small village in Norway.

The film is beautifully made, highlighting the girls’ innate connection to one another despite growing up in vastly different environments and cultures. It touched on issues of identity for internationally adopted children — something that would strike a chord with countless immigrant children whose parents’ culture varies drastically from the mainstream that shaped their childhood.

According to Statistics Canada, almost 21,000 children were adopted from abroad by Canadians 1999 to 2009, including 8,000 from China.

A week ago, the Chinese Consulate hosted International Children’s Day celebrations at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver. The event drew about 20 B.C. families with children adopted from China.

Officials describe these families as an important bridge between cultures, a sign of the growing person-to-person interaction between Canada and the Far East. Several parents explained how they had to “stretch” outside of their usual comfort zone and learn more about another culture for the sake of their children

“Our families are the symbols for the link between China and Canada, and we hope that these children continue to serve as a link to help other Canadians learn more about China,” Eamon Duffy said at the event. He is co-chair of the group Families with Children from China.

The marriage of cultures present challenges that parents and children both readily admit to.

“I remember, when Wednesdays would come around and it was time to go to Mandarin class, I would hide, pretend to be sick,” recounted Maia Robinson, 19, who had taken Chinese language classes since age 5. “I spent a lot of time studying Mandarin, and I remember I used to always resent it.”

Maia and her sister Cleone, 17, were adopted from China when they were infants. The family lives in West Vancouver.

CLAGARY: Ada Guan and Wes Branch regret seeking $50K in crowdfunding campaign

1st-time parents say they never meant to offend people by asking for donations through crowdfunding

CBC News Posted: May 17, 2015 4:50 PM PT Last Updated: May 18, 2015 8:00 AM PT

New parents Ada Guan and Wes Branch arrived in Vancouver before heading home to Victoria after Guan gave birth to baby Chloe on a flight to Japan on May 10. The couple has faced backlash over their attempt to raise money in a crowdfunding campaign, so reduced the goal to $5,000 from $50,000.New parents Ada Guan and Wes Branch arrived in Vancouver before heading home to Victoria after Guan gave birth to baby Chloe on a flight to Japan on May 10. The couple has faced backlash over their attempt to raise money in a crowdfunding campaign, so reduced the goal to $5,000 from $50,000. (CBC)

The Canadian couple who made international headlines when the woman delivered a surprise baby aboard an Air Canada flight headed to Japan regret seeking $50,000 through crowdfunding donations, and have dramatically lowered the goal.

Wes Branch and girlfriend Ada Guan, who are in their early 20s, were interviewed at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday morning on a stopover before a flight home to Victoria.

Ada Guan, B.C. woman who gave birth on plane, didn’t know she was pregnant

Woman went into labour somewhere over the Pacific Ocean after leaving Canada

CBC News Posted: May 11, 2015 8:07 PM PT Last Updated: May 12, 2015 4:34 AM PT

Baby Chloe, who was born on an Air Canada flight to Japan, was an unexpected surprise.Baby Chloe, who was born on an Air Canada flight to Japan, was an unexpected surprise. (Facebook)

The baby born on an Air Canada flight somewhere over the Pacific Ocean was a complete surprise to her B.C. parents.

Ada Guan, 23, delivered her baby with the help of three doctors aboard the plane. She was travelling from Calgary to Tokyo with her boyfriend, Wesley Branch.

Branch’s parents Sandra and David, who live in Penticton, say Guan didn’t realize she was pregnant.

“I said to her, ‘Did you not feel anything inside?’ and she said ‘No, every once in a while I felt gas or rumblings in there’ but never thinking it was a baby in there,” says Sandra.

Surjit Dosanjh charged in Richmond arson that killed woman, left Kalvin Dosanjh-Leznoff critical

Son-in-law of Elaine Leznoff charged with second-degree murder

CBC News Posted: Apr 17, 2015 12:26 PM PT Last Updated: Apr 17, 2015 12:26 PM PT

Charges have been laid in a Richmond house fire that left 1 woman dead and a boy in critical condition.Charges have been laid in a Richmond house fire that left 1 woman dead and a boy in critical condition. (Shane MacKichan/CBC)

Second-degree murder charges have been laid against Surjit Dosanjh after a house fire in Richmond, B.C. left his mother-in-law dead and a 13-year-old boy in critical condition.

Elaine Leznoff, 66, died in the fire, which was declared an arson by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

IHIT said Friday that the injured boy, Kalvin Dosanjh-Leznoff, is not expected to live.

Dosanjh, 37. was estranged from his family earlier this month, and was not living at the home at the time of the fire.

Richmond firefighters were called to the home in the 10000 block of Cornerbrook Crescent around 2 a.m. PT April 13, after reports the home was engulfed in flames.

 

Marc Wabafiyebazu pleads not guilty to murder in Florida drug-related shootout

The Associated Press Posted: Apr 20, 2015 11:51 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 20, 2015 4:28 PM ET

The 15-year-old son of a Canadian diplomat has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in a Miami drug-related shootout that killed his older brother.

Marc Wabafiyebazu 20150408Marc Wabafiyebazu is the son of a Canadian diplomat who police say was involved in a drug-related shootout that killed his brother and another teenager. (Handout/Canadian Press)

The attorney for Marc Wabafiyebazu entered the plea Monday on his behalf to adult felony murder, attempted murder and other charges.

Wabafiyebazu waived his appearance in court. Circuit Judge Richard Hersch set a tentative July 20 trial date.

Wabafiyebazu is the son of Roxanne Dubé, the Canadian consul general in Miami. Her other son, Jean Wabafiyebazu, was fatally shot in the March 30 confrontation over a marijuana deal that also left 17-year-old Joshua Wright dead.

Two other young men also pleaded not guilty Monday in the case.

Police say the gunfire erupted after the Wabafiyebazu brothers tried to rob the drug dealers.

Marc Wabafiyebazu, 15, charged with first-degree murder in drug-related shootout

Marc Wabafiyebazu, 15, indicted on first-degree murder charge

The Canadian Press Posted: Apr 15, 2015 2:02 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 15, 2015 5:08 PM ET

Marc Wabafiyebazu, the son of a Canadian diplomat , was charged with first-degree murder in what police say was a drug-related shootout.Marc Wabafiyebazu, the son of a Canadian diplomat , was charged with first-degree murder in what police say was a drug-related shootout. (Handout/Canadian Press)

 A Canadian diplomat’s teenage son accused of involvement in a drug-related shootout that killed his older brother in Florida has been charged with murder and will be tried as an adult.

A Miami-Dade County grand jury indicted 15-year-old Marc Wabafiyebazu on first-degree felony murder charges Wednesday.