Today, Saturday, November 21, 2009, is National Adoption Day.
In North America alone, so many children are currently waiting in foster care for a permanent family to come into their lives. In other parts of the world, for example in China, where our own dear daughter Tammy-Li Ming-Hui was born, countless infants and young children reside in the stasis of institutionalised care, waiting to be held at last by Mom or Dad.

To all of those children, parents and siblings "in waiting", I would like to say this: Your wait will soon be over. May you experience, as we have, the miracle of adoption and the joy of family in your lives.

The First Excellence, my mystery/intrigue set in China, was loosely based on a short story idea that came to me the week after we brought our daughter home. The protagonist, Li Fa-ling, is a young Chinese-Canadian facing the dillemna of all young adults: what to do with the rest of her life.

In an effort to better understand herself, she travels to the heart of mainland China with a Canadian adoption group. There she encounters murder, kidnapping, political intrigue and organ theft. Her cloistered world is sliced wide open by her unexpected affection for the Nanning Detective Wang Yong-qi and his brilliant but uncouth partner Cheng Minsheng.

Having said all that, this is not just a book about murder and kidnapping and all those crimes against humanity we crimewriters do so love to study. In my humble opinion as the author, it is a story of the human spirit -- its quest to discover worthiness in a changing world and its relentless desire to love and to be loved.

To all those waiting for completion of the adoption process, and to all those families and children whose lives have already been altered by the miracle of adoption, my very best wishes to you all on this special day.

May we all take a moment to celebrate.

Donna Carrick

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