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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since before I was married, I have wanted to adopt a daughter from China. My husband and I spoke about this early on, and I agreed with his wish to try to have biological children first and then to adopt. Our original plan was for four total children. We now have two wonderful boys, and for some reason, I feel incredibly compelled to proceed with our adoption NOW. My husband is open to the idea, although I think he would still like to have another bio child (and since I'm 35, he'd like to do that first).<br><br>
Anyway, I'd love to hear from others who've adopted from China. I did a search of this forum, and have seen some of your past posts -- and enjoyed reading them. I have some specific questions, but really I just want to hear anything you have to share!<br><br>
If any of these questions are too personal, please feel free to skip over them! Thank you so much!!<br><br>
1) Why China? And, were you "set" on China, or open to other countries as well.<br><br>
2) If you were "set" on China, how did that impact your decision about which agency to go with.<br><br>
3) How old was your child when you got your referral? At "gotcha" day? How old is s/he now?<br><br>
4) Best part of the adoption experience (leading up to her/him coming home with you)?<br><br>
5) Anything you wish you had known going into this process?<br><br>
6) Did you adopt or consider adopting a waiting child? Can you share anything about that experience with me (this is something that I am pursuing now as well)?<br><br>
7) What efforts do you make to connect your daughter (or son) and yourself to Chinese history, culture and heritage?<br><br>
Thanks so much! I look forward to getting to know you all as we start on this journey!
 

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My kids are not from China, but I just wanted to say that it is REALLY important that you follow your instincts (like you are doing) in adoptionb as far as country choice is concerned. I firmly believe that certain people are drawn to certain countries because that is where they will find their children. We KNEW we would be adopting from Kazakhstan and we couldn't really have told you why. Now I know it's because of these 2 kids.<br><br>
So, good luck<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> and welcome to the world of adoption.<br><br>
p.s. there are lots of China adoption yahoo groups and there may even be one specific to your geographic region. These groups are excellent resources.
 

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When we ran into some fertility issues early on, dh and I were choosing between pushing forward with more aggressive and invasive attempts at conception, or whether to build our family through adoption. Dh was always completely open to adoption, and seemed to truly not care one way or the other how our child came to us - bio or not. He just wanted our baby, and if adoption was quicker or more reliable, then that was fine with him.<br><br>
I was more committed to the idea of biological children at first. But one night we were laying in bed talking and dh pointed out to me how much both of us were just absolutely in love with my sister's child, who happens to be adopted. I realized then that it really didn't matter how or why a child comes into your life. Once they are there, your heart just loves, and you never even think about anything but that. So we started our adoption process then next day.<br><br>
China adoption was natural for us. My SIL is Chinese, so she and my brother return with their child to China every year or so. My niece (the one I spoke of) is also Chinese. So we have a strong Chinese thread in my family already. At our last family reunion, my BIL joked that there were sometimes more Chinese in the room than caucasians at any given moment in time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.<br><br>
The Chinese girls are so special. They are so smart and quick. So sweet. I don't know anyone who has brought a Chinese child into their hearts who didn't believe that child to be the most amazing and special soul. Problems with attachment disorders and other post institutionalized child issues are less with Chinese babies than with some other cultures. I think the Chinese are - as a culture - loving and openly affectionate to children, so the babies get at least some element of love, physical contact and attention, even when raised in orphanages. Substance abuse is rare, so antenatal exposures aren't much of a problem.<br><br>
Dd is a walking poster child for Chinese adoption. She is so beautiful, so intelligent, so engaging. We cannot leave the house without people adoring her, commenting over her, watching her with happy, approving smiles. But she is just an average Chinese adopted girl! They are just all such amazing, wonderful kids.<br><br>
Good luck with your decision <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.
 

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We were very much the same boat as you...we have 3 bio boys, I had my third ds when I was 36, but didn't really think about adoption until he was about 1 or 2. The answers to your questions are within the quote box in red.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>maryjane</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6455424"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">1) Why China? And, were you "set" on China, or open to other countries as well.<br><span>----We were open to other countries, incl. domestic. We chose China for many practical reasons, as well as having a gut feeling that was where our daughter was. The initial pull came from the fact that we wanted a girl, and we wanted to adopt from somewhere where the girls were the most in need of families. China's program is smooth-running, travel requirements suited our family, and we felt we would be able to provide our daughter w/adequate exposure to her heritage and other kids adopted from China</span>.<br><br>
2) If you were "set" on China, how did that impact your decision about which agency to go with.<br><span>----By the time we were selecting an agency we were already set on China. Again, a gut feeling played a roll, but we chose a smaller agency with a local office so our homestudy could be conducted by SW from the agency. They are AP friendly and actually promote things like the family bed. This I made sure of before having our homestudy. Our agency handles other international programs as well as domestic which we liked as well. The guide in China was also reputed to be fantastic, and that proved to be true. She was able to get into places (orphanage visits, etc.) that many others are not. They also allowed us to bring kids on the trip, which is not allowed by all agencies.</span><br><br>
3) How old was your child when you got your referral? At "gotcha" day? How old is s/he now?<br><br><span>-----Our dd was 9 mos at time of referral, just over 10 mos. at gotcha day, and she is approaching 3.5 years now.</span><br><br>
4) Best part of the adoption experience (leading up to her/him coming home with you)?<br><br><span>------The whole process, though not without stress, was wonderful. Intense, emotional and joyous. It was amazing sharing this wonderful way of growing our family with our boys. The shared experience w/our boys bonded us as a family and with our future dd. The day we received our 1st picture of her via email was probably the best part of the experience, just before the whirlwind of preparing to go get her!</span><br><br>
5) Anything you wish you had known going into this process?<br><br><span>-----I wish I had known more about adoption grants. I also think we could have handled travelling as a family to China (only dh and ds1 travelled), but I don't want to 2nd guess our decision on that....it was the best one at the time</span>.<br><br>
6) Did you adopt or consider adopting a waiting child? Can you share anything about that experience with me (this is something that I am pursuing now as well)?<br><br><span>-----No, we felt it best for our family to request a child who would not have special needs other than those that arise from being adopted itself.</span><br><br>
7) What efforts do you make to connect your daughter (or son) and yourself to Chinese history, culture and heritage?<br><br><span>-----We have established a playgroup for adoptees(mostly Chinese) which includes cultural activities. We have incorporated Chinese festivals in our family life and in some of our homeschool activities. Both my dd and my youngest ds are taking Mandarin classes, and are thus meeting some wonderful adult native Mandarin speakers. I hope to take part in the local Chinese school to some degree as dd gets older, but we are unschoolers so it remains to be seen how dd will take to that environment (very structured). We also have a fair amount of Asian decor in our house, which was easy to accomplish since I already had a lot before we ever thought of adoption. I'm always on the lookout for information (books, TV shows, movies, exhibits) that have to do with China to educate myself about dd's heritage. There are tons of resources out there.</span><br><br>
Thanks so much! I look forward to getting to know you all as we start on this journey!</div>
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---Best of luck to you!!
 

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Hi, I've got two daughters from China, who are now 9 and 6.<br><br>
1) Why China? And, were you "set" on China, or open to other countries as well.<br><br>
We also wanted girls, and most of the children available for adoption from China are girls. I liked the program. It has continued to be fairly straightforward, as international adoption programs go. If you qualify for the program, it is pretty much a given that eventually you will be matched with a child. I preferred to go with a program where the adoption is a civil procedure rather than a judicial procedure. I like the fact that it is pretty much corruption-free.<br><br>
There is a fairly large Chinese population in my area, and I have a number of Chinese colleagues. In addition, I team teach a course on China at the university where I work, so I felt a connection.<br><br>
Given that nothing is a constant in IA, I also looked into other programs where we qualified.<br><br>
2) If you were "set" on China, how did that impact your decision about which agency to go with.<br><br>
While China was our number one pick, I wanted to select an agency with other programs for which we qualified. In that case, should China close for any reason, or change the qualifications such that we couldn't adopt, we could switch to another program. I got a copy of the Report on Intercountry Adoption, <a href="http://www.iccadopt.org/TheReport.htm" target="_blank">http://www.iccadopt.org/TheReport.htm</a> and used it to find agencies with programs in China and in our other countries of interest. I talked to the many people I know who have adopted. I posted to email discussion groups and got opinions. We ultimately went with WACAP.<br><br>
3) How old was your child when you got your referral? At "gotcha" day? How old is s/he now?<br><br>
DD1 was 7 months at referral, 9 months at adoption, and is now 9 years old.<br>
DD2 was 11 months at referral, 14 months at adoption and is now 6 years old.<br><br>
4) Best part of the adoption experience (leading up to her/him coming home with you)?<br><br>
Well, it wasn't doing the paperwork. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I guess I'd say that I really enjoyed doing the research and reading, meeting new people, learning more about China, and travelling.<br><br>
5) Anything you wish you had known going into this process?<br>
Nahh, I researched it to death. It's my nature. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
6) Did you adopt or consider adopting a waiting child? Can you share anything about that experience with me (this is something that I am pursuing now as well)?<br><br>
Mine weren't waiting children. At the time of our first, there was some weirdness going on with special needs adoptions that made that not an option for us from China. I do have a good friend who adopted waiting children twice from China.<br><br>
7) What efforts do you make to connect your daughter (or son) and yourself to Chinese history, culture and heritage?<br><br>
We belong to our local Chinese Community Center. We've taken Chinese language classes as a family. I read everything I can get my hands on about China (and at a university, that's a lot of reading!). We've incorporated lots of Chinese culture into our family. We will make a family trip to China in the next few years, and I've gone back myself for work and will do every chance I get.
 

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We had planned on adopting a little girl from China, and after our first two boys we were in your position--adopt now, or have another bio child? We chose to have another bio child first (thinking it would be easier to go through another pregnancy with two children rather than three). Now, I wouldn't trade my little Noah for anything, but if we had wanted to adopt from China we should have adopted rather than conceived #3.<br><br>
The reason was the income requirement...with two children, you need to make 50K to adopt from China (10K per child, per adult, plus 10K for the adopted baby-to be). With three children already in our home, we needed 60K. Dh makes just under 50K (and I'm a SAHM), so this spring we found out the door to China adoptions were closed to us unless I went back to work and added to our family's income for an entire tax year+.<br><br>
We had to change paths, and now we're happily pursuing an adoption in Korea. It's funny the way life throws you a curve ball....I think Korea is where we were "meant to be," but at the time we found out about the 60K, it was heartbreaking to let go of the little girl in China we'd been imagining for so long.<br><br>
Good luck! I hope you get lots of great answers to your excellent questions! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/coolshine.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="sunshine">
 

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1) Why China? And, were you "set" on China, or open to other countries as well.<br>
We started out with domestic, then I was set on Guatemala. One night dh and I were talking, and both realized that our daughter was in China, and that's all there was to it.<br><br>
2) If you were "set" on China, how did that impact your decision about which agency to go with.<br>
Our agency did domestic adoptions, and was new to Chinese adoptions. (we were their first family in the Chinese program!)<br><br>
3) How old was your child when you got your referral? At "gotcha" day? How old is s/he now?<br>
Evie was 16? months at referral, 21 months at Family Day. She turns 2 this month!<br><br>
4) Best part of the adoption experience (leading up to her/him coming home with you)?<br>
Meeting some wonderful people in online groups who are going through the same things as me.<br><br>
5) Anything you wish you had known going into this process?<br>
I wish I would have remembered how tiring it is to have a toddler in the house!<br><br>
6) Did you adopt or consider adopting a waiting child? Can you share anything about that experience with me (this is something that I am pursuing now as well)?<br>
Evie was a waiting child (repaired cleft lip, unrepaired cleft palate). Waiting children are wonderful! If we ever adopt again, we will definitely adopt another waiting child. (I'm hoping for a son!) The process goes a little faster for waiting children in China, it took us just about a year from start to finish. If you have any specific questions, feel free to pm me.<br><br>
7) What efforts do you make to connect your daughter (or son) and yourself to Chinese history, culture and heritage?<br>
We try to celebrate Chinese holidays. I try to cook authentic Chinese food. We plan on taking a heritage tour of China when Evie is older. We listen to Chinese music (online and in the car!). I would love to take Cantonese with her when she is older, or Mandarin if we can't find a Cantonese teacher.
 

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<span style="color:#FF0000;">1) Why China? And, were you "set" on China, or open to other countries as well.</span><br><br><b>I was set on China from minute one. I had read an article about adopting from China that was totally eye-opening, as I had not realized that singles could adopt. As I looked at the photos, I kept saying, "That could be my daughter!"<br><br>
Yes, I looked at other options during the preadoption course I took, and when China's Reorganization of its adoption system in 1996 created major delays and uncertainties. But I kept coming back to China.<br><br>
Rationally speaking, I liked how organized and ethical the process was. I liked the fact that I could adopt a girl, since I wasn't sure at the time that a single woman could effectively parent a boy (I've changed my mind on that). I liked what I heard about the care given to the children. The level of risk seemed manageable. And so on.</b><br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">2) If you were "set" on China, how did that impact your decision about which agency to go with.</span><br><br><b>As I live in an area with several adoption agencies that have China programs, I decided that I would use a local agency, unless I couldn't find one that I liked or that would work with me as an older single. As it turned out, I found an absolutely wonderful local agency that was ethical, focused on good client service, and helpful in every possible way.</b><br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">3) How old was your child when you got your referral? At "gotcha" day? How old is s/he now?</span><br><br><b>Even though I was 51, my first referral was 13 months old. That referral had to be withdrawn because the child was adopted domestically during the big Reorganization of China's adoption system that occurred while I was in process. I was immediately referred another child, who was 18 months old when I met her in May, 1997.</b>4)<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Best part of the adoption experience (leading up to her/him coming home with you)?</span><br><br><b>Heck, there's nothing good about paperwork and long waits! For me, the best part of the process was actually going to China and adopting my daughter. My agency really pampers traveling families, and I had gotten to know my travel group members during our long wait for a referral, so the trip was a pleasant experience.</b><br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">5) Anything you wish you had known going into this process?<br></span><br><br><b>Not really. When I first began to think of China adoption, I could not proceed immediately, as I had responsibilities to aging parents. I spent the time till I could apply learning as much as I could about adoption, parenting, and China. So by the time I started the process, I was pretty well-informed.</b><br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">6) Did you adopt or consider adopting a waiting child? Can you share anything about that experience with me (this is something that I am pursuing now as well)?</span><br><br><b>Because I was single and older, I felt that I would be best off to accept a child without known medical issues. I knew that there was a possibility that my daughter could have previously undiagnosed problems, but that was a risk I felt able to take. As it turned out, my daughter has been totally healthy.</b><br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">7) What efforts do you make to connect your daughter (or son) and yourself to Chinese history, culture and heritage?</span><br><br><b>My daughter attends Chinese school on Sundays. We moved to a very Asian -- mostly Chinese -- neighborhood, and Becca has a friend from the neighborhood who speaks Chinese at home. We used to be active in several playgroups, although we are not active now because Becca is older and too busy with other activities. We are close friends with several families from our travel group, and know many other families with Chinese daughters; we sometimes engage in China-related activities with them.</b>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all so much for your openness. It never ceases to amaze me what an invaluable resource this community is. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My daughter attends Chinese school on Sundays. We moved to a very Asian -- mostly Chinese -- neighborhood, and Becca has a friend from the neighborhood who speaks Chinese at home.</td>
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This is one of my concerns about our dream. We live in Israel, and there is virtually no Asian community here. I worry that our ability to provide her with meaningful access to her cultural heritage would be so compromised.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My daughter attends Chinese school on Sundays. We moved to a very Asian -- mostly Chinese -- neighborhood, and Becca has a friend from the neighborhood who speaks Chinese at home.</td>
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Thank you! We're still sorting through everything (big time!) but I will save this post and PM you in the near future... I loved your blog by the way!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The reason was the income requirement...with two children, you need to make 50K to adopt from China (10K per child, per adult, plus 10K for the adopted baby-to be). With three children already in our home, we needed 60K. Dh makes just under 50K (and I'm a SAHM), so this spring we found out the door to China adoptions were closed to us unless I went back to work and added to our family's income for an entire tax year+.</td>
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Yup, similar issues. And as much as I am loathe to make money a factor in such a big decision, it is there in my mind. Thank you for sharing this with me!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Nahh, I researched it to death. It's my nature.</td>
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LOL -- me too! In fact, that's what I've been doing most nights this month rather than my freelance work. Uh oh! It was really helpful for me to read about your experiences, since you have the perspective of time on it all! Thank you!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">They are AP friendly and actually promote things like the family bed. This I made sure of before having our homestudy. Our agency handles other international programs as well as domestic which we liked as well. The guide in China was also reputed to be fantastic, and that proved to be true. She was able to get into places (orphanage visits, etc.) that many others are not. They also allowed us to bring kids on the trip, which is not allowed by all agencies.</td>
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Interesting! I wonder how bigger agencies compare in terms of this. Since we are abroad, my assumption (and I need to check this) is that we'll be better served by a larger agency that might have previous experience with other ex-pats.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But one night we were laying in bed talking and dh pointed out to me how much both of us were just absolutely in love with my sister's child, who happens to be adopted. I realized then that it really didn't matter how or why a child comes into your life. Once they are there, your heart just loves, and you never even think about anything but that. So we started our adoption process then next day.</td>
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You gave me the good kind of chills!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My kids are not from China, but I just wanted to say that it is REALLY important that you follow your instincts (like you are doing) in adoptionb as far as country choice is concerned. I firmly believe that certain people are drawn to certain countries because that is where they will find their children. We KNEW we would be adopting from Kazakhstan and we couldn't really have told you why. Now I know it's because of these 2 kids.</td>
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I totall agree! And it's kinda weird for me to say that, b/c I'm usually the one intellectualizing everything to death. But this has just been something inside of me for a long time, and I've kinda waited for it to "go away" -- especially after the birth of my two sons -- but it hasn't.<br><br>
If anyone is still reading, I just wanted to ask one last question:<br><br><b>What are the must-read (must-see) resources that you'd recommend for someone going down this path -- books, internet sites, magazine articles, videos</b> (I just saw a clip of the Lisa Ling documentary and want to get the rest of it), etc.<br><br>
THANKS AGAIN!!!
 

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What are the must-read (must-see) resources that you'd recommend for someone going down this path -- books, internet sites, magazine articles, videos?<br><br><br>
China's Lost Girls dvd (you may not want to watch with small children around)<br>
WaitingChildrenChina yahoo group (for special needs/waiting children)<br>
Soul of Adoption forums<br><a href="http://www.attach-china.org/" target="_blank">http://www.attach-china.org/</a>
 

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My favorites:<br><br>
Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son by Kay Johnson<br><br>
Adoption Across Borders: Serving the Children in Transracial and Intercountry Adoptions, Rita J. Simon and Howard Altstein
 

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Wow. Sounds like some of you have a LOT in common w/ me....I am 35, have one bio child and would like to have one more before adopting, but like some of you said, I have known for a very long time, long before I was married, that my third child would be a girl from China.<br><br>
I have concerns about my dh's and my age....a lot of the Chinese adoption sites I visit lay out very specific age requirements for adopting infants....my husband is now 42, and it wouldn't be for another 5 or 6 years til we were ready. Does anyone know if those age rules are really that strict? Did those of you who adopted from China adopt infants?
 

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I think the cutoff age for non special needs adoption is about 50? I know that you can get age waivers if you adopt a SN child.<br><br>
In China, an infant is any child under 24 months.
 
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