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American Families with Children from China Celebrate Chinese New Year

About 80 American families with children from China celebrated the approaching Chinese lunar New Year Saturday at China's Consulate General in Houston, in the U.S. state of Texas.

More than 400 people, including diplomats of the Chinese Consulate General and their families, parents and children from the foster families, and representatives of the adoption institutions, attended the reception hosted by the Consulate General to mark the Chinese New Year.

Consul General Gao Yanping delivered a speech among warm applause, extending new year greeting to all the American families and their children from China. She praised the American families for giving love and bringing a happy life to the Chinese children.

"The American parents not only let the Chinese children receive education as the American children do, but also attach great importance to getting them to stay in contact with the Chinese heritage, by taking them to take part in the Chinese traditional festival activities such as the Spring Festival and Mid-autumn Festival, sending them to learn Chinese, bringing them back to China and helping them know more about China and the Chinese culture," said Gao.

"It is the love from the American parents that bridges the friendship between the two peoples," she said.

Texas congressman Al Green said in his speech that love goes beyond boundaries and colors. The foster families and their Chinese children have contributed to enhancing friendship and understanding between the two countries and will continue to play a role in U.S.-China relations, he said.

Texas geologist Michael Coley brought his two-year daughter Nicola and seven-year-old Mikala, both from China, to the reception. Coley said he started a family when he was 45 and do not have his own children. He said he is lucky to have two lovely Chinese daughters.

In bright-colored Chinese traditional costumes, the children performed shows including violin-playing of Chinese folk music Xi Yang Yang and Jasmine, Chinese folk dances and gymnastics. The children and their parents also enjoyed delicious Chinese food.

There are currently about 70,000 Chinese children adopted by U.S. families, according to Snow Wu, president of the adoption institution, Children of all nations.