Nu shu is a secret language used by Chinese women. Lisa See, who is part Chinese and grew up in L.A.'s Chinatown, has written about it online and in her book, Snow Flower and The Secret Fan. My mother gave it to me for my birthday and I will pass it on to a young woman from Texas who is in love with a Chinese man. It is a novel mostly about female friendships in rural China when emperors ruled and when females held no value. They still don't, which is the reason so many girls are available for adoption in China, especially with the one-child policy. Female friendships were the cultural salvation that made living palatable for many of these women.
See writes of the tradition of binding the feet of women (x-ray, left), which limited their ability to move, and the secret writings that flourished among women friends and relatives. It is a book about mother love and the sustaining power of the friendship of women.
Several of my friends have adopted girls from China, including two friends who are single. One cousin's adoption of a baby girl from China was a way, I was told, of making a difference.
The mystery of the "declining availability" of Chinese babies for foreign adoptions (down 18%) doesn't correlate with the millions of "missing" baby girls, was a topic that Beth Nonte Russell, who has adopted two Chinese babies, wrote about in an article in the NY Times.
Friendship and love. Great book from my mother, good article by Russell.