"This is a Sichuan earthquake and orphanage map. The big red star is the epicenter. I used symbols in different colors to mark the orphanages and social welfare institutions in the affected and surrounding area," artist Hendrika introduced her latest work with a heavy heart.
It was not an art exhibition but the 13th annual culture day of the organization Families with Children from China New York (FCCNY), held in a transformed train station hall at the State Liberty Park of New Jersey.
Hendrika and her husband Martin are among some 500 families who came for the Saturday event, joined by children educational institutions, social service groups, adoption agencies and volunteers.
"This year's theme is 'Olympic Dreams,'" said Marjorie Berman, president of the FCCNY, whose 10-year old daughter Sophie is also from China.
"But we are gravely concerned about the massive earthquake which hit China last week. It is a huge tragedy to see many children died or injured. In addition to our original schedule, we are raising relief fund for children, especially orphanages, in the quake-hit area," said Berman.
Hendrika has been updating her Sichuan map ever since the earthquake. Blue stars are orphanages with confirmed damage while pink triangle stand for those without serious damage.
She obtained orphanage status information from Half the Sky Fund, an American organization providing care for Chinese orphaned children.
"It is not for sale. Everyone can download it free from my website. I've got phone calls from families who have adopted children from Sichuan area. They really want to know the current situation of the orphanages there," Hendrika said. "You can use itas reference, or to raise money for the people there."
The final death toll from magnitude 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan is expected to reach 50,000. For many people, what hurts most is the scene that small children were buried under rubble.
"It is so sad. I saw on TV a mother trying to put pajamas on her dead child. The baby is eight. You know, my daughters are eight, too..." Hendrika could not continue as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Hendrika adopted her twin daughters Alexi and Carsy from an orphanage in a small county called Yongxiu in northern Jiangxi Province, China in 2004.
She made maps which indicate adopted children's birth place, orphanage and general information of the province.
"I call it 'red thread map.' I hope they will remember where they are from, their beautiful homeland."
Robert and Anna Micalizzi brought home their second daughter, one-year-old Sofia, from Chongqing in February, the same city where they adopted their first daughter Daniella in 2004. The region was affected by the earthquake too.
"Daniella burst into tears when she saw on TV that small children died," Anna said with arms around her two daughters, each holding a toy panda. "She is worried about her friends there at the orphanage."
Peng Keyu, Chinese Consul General in New York, expressed his gratitude for the assistance American government and people have offered following the massive earthquake.
"We are making all efforts to rescue victims," Peng said.
"Help is coming, hang on!" Sophie, who has been quiet through the event, said in a firm tone.