The Great Wall of China

May 22nd, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: Traveling to China

3I first heard about the Great Wall of China in elementary school. My geography teacher told me that it was the only man made object that could be seen from outer space by astronauts. I was hooked. Since then, it has been on my bucket list and this fall I get to cross it off. The Great Wall was originally built to protect the Chinese empire from nomadic tribes to the north. It is 5,500 miles long and stretches over mountains, deserts, grasslands, and plateaus. Due to erosion, it has been built and rebuilt by various dynasties over the last thousand years. Approximately 1 million workers have perished building the wall. Today, the Great Wall is an UNESCO world heritage site and one of… [more]

Things to do in Beijing

May 16th, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: Traveling to China

1Beijing - the capital city of the People's Republic of China. Most travel itineraries for adoptive parents include a stop in Beijing. For Americans, it is typically the first city stop in their multi-city journey. For Canadians, it is the last stop as this is where their embassy is located. Beijing is a mix of old and new. It has approximately 19 million people. While your time in Beijing may be 2 days or 2 weeks, consider adding these sights to your travel plans. Spend a few hours walking around the Forbidden City. It is a vast complex of temples, halls, and housing for the former Chinese emperors. Some believe it has 9,999 rooms.  It is divided up into two sections: north and south. The… [more]

Halfway Done and Starting to feel Real

May 10th, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption

2If you have been following along, my husband and I are on the journey to adopt our first child from the People's Republic of China. It has been a relatively easy process so far. I mean, sure, there are days where I want to scream, cry, and pull my hair out but those have been few and far between. And, it was mostly during the paper chase phase. To catch you up, we applied to our agency in September 2010. We began collecting documents for the home study in October and had our last visit with the social worker in early January. Our home study was approved on January 18, 2011 and we received our referral on that date, too. We… [more]

Shock in an Unexpected Way

April 25th, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: Family Life

94404_7820My husband and I are in New Orleans for the Easter weekend. We planned this weekend as a get-a-way from the stress of adoption and to re-focus our marriage. Our hotel is in the French Quarter of New Orleans. One evening, we decided to walk over to the legendary Bourbon Street. I have been there once before but it was during the day. I thought that the night life would be a bit different than what I had experienced in the day. I was definitely right! My husband and I enjoyed walking up and down the street, watching the various types of people, and catching beads thrown at us from balconies. We saw quite a few interesting shops and entertainment venues. None of… [more]

I Love Waiting

April 22nd, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption

1301379_60217215Not really. I am trying to be positive with this wait. My husband and I were fingerprinted by USCIS at the end of March. I thought we would have a two week wait for fingerprint approval. Not so! Our I-800A was approved on the next business day. This was record time! But it took them about 10 days to mail the official approval letter to me. Due to work schedules, we were unable to get a copy of the approval letter notarized quickly. It took 3 days (this is forever in adoption!) before my husband and I could coordinate our schedules to meet at the credit union to get our approval letter notarized. I then had to wait another day before I could… [more]

Family Activities in Guangzhou: Part 2

March 26th, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: Traveling to China

1081812_30500598Last time, I mentioned a few activities that your family can participate in while waiting for your child’s visa in Guangzhou. In this post, we will continue to explore available family activities. Need a place that feels like home? Visit Shamian Island. This place was occupied by the French and British during the 1800s. Much of the island's architecture is a result of the European influence. Shamian Island has a reputation for catering to adoptive families with many restaurants and stores featuring English products. Lucy's is a popular restaurant for folks wanting a tasty American-like treat. The island is pretty quiet and lacks the commotion of the downtown area of Guangzhou. It is a great place to enjoy a stroll among the… [more]

Family Activities in Guangzhou: Part 1

March 24th, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: Traveling to China

235287_6011For American families, Guangzhou is the final step of the adoption process in China. Approximately 3,400 families took this step in 2010. Guangzhou is the location of the American Consulate that processes and issues visas for families adopting Chinese children. Families typically spend one week in Guangzhou waiting for visa processing and approval. There are many activities in Guangzhou to keep families busy during this week’s wait. Do you or your children love animals? Visit China’s largest safari park - the Xiangjiang Safari Park. Over 20,000 animals call this zoo home, including nearly half of the world’s white tiger population. The zoo also boasts a rare set of koala twins. The Xiangjiang Safari Park is divided into two sections: Safari on Foot and… [more]

Welcome Back Single Women!

March 20th, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption

1212299_77814787Some exciting news came out of the CCAA this week. Single women can now adopt again! This is quite exciting for many women who wish to become mothers or who want to add another child to their family. Single women can adopt children from the Special Focus program. I mentioned this program in a recent post. Of course, with any international program there are certain rules and restrictions. The biggest surprises, to me, are the net assets value and limit of the number and age of children. The following is the notice released by the CCAA on March 15 in regards to the new rules: Government departments and adoption agencies in receiving countries: In order to promote special needs child adoption and guarantee the basic interests of… [more]

Special Focus Program

February 25th, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: Adoption Process

1309046_17868711China has recently changed some of their processes for adoption. Families under this new program can proceed with concurrent, simultaneous and successive adoption. This is great news for many waiting families! The new program is called "Special Focus" and was started on September 1, 2010. "Special Focus" children are those who have been on the shared agency list for at least 2 months or those who have participated in a CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) sponsored Hope Camp. Families will have up to 6 months to complete and submit their dossier to the CCAA. The CCAA will allow multiple adoptions with "Special Focus" children in the following ways:

  • Concurrent. This is where a family keeps their original LID (Log In Date) for the NSN (non-special

Hong Kong Disneyland

February 20th, 2011
Posted By: on China Adoption

125316_3322As all adoptive parents know, you must spend two weeks in China when you travel to get your child.  When I travel to China, the majority of my time will be spent in the Guangdong Province. My daughter currently lives here and the American consulate is located here. Your sight seeing plans depend a lot on where your flights arrive and depart from. Many adoptive parents arrive and/or depart from Beijing. You can visit the Bird's Nest (site of the 2010 Olympics) and the Great Wall of China. I plan to depart from Hong Kong. Why? 1) Because Hong Kong is near the Guangdong Province. 2) Because I am a Disney fanatic and Hong Kong is the location for the newest Disneyland. There is something magical about Disney, maybe… [more]