China Babies Adoption Research

China Babies Adoption Research
China Babies Adoption Research

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Traveling for your adoption and packing

Unless you are adopting through your local foster care agency or are having a child escorted, you will be doing some sort of traveling for your adoption. Most international adoptions involve international travel, and domestic adoption can involve travel to the next state or to the other side of the country. While most people think of adoption travel in regards to international adoption, our longest adoption trip was that to South Carolina to get our son, Marcus.

Since travel is one of the exciting parts of adoption, and the part that many adoptive parents look forward to, I am going to write about it today, and I will share some of my thoughts and strategies on packing (since we have now traveled on quite a few adoption trips). If you want to check out my very detailed packing lists, you can find those here.

I have written quite a bit on adoption travel and have shared lots of packing tips in these posts, so in this post I am going to share my two biggest tips for packing.

- Bring what you need. I am all for packing light (see my next tip) and yet especially when you traveling to adopt a child, I think you should bring everything that you need. While it is true (especially if you are adopting domestically) that you can often find what you need when you arrive, you don't want to have to spend your first few hours or days with your child in a store in a new place trying to find diapers, formula, lotion or dish soap.

I have always found it very comforting and settling to have our child placed with us and to be able to go back to our hotel room and know that we have everything we need.

Find good packing lists (check mine out above) and list all that you need for your trip. If you are traveling internationally, it is especially important that you bring things like a fully stocked first aid kit, medications and treatments for things like lice, that you may not be able to find easily overseas.

If you travel with things that you end up not needing, you can always donate them to an orphanage or leave them behind at a guest house for the families traveling after you.

When it comes to adoption travel, I suggest that you travel prepared.

- On the flip side, my other piece of advice is don't over pack. Don't bring too many clothes. Don't bring four pairs of shoes. Don't bring piles of toys. Bring everything that you need, but don't bring tons of it, and go easy on the things that you don't need lots of.

There are several reasons why you don't want to over pack for your adoption trip. First off, traveling lighter is traveling easier. Lugging huge heavy bags in international airports can be quite a hassle, plus if your bags are overweight, you will have to pay fees, sometimes heavy ones. And remember, on your way home you will be carrying a child as well, so you want to make life as easy as possible on yourself.

Other reasons for traveling as light as possible are donations and shopping. If you are adopting internationally, your agency very well ask you to carry over donations for the orphanage. And, traveling for your child is a wonderful opportunity to shop and bring home cultural items for your home and gifts for your child from his culture as he grows.

So, as you are preparing your own packing list, remember your goals are to travel prepared and to travel as light as possible.

Adoption Blogs . com

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Monday, October 08, 2007

China Babies Research Reports has a strong track record of performing pre and post adoption research on children who are being adopted, or have been adopted from China . Our team of researchers and officials work directly with Orphanages, Directors, Staff, and Foster Families if possible and arrange to conduct interviews of anyone who has come in contact with your child that we are able to find. We take digital photographs of everything we find pertaining to your child’s situation or history, to include any finding notes or clothing (if available), environment, and people who may have been part of your child’s early life. We are aware of the sensitivity and privacy concerns of all parties involved, therefore we conduct our research with the utmost care, diligence, and professionalism. China-babies has successfully completed hundreds of Update and History reports for our clients.

Our Services:

1. The Child Update Report - Often when a family gets the referral for their child from China , we wonder about the child and how the child is doing. The fact of the matter is, there are times that parents are not always able to get as much information on the child as we would like. The Update Report service has been developed with this issue in mind.

One of our researchers will go to the orphanage or foster family and interview the family or orphanage caretaker(s) about the child as well as take pictures of the child, their caretakers, where they are living, etc. The interviews typically take an hour or more, with digital photographs of the child, his/her caretakers, and environment. After our researched is compiled and translated, it will be formatted into a customized report and a detailed description of what we found out as well as pictures will be emailed to you.

2. The Child History Report - Quite often when families adopt their child(ren) from China , we bring them home with many unanswered questions. These include questions about their orphanage, their caregiver(s), their medical history, their foster family, etc. After the fact, it is often very difficult to track down the right person who can answer some of these unknowns.

You provide to us your child’s orphanage name, date of birth, adoption date, and any other relevant information, and our people in China contact the orphanage that your child came from. We will determine if they still hold records on the child, if any of the current orphanage staff were caregivers for your child, and any information we can get regarding Foster Parents, and essentially try to track down any leads to people with first hand knowledge of your child who can provide us with information. Anything we find is then translated and formatted into a digital report which is emailed to you.

References and Testimonials: We would be pleased to provide you with a list of references of parents who have used our firm, so you can verify for yourself the quality of our work.

To read how one of our recent Success Stories feels about us click here.

At China-Babies, we are adoptive parents ourselves and understand first hand the issues involved in these complicated and important matters. We take this very seriously, and exercise the utmost care and diligence when serving our clients, and do our best to provide what we consider to be an invaluable service to both adoptive parents, as well as our adopted children. In the end, the resources we expend to gather this information is nothing in comparison to being able to share this with our children as they grow older.

Our best wishes and prayers for your families,

Alex & Misty Stanczyk

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

China adoptions: The "Genocide Olympics"

Continued from the previous post where China has been the topic.

China is now getting ready to host the Olympics, and as Grant pointed out in his blog, the upcoming hoo-haa that goes along with is a very big deal and the Chinese are keen to keep attention focused on good stuff.

Perhaps because people are actually paying some attention at the moment, and because the poop is hitting the fan in places like Burma, Sudan and North Korea in very big ways, China's propping up of the poopers is being noticed and commented upon.

Gathering some steam are movements to draw even more attention in hopes of encouraging action that might hold China accountable for its contributions to the total trouncing of rights by regimes it supports.

People with pull are pushing the idea of the "Genocide Olympics", a defining of the games by the policies of the hosting country, and encouraging those involved to rethink their participation.

The link above has contact information for letter writing for those who may choose to join in the move to discourage association with the China Olympics, and some are beginning to exert some pressure for boycotting the games entirely.

There is time for this movement to swell as the games near, and as situations worsen in countries of concern, and it could happen that China's government will begin to feel the pinch of discomfort that comes with widespread condemnation for practices as serious and distasteful as the tacit encouragement of the human rights violations of millions.

Because of the powerhouse status of China, it's not likely that countries will refuse to send athletes or boycott the games. No matter almost whatever China chooses to do, nations invested in investing in the huge market the country offers will show up and do the rah-rah, pat the backs, shake the hands, smile, nod, and avoid all questions about Sudan and Burma and human rights abuses and lack of transparency and anything else that might come up while the spotlight shines on China.

China, however, may still take offense at the idea that a lot of people will have been alleging that the modern version of the Emperor is naked as a plucked duck.

I hate to bring this up with people in the process of adoption children from China, but things could get rocky. Some version of what happened in Cambodia and what is about to happen in Guatemala could manifest, this time with China deciding to put the squeeze on adoptions.

Because of the power and influence, whatever they decide to do will get China the same pass that the country usually enjoys. Few fingers will point or wag and voices will be ever so quick to point out sovereign rights and cultural prerogative.

As in other countries, the fate of the children will be the last consideration, if considered at all.


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Every Adopted Child Experiences Loss

When we adopted our older daughter, Big Sister (BS) almost four years ago, she went through a brief grieving period, mourning the loss of her beloved foster mother whom she then lovingly referred to as "Mama." For 4 or 5 days, she cried inconsolably for the only mother she had ever known, yet magically, by the sixth day, she looked up at me and said, "Mama." Somewhere deep inside her, she decided that since I was taking over the role of her caretaker, I must be her new mother. In a swift moment, her sadness turned to joy as she laughed and smiled happily discovering all the comforts of her new existence. At the same time, it certainly wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. She had to overcome the language barrier, new surroundings that looked and smelled differently and internalize her deep-rooted loss that came in the form of night terrors.

Next month, Big Sister will turn five and while she is secure and happy, the profound loss of her birth family and culture may someday plague her. I hope not, but it's a possibility. She is now at the age of beginning awareness, wanting to hear her birth/adoption story again and again. As we talk about it, she looks at the little photo album given to us by her Chinese foster mother, the only photos we have showing her early life in China before our forever family was formed.

Some adoptive parents choose not to discuss their child's adoption until the child asks questions while others opt not to reveal the secret at all. Obviously, interracial families may have a difficult time keeping the secret. I have always discussed adoption with my daughter since she was very little. We have several adoption-related (children's) books, most focusing on Chinese adoption. In addition, we celebrate our "Gotcha / Adoption" Day each year. On this special day, we look at photos from her lifebook and talk about our magical day. The day is usually topped off with dinner at a local Chinese restaurant and a small gift representing the Chinese culture.

Now that I have adopted a second daughter, Little Sister, we will continue the discussions and celebrations. I wonder how our Mei-Mei will react when she hears her story, so different from Big Sister's, never having a lovely foster mother to nurture her, only a room full of nannies. Will I embellish the facts or tell her the truth that she was severely neglected in the orphanage and left with no one to call "Mama." Time will tell. Most likely, I will gently tell her the truth but without the hard cold facts. When she is old enough, she will discover them on her own.

No matter how an adopted child comes into our life, they will always at some point experience loss. It's a point well driven by any adoption social worker. We cannot deny it, erase it or overlook it. We can only love our children enough to hopefully make the hurt go away.

Parenting Adopted Children

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