we highly reccomend Living Hope. their staff is comeptant and they truly care about the children and families they serve. they have an excellent reputation in China (which is very important) and they were a pleasure to work with. if you have any other questions about living hope, i'm glad to chat with you about them! email me: foster kade designs ( at ) gmail . com
my best advice when you work with any agency:
-keep all receipts!!
-make copies of EVERYTHING you send to everyone involved in your adoption
-get organnized right away using a file bin or acordion file
-keep track of your finances and dont expect your agency to do it for you
packing for china is one of the things i spent a lot of time on. we decided to travel light, so i packed what i thought were the basics in our check through luggage. one week before we left, we decided to carry on all of our items. then i really had to travel light. i've included in my packing list the things we took and used as well as items we took, but didn't need. if i had it to do over, i would have taken the same items, as many families i know needed them (specifically related to medicine).
click HERE for the link to my google spreadsheet.
here is the finding poster i made to hang up at emery's finding spot in her birth city in an attempt to find her birth or foster family. we are praying we will find some kind of connection to her past, although it is very uncommon. i felt as though i had to at least try while we were in her birth city. i realized when i was in china that i made the sign look too "american" and our guide said it might get stolen. so, word to the wise...make your sign plain and simple :) . i am also involved in a birth/foster parent search in hopes of finding some information, should emery want it someday.
(very bittersweet day. you can read more about it here)
On (insert date adopted - use approximate gotcha day if unsure) we adopted this beautiful girl as our daughter. She is happy and growing. We love her very much! We would like to have a relationship with her birth family and foster family. We do not want anything from them but to have a friendship with them. We would like to give them updates and photographs as she grows. If you know anything about her birth family or foster family, please contact us.
Email: (create a unique email address used only for this purpose - have all messages forwarded to your personal email address)
By Mail: (insert your home address, if you feel comfortable doing so)"
questions to ask orphanage & foster mom
i compiled a list of questions for our adoption agency to send to our daughter's orphanage while she was in china. the answers we got back were few and vague. but i've heard that some orphanages answer the question in more detail, so it's worth a try.
(your adoption agency can help you translate this into chinese and send to your child's orphanage. also take a copy in english and chinese when you meet with the orphanage director/caregiver in china to see if there is any additional information they can give)
Please help us know more about (insert child's chines name). Your answers will help us to know more about our sweet little girl! We are very grateful for your excellent care for our daughter! Thank you for caring for her until we bring her home!
1. What is the name and address of her foster parents? (if applicable)
2. Do you have a copy of her “finding add” that we can have? Was there a note or memento found with her?
3. When did she come to live with you? How and where was she found?
4. Who chose her name and why? Does her name have any special meaning?
5. Has she had medical treatment? If so, what was she treated for and what are the dates of her illness and treatments.
6. How often does she eat? What food/drink do you feed her? What is her favorite food? Does she drink from a bottle?
7. What upsets her? How do you soothe her when she is upset?
8. Does she sleep alone or with a cribmate? How much/how often does she sleep? What position does she sleep in? Do you hold her when she falls asleep?
9. What is her favorite toy? Favorite Activities?
10. What makes her happy? Is she afraid of anything? How would you describe her personality?
11. What is her daily routine?
12. Can we have contact if we have questions? We would like to communicate with you and send photos after we come home.
13. What else would you like to tell us about her?
the one piece of information i really wanted was the address of her foster mom, which they refused to give me, though i asked several times while we were in china. i decided to take a gift for her foster mom and asked the orphanage to forward it to her. i have no idea if they ever did, but i had to try. i made her one of the bags i sold to raise funds to bring emery home. i also included a photo album, card translated in chinese and several of our address cards hidden inside.
(this photo was taken on day 2 in china as we were getting ready to leave and visit emery's birth city)