your best China travel helps

*Warning: Have a cup of coffee in hand before you begin. A very big cup of coffee. And be sure your kiddos are otherwise occupied (as in, put in that brand new Disney movie you were saving) because there is a lot of wisdom below. Did I mention there is a lot? Consider yourself warned.*

I begged asked.

And 220 of y’all answered.

Thank you.

I wanted to share because I know this information will be helpful for anyone making this same trip in the future. And I wanted to share quickly because, well… I’m leaving in 8 days.

*gulp*

Anyway, first a quick breakdown of the travelers, time of their travel and some basic information on the children adopted.

And then onto the questions and answers below.

Enjoy.

What year did you travel for your child?
2012 21 10%
2011 54 25%
2010 51 23%
2009 29 13%
2008 24 11%
2007 or earlier 40 18%
What time of year did you travel?
spring 49 22%
summer 54 25%
fall 50 23%
winter 66 30%
Did you adopt a boy or girl on this trip?
boy 54 25%
girl 165 75%
What age was the child you adopted on this trip?
1 or less 87 40%
2 77 35%
3 23 11%
4 12 5%
5 7 3%
6 5 2%
7 0 0%
8 or older 8 4%
What word best describes your China adoption trip experience?
Heavenly 70 32%
Wonderful, with some bumps along the way 111 51%
Fine 17 8%
Let’s just say, we were glad to be home 20 9%
If you can’t say anything nice…. 1 0%

 

__________________________________________________________________

What items did you bring for GOTCHA DAY that you were glad to have?

  • stacking cups were a hit!
  • cherrios, bubbles, stacking cups, small wind up toys
  • a backpack with a toy cell phone in it
  • She wouldn’t touch a single thing we brought! Her favorite “toys” ended up being empty boxes and sugar packets!
  • Candy, toy cars
  • tissues- she had a nasty runny nose
  • camera AND video camera
  • small backpack with play phone and dominos
  • squeaky shoes because she didn’t want to walk but as soon as she put on the squeaky shoes, she walked and walked just to hear herself squeak!
  • Gotcha was in our hotel room so we had everything but the first thing my baby girl played with was stacking cups
  • A small blanket, child’s toy, and my camera!
  • digital camera–he loved looking at his pictures
  • toy cell phone that she didn’t let go of the entire trip and snacks for her transition
  • nothing really–she wasn’t interested in anything
  • Gerber puffs and a sippy cup of juice
  • Toys to distract
  • Cherios, Dum Dums, stickers
  • Blanket
  • wipes!
  • Gum, lollipops, backpack
  • stickers
  • stacking cups
  • iPhone, camera
  • brought a lot but didn’t need any of it – he screamed the whole time until we left the building
  • noodles and boxed milk
  • toy car / hot wheels and cheerios
  • travel magnadoodle
  • toy car; snacks
  • snacks and more snacks
  • Little purse with stickers and small note pad and pel and candy in it
  • Snacks
  • bubbles, toys, camera!!
  • camera
  • Google translate!
  • Gerber Puffs
  • suckers
  • Candy, bubbles, and a ball
  • Formula
  • white washcloth, plastic keys
  • food!
  • Nothing. I forgot everything!
  • animal crackers
  • sassy brand stacking, small thermos for hot hot hot water! cups
  • Stackable cups! Cheerios!
  • lollipops, small magnadoodle
  • Pez & toy phone
  • Camera, Gerber puffs, tissues
  • BUBBLES
  • cheerios
  • camera, big siblings
  • Food! Chinese cracker snacks.
  • Dora backpack with a ball, crayons, coloring book, beanie baby, food!
  • Small toys, our other children:)
  • Banana Puffs and Cheerios
  • toy keys & a burp cloth
  • Camera
  • picture book
  • diapers, cherrios, platic keys
  • Cheerios, stuffed animal that made sounds
  • camera! video camera, pen and notebook, bubbles, goldfish crackers, baby wipes, board books with lots of pictures
  • suckers,bubbles,books
  • patience and a sense of humor
  • A girly back pack stuffed with girly things!!! Suckers!! Stickers, soft doll
  • A small stuffed animal, DIAPERS!!!, and cheerios
  • backpack, crayons, paper, hair ribbons, cute clothes (she loved her clothes), and a stugged animal
  • stacking cups, beach ball, gerber puffs (fed to our 12 yr. old by adoptive child!)
  • smarties, cheerios
  • back pack of activities, ffamily album, and simple conversations for Chinese Adoption book
  • My baby Can Talk: first signs
  • Tablet Computer – we played games on it and watched videos
  • Daddy…she latched right onto him and wouldn’t let go, tee hee. Rice crackers, too. She wouldn’t touch any toys.
  • stacking cups – the ball kind
  • nail scissors to cut the nipple on her bottle. She was sick when she came to us and felt too icky to want much other than being held– no distractions necessary
  • bubbles!
  • various sizes of clothing
  • a snack cup and sippy of juice
  • My arms…maybe cheerios
  • Duplicate photo album of our family that we had sent in a care package earlier. He played with it for 24 hours and seemed to recognize us in the pictures.
  • US formula since we left the Chinese stuff at the civil affairs office. New parents ya know.
  • crayons and coloring book, cheerios/goldfish crackers, who loves baby photobook (duplicate of what we sent to her while we were waiting). Also, I was so happy to have brought her baby book and I asked her nanny to sign it and write a sentiment (and information) for her. I also made her footprint in the book when we went back to make everything official next day…priceless to have that!
  • cheerios
  • pics of her friends from the orphange with their new families
  • Diaper, wipes & yogurt melts
  • suckers, Strawberry Shortcake doll (it fit in her little hand perfectly)
  • candy, chips, other snacks
  • nothing worked
  • Cherrios, cars,
  • cheerios, stacking cups, beach ball, toy cell phone
  • Cheerios
  • amys fruit bunny snacks
  • A sucker
  • Photo album of Daddy and siblings since I traveled alone.
  • Child size backpack with toys and snacks
  • Snacks, Stacking Cups
  • Cheering, flashy ball, lollipop
  • A toy frog with rattles and sounds
  • Snacks
  • kleenex, diaper bag, snacks
  • stacking cups
  • a love, identical to the one I sent in her care package
  • Stacking cups, cars, suckers
  • Cheerios
  • Baby cereal and a spoon.
  • Cheerios & Goldfish
  • lollipops and toy cell phone
  • cloth to carry her in
  • Camera, drinks
  • phone minutes
  • crackers and chocolate
  • Stacking cups!
  • I brought a bottle of formula. She was hungry!
  • stacking cups and a car
  • Jack was pretty easy going. He had cars that we previously sent in a care package. That pretty much saved us.
  • toys, bubbles, snacks, bookbag for the child, photos, games, balloons
  • Stuffed animal
  • Cheerios smal blanket with tags bottles
  • Nothing special. Diaper bag, but the hand off was quick and we were on our way back to the hotel.
  • Same toy that what on her picture. When to Toys’ R us and found the same toy, showed it to her at gotcha day and she grabbed on to it soooo hard, never let go for at least 1 week.! …after she stared to explore all other toys and stuffed animals I had brought. Have a great trip.
  • Spinning/light up sucker, stacking cups
  • coloring book, crayon, toy cars (matchbox)
  • Gummies, stacking cups and balls.
  • snacks, water, doll
  • This day was a nightmare. Nothing we brought helped.
  • Hot Wheel cars
  • small magnadoodle, bath toys, necklaces, cheerios
  • cheerios
  • crackers, cherrios
  • toy cell phone, stuffed animal we included pic of in photo album we sent after LOA
  • bubbles, snacks
  • a gift for our little one and a cloth diapers or burp clothes for tears and runny noses, they were softer than the tissues in China !
  • magna doodle and Chinese Pictionary
  • stacking cups & cheerios
  • The necklace I was wearing
  • Bubbles, a little princess phone, lollipop, small backpack, coloring stuff
  • Sticker books, water!
  • lollipops
  • Toy phone, links, stacking cups, FOOD
  • Backpack
  • Magna doodle
  • tabbie blanket, a small little blanket that has silky tabs all the way around….sensory related and she learned how to self sooth quickly with this blanket…still sleeps with it every night.
  • backpack with toys, snacks, hair pretties, art supplies, etc.
  • backpack with snacks
  • Stacking Cups, Cheerios
  • stacking cups and snacks
  • A toy telephone
  • Cherrio’s
  • that day was a blur!
  • video camera, camera, snacks
  • bottle of juice and bubbles
  • Small toys
  • Simple Chinese for Adoptive Families, Ultraman video, paper & pencil
  • yogurt drops
  • Stacking Cups, Little Musical See ‘N Say (with fresh batteries…, Musical elephant, Gerber’s puffs and Gerber gummies. Lots of people praying back home! As you know, GOTCHA DAY is an emotionally wonderful, difficult day. My sweet girl had lots of tears her first day. I’m a single momma and a dear friend traveled with me…don’t know what I would have done without her love and encouragement. She became “Aunt Betsy” to all the precious babies in our group.
  • gerber graduates snacks
  • baby wipes, tissues and a special stuffed bear
  • A full bottle, orphanage didnt bring one for her. Diapers and rash cream. Ditto. None supplied by orphanage. Be prepared is my motto!
  • The exact same doll and photo album we had sent her months before
  • music playing lovey doll
  • bottle, doll, gerber stars
  • drink in sippy cup and toy cell phone that made music
  • small doodle pro, snacks, photo album (i had sent one in care package but agency suggested taking another one just in case) backpack with little treasures,
  • Gerber puffs
  • Shutterfly picture book of her update pics, cake pics and her new home and family. As I showed it to her she stopped crying and realized that we had a connection. I knew about her! This made all the difference in the world and stopped the tears.
  • M&Ms and Magna Doodle
  • no interest in what we brought,other than the formula!
  • Noisy toys, taggie blanket
  • candy, doll, and mini magna doodle
  • Gummy bears
  • Snacks, M&Ms, cheerios, suckers
  • photobook
  • written questions I would have forgotten them with all the anxiety i felt
  • a small toy hard plastic dog whose head and tail moved. that was the only thing she held on to.
  • Camra for her
  • apples & cheerios
  • tuna packets to eat or should I say for my hubby and 9 year old to eat. I didn’t eat any cause I was saving all for them
  • A toy cell phone and cheerios
  • cheerios, sippy cup, sister, camera, videocam
  • Small toys, candy
  • mum mum crackers
  • toy cars, dinosaurs, snacks
  • bottle of formula
  • Stacking cups, a snuggly stuffed rabbit with a blanket for a body.
  • just ourselves. Took lots of pictures and wish I had taken more. They mean so much now to our daughter.
  • snacks!
  • Magna Doodle / Cars
  • Snacks
  • A noisy toy
  • little chinese cookies
  • photo album of the family, an elmo phone and some snacks
  • Toy cups and balls
  • cheerios
  • soft crunchy book, camera
  • camera
  • A thermos with hot water for a bottle
  • Cheerios
  • Stacking cups, goldfish crackers, honey nut cheerios
  • nothing really
  • Bubbles
  • Cookies, cars, camera
  • Bubbles and chips
  • small toys
  • Legos!
  • snacks: raisins, M&Ms, colors, stickers, little disposable camera for him, animal crackers, bubbles
  • Cheerios
  • Bottled water
  • video camera. because high emotions caused me to completely blank out afterwards!
  • lollipops and her sister
  • lollipops and her sister
  • a bear and a yellow fleece blanket
  • a backpack stuffed with STUFF- toy cars,bubbles, little toys that lit up, candy, nothing terribly outside the box.
  • Gerber’s Baby Puffs….we call them “baby crack”…worked wonderfully
  • stuffed panda! She carried him everywhere and still has him every. single. night. ! It was amazing to see her so responsible for something at age 11 mo.
  • Gerber puffs, video camera
  • Bottle, Cheerios, toy cell phone, her big sister!
  • A small pink bunny
  • a squeaky toy & stacking cups
  • Sophie The Giraffe

__________________________________________________________________

What items did you bring in general for YOUR CHILD that you were glad to have?

  • antibiotics from my pediatrician
  • CD of favoite chinese children’s songs
  • ipad!!!!
  • She ate the Honey Nut Cheerios and the mini Triscuits.
  • Nintendo, ipod
  • snacka and a pooh blanket
  • race car complete with obnoxious noises
  • bubbles, dominos and jelly beans
  • Good Night Moon book that I read to her every night. She started saying some of the words by the end of the two weeks in China
  • stacking cups, cheerios
  • Formula, rice, snack items, a few more toys, books, diapers and wipes, balloons (we blew them up and let them fly around inside our room…only to blow them up and do it all over again!)
  • legos, computer for him to watch “Pleasant Goat”
  • beach ball, coloring stuff,
  • prunes!, Gerber puffs, stacking cups
  • Etch a sketch, rubber ball, stickers
  • gerber puffs!
  • sippy cup, Boba carrier, pull-ups, bubble bath, blanket, cheerios, magna-doodle, pretty things like hair bows & necklaces etc.
  • Snack containers
  • cheerios! Penaten cream
  • UNO, Nintendo ds, squishy ball,
  • beach ball, sippy cup
  • Cheerios and Puffs
  • Playing cards, iPad, laptop with movies, snacks, coloring book and crayons
  • clothes in his size. Toys were not necessary as he made a toy out of the hotel trash can
  • engaging toys and books
  • stacking cups
  • sunglasses, crayons/paper, swimsuit, goggles
  • bath toys
  • stacking cups, small ball, bubbles,
  • stickers and lollipops, iPhone in airplane mode
  • The iPad!!!
  • stacking cups, little snacks
  • stacking cups, diapers
  • IPad games
  • stacking cups, her 5 year old brother
  • candy, bubbles, ball, and paper with stickers
  • Stacking cups
  • air freshener for those giardhia diapers, extra formula, Ergo carrier, baby oatmeal with dried fruit bits
  • Ergo carrier
  • She loved stickers
  • magna doodle
  • oral gel, thermos, stacking cups, lots of stickers
  • Cheerios and more Cheerios!
  • stacking cups, new shoes, bubbles, m&m’s, Pull-Ups
  • bubbles & play tea set
  • This little Einstein music toy, a soft pink blanket, Gerber puffs, iPod with “Aidan’s playlist” that her brother made for us
  • Cars, trucks
  • stacking cups, blow up beach ball, silky blanket
  • 2 hot wheels cars, outfits that didn’t go over his head, baby soap
  • Stacking cups, snacks, pedialite.
  • Our other children:), DVD player
  • A HipHammock (*since I wore her for about 3 years); our other children:)
  • A light sweater. The weather was warm in Nov. when I traveled and she didn’t really need the sweater, but I knew I would get some crazy stares if I didn’t cover all her skin all the time!
  • burp cloth & stacking cups
  • Stickers, Bubbles, Markers
  • bottles,cheerios
  • cherrios, stacking cups, plastic keys (my daughters favorite toy was an Easter card from her Nana), a hip carrier (we never used a stroller in China, she was on our hip all the time!!!)
  • suckers
  • stack-ablecups, goldfish crackers, cheerios, bubbles, balloons, small stuffed animal, swimsuit, playdough, play phone
  • clothes, blankies, doll
  • thermos
  • Suckers, Stickers, balloons, lip gloss, sun glasses, soft blanket, hair accessories, books, pretty clothes!
  • Soft small toy (that she could hold), a small blanket/snuggie, and cheerios
  • snacks, paper and writing utensils
  • diapers, diaper pins, wipes, teddy grahams
  • photo album of our family (a duplicate of one we sent in a care package), toys that didn’t matter if they got lost, a mini-flashlight that only worked when the button was pushed, a fabric baby doll, stickers
  • playing cards, inflatable ball, nail polish, family album
  • Stacking cups!
  • Pipe Cleaners for on the plane
  • a small blankie lovie (still has it!)
  • bubbles, lollipops
  • Sophie the giraffe, stacking cups, a thermos for hot water
  • bows:)
  • cheerios, gold fish
  • balloons (easy to pack, disposable, lots of fun), Cheerios
  • snacks
  • Stacking cups, he played with these the most. Also, my Boba carrier was wonderful to have! A stroller was not always convenient and the Boba gave us good close snuggle time (and was a good workout for mom)!
  • baby socks, Puffs, formula dispenser and Zojirushi thermos for hot water
  • crayons and coloring book were a huge success. Also she loved the snacks and also her photobook..she loving looking at it over and over!
  • empty water bottles
  • magnadoodle, MP3 (music)
  • Puffs, Baby Mum Mums, squeeze/dispenser baby food packets, stacking cups, lovie
  • Crayons
  • mandarin children’s song cd
  • stacking cups
  • ERGO, cars, crayolas, blanket
  • bottles, small blanket, cheerios, animal crackers
  • Pedialyte powder. picture books
  • little snack cup and baby sling
  • Stacking blocks
  • Maya wrap sling, clothes in various sizes (gave away what was too small)
  • Bubbles
  • snuggly blanket
  • Stacking cups, books with sound
  • Toys and a pair of red shoes!
  • Snacks
  • books, antibiotics
  • caterpillar & sound maker
  • The Ergo! A musical phone and could not have surveyed without the Boogie Wipes! They saved her adorable but runny little nose.
  • Special blanket, coloring books, pictures of his sisters and family at home
  • stacking blocks, ball, car
  • stacking cups and small toys, warm clothing
  • Mini Magnadoodle, Stacking Cups, Her Very Own Snack Cup w/ Neverending Supply of Goldfish & Cheerios
  • snacks, baby carrier, taggie blanket
  • crackers and dutch baby fruit food
  • stacking cups, legos, SPOON–she carried it around for a couple of days at least. Sippy cups (lost one at safari park in the panda pandamonium)
  • snacks
  • board books and cars
  • Bubbles, inflatable beach ball, pringles!, isostar pills to make drinks out of water to avoid dehydration
  • A left-over gift bag and anything that would fit in it.
  • got that stuff in country! But he ended up hoarding our flashlights! (We travel with 1 per person in carryon bags)
  • A play phone that talked to him.
  • swimsuits, their own stuffed animal, blanket, snacks, sippy cup
  • aqua doodle, small stuffed animals, travel etch a sketch, light up with music play camera, BROTHERS.
  • stacking cups chair tie so she could sit in an adult chair and not fall out
  • Blanket. Wish I had bought 2 of the same kind as it is well loved.
  • Musical toys, loved it! My thermos, filled it with boiling water in the morning, when on the road I had a bottle done in no time, mixed in cold bottle water with the formula already in the bottle, I had a bottle going in less than 60 secs. She loved it! Her blanket that I slept with for the month before leaving, it had my scent, she took for her first nap, she’s 7 … still sleeps with it.
  • Puffs
  • playdoh!
  • snacks and balls and stickers
  • pull ups
  • Play dough, Cheerios, copy of the photo album we sent in the care package, crayons, blanket, blowup beach ball, stickers, DVD player– we also brought our then 3-year old with us and it was nice for them to watch a few cartoons
  • cars and balls
  • small chalk board, sippie cup, dvd player with little Einstein DVDs, dresses (she was too tiny for shorts/pants)
  • cheerios, fruit puffs
  • stacking cups
  • toy cell phone, stacking cups, we bought a brand of chips that was in her snack bag from FF
  • pictures of home, markers, playdo
  • stacking cups and a lovey
  • pipe cleaners- they had so much fun creating things
  • cheerios!
  • a taggie, “lovie” and tights because they kept her bare legs from showing in the front pack. and the Ergo was a life saver, we slept in it the first week.
  • Small back pack, ipod, bubbles, lollipops, small cars
  • snacks, puzzles, balloons, play-do, water!
  • stacking cups, leapfrog phone, gerber puffs, cheerios
  • Ergo carrier, blankie, siblings
  • Again. Backpack. He hauled bits of randomness. Important for him to control.
  • simple toys
  • stacking cups, little balls, small toys she could hold in her hand because she wanted to hold onto things and not let go. I think holding onto things was comforting to her for some reason.
  • hair pretties, nail polish, markers and stickers
  • backpack, snacks, toy cellphone, kids digital camera, bubbles, Glo Worm toyl
  • Stacking Cups (2 sets), Cheerios, Formula Dispenser, Bottles with liners
  • a variety of cheap small toys because we didn’t know what he would be interested in (we also saved some of the toys to be “new” for the long flight home)
  • Gerber puffs
  • her sister
  • hip hammock!!!!!!!!!!
  • stacking blocks, blankie was the best thing
  • stacking cups & bubbles
  • Cheerios, lovie,
  • Pull-ups, Play-Doh for plane ride home, pad of paper & pencils, a blanket to put on the floor for kids to eat on, Color Wonder
  • snacks….she didn’t like any toys…just an empty mountain dew bottle for the whole trip.
  • Bubbles, an inflatable ball, different kinds of “lovies” since I wasn’t sure what Catherine would attach to…she ended up loving burp cloths to hold and snuggle and even suck on…my hip hammock!! loved it so that I could have her right next to me and she could look anywhere she wanted to look and rest her head on me when she needed to sleep or just cuddle, Michael Card’s “Come to the Cradle” CD, baby spoons…Catherine loved using them as “drumsticks”…she was fascinated by the sound they made tapping the Baby Wipes container, disposable baby washcloths for sensitive skin, a hooded towel that someone gave me as a gift…just wanted her to be swaddled in something from home, the thermos to keep water hot to mix her formula…she was still taking a bottle. A few board books…loved starting to read to Catherine…she loved them too.
  • toy cell phone
  • stacking toys, ball, we had a dog at home so we brought a touch and feel book on dogs
  • All meds from Orphan Doctor. If I didnt use them, my travel mates did. Pink eye. Scabies. Ring Worm. Tylenol. ELectric thermometer.
  • coloring, play-doh
  • stacking cups, toy child mirror and snacks
  • target baby wash cloth, formula, lots of tylenol (she wa so sick)stacking cups, bubbles
  • a lovey for snuggles, small magnadoodle
  • soft blanket, stickers, activity books, bought playdoh and bath toys in China
  • A stroller
  • light up ball to throw back and forth, put under our shirts while it was lit up, blocks.
  • old digital camera, stickers
  • cards!! stickers,a large beach ball and she loved laying on it,stickers
  • Baby carrier, baby sleeping bag, travel baby bottles
  • Nintendo DS, doll, sunglasses, oreos
  • Stacking cups
  • PLAY DOUGH with lots of fun tools, cutters ect.And pull ups even though he was potty trained, it’s not always easy to find one when you are out so it helped to have some “travel insurance” so to speak.
  • my other kids
  • doll, play phone, blanket
  • Cheerios! play cell phone. new fav blankie
  • soft sweatshirt type jacket with a zipper
  • clothes, stacking cups
  • small toy to hold whenever
  • Dum Dums, stacking cups
  • his sister, a blanket, happy bellies portable baby foods
  • Crayons, bubbles, Cheerios, carrier
  • stacking cups, puffies, cheerios, rattles, soft books, zythromax, photo album
  • DS to play along with his brother and the plane ride home
  • stacking cups, cheerios,
  • Disposable bibs, puff snacks
  • stacking cups, soft blanket. plastic mirror, cheerios which she loved.
  • bubbles, small inflatable beach balls
  • Beach ball, and foam balls & foam blocks used to make up dozens of games to safely play in the hotel room.
  • Toys for the airplane ride
  • bottles and NAN
  • little backpack to play with & put little toys in, carry-on childeren’s fun suitcases with wheels they could ride on (Trunki)
  • cute clothes, bows, toys, baby lotion
  • Banana toddler cookies
  • m and m’s
  • bottles with extra nipples, Chinese formula, Chinese baby cereal, stacking cups, oball, cheerios, blankie, perscription meds from the doctor (he had a very bad ear infection)
  • snack puffs, formula, milk, toy cell phone
  • mix and match Gymboree outfits. Lots of combinations, but bows and sox that matched many outfits
  • stacking cups, beach ball
  • Bibsters, beach ball, cheerios,
  • plastic keys, pedialyte mix-ins (a life saver) and some children’s tea we purchased in China. For constipation — it worked beautifully!
  • bottles
  • carrier
  • Small plastic frog, blow up beach ball
  • girlie items–sunglasses, crown, play phone, plastic play shoes…
  • play cell phones
  • Crayons and play dough
  • as above, plus legos!!
  • Stacking cups, cheerios
  • Brown paper bag
  • stacking cups. hydrocortisone. baby laxative suppositories.
  • rubber duck for tub, a ball, a digital camera so she could see herself, sippee cups, american meds, swim diaper and suit for her
  • Cheerios
  • the backpack. And the iPod Touch. Cooper was OBSESSED with it (still is). Plenty of NiHao KaiLan on there……
  • stacking/nesting balls, and cups. A variety of sippy cups.
  • cheerios!
  • video camera and Gerber puffs, in that order
  • Gerber puffs, soppy cups, small toys to fit in her own backpack, a second copy of the photo album we sent her
  • stacking cups; little bug cars
  • tinned baby food (was expensive in China)
  • Cheerios, stacking cups, blankie
  • stacking cups

__________________________________________________________________

What items did you bring for YOU that you were so very glad to have?

  • toilet paper travel roll
  • duct tape, coffee, make up remover wipes, gum, life savers candy
  • my hubby! and sudafed!
  • Coffee, chicken salad kits, peanut butter
  • laptop, hand sanitizer
  • shorts– it was hot in Guanzhou in November
  • My pillowcase.
  • laptop with skype
  • Leggings because I lost so much weight that everything but the leggings fit by the end of the trip.
  • We had airborne for the flight over and lots of water. I think it really helped with jet-leg
  • Our laptop, cell phone, a few “choice” snacks, and a good book!
  • ziploc bags to keep everything organized
  • My computer to blog and skype
  • dish soap!, computer, comfortable shoes
  • Granola bars, wheat thins
  • laptop
  • Over the counter meds & antibiotics as we both got terrible colds, , plastic dishes to eat with in room, quick dry clothing that could be washed in room, laptop, iPad & VPN so we could Skype home
  • Sun Hat
  • granola bars
  • Allergy meds, no jet lag pills
  • via, creamer, short sleeve shirts with cardigans, iphone
  • Benadryl
  • Chocolate covered almonds, chocolate, iPad,, adaptor for blow dryer
  • food!
  • we shipped sna k boxes to our hotel in provincs and on Guangzou…so awesome
  • car vent air freshner (some of the rooms smelled a little “funky”), laptop
  • peanut butter!, dark chocolate m&ms, tylenol, wipes
  • laptop
  • chocolate, granola bars, peanut butter
  • plastic cutlery!!! via coffee packs and liquid creamer cup thingys, and tons of wet wipes
  • Plastic forks
  • snacks/peanut butter, crackers
  • extra shoes
  • Nourishing snacks like nuts, protein bars, beef jerky when we were too tired to go out and/or sick of eating out
  • Starbucks instant coffee (Via), books, iPhone for apps, iPad
  • vpn! to blog of course
  • my laptop with skype
  • Blanket
  • Coffee and french press, chocolate(!), cup o soup, trail mix
  • antibiotics and pepto bismol
  • Skype
  • instant oatmeal
  • peanut butter, duct tape, hershey kisses!
  • coffee creamers (the little ones for travel)
  • earplugs, peanut butter crackers, m&m’s, my own pillow case
  • laptop & camera & Bible
  • Baby wipes were awesome to have – for so many reasons! drink mixes to add to bottled water, powdered creamer for my coffee, blackberry brandy, my iPod with mini speakers for our room
  • chocolate treats
  • DVDs of 24…now it would be Downton Abbey. Something to watch at night together with the hubs.
  • mp3 with audiobooks, laptop, my special pillow
  • Ziploc bags, pepto
  • A roll of paper towels, plastic plates/eating utensils since we ate in our room alot.
  • Peanut butter and crackers!
  • My favorite tea! I know…it’s crazy I took tea to China!! But, I have my favorites and I knew I wouldn’t have access to them for 2 weeks! It was great when I just wanted something “normal”.
  • Books for me & computer & back pack
  • Snacks
  • english breakfast tea (LOL), comfortable shoes, light-weight clothes that could be washed in a tub
  • food, little packets for flavor water,
  • Aveeno Oatmeal bathe for heat rash
  • snacks and comfort food, lotion, scissors, a plastic file folder that kept us organized, webcam, handiwipes, laptop computer
  • tylenol,my soap lotion shampoo
  • laptop camera bank card
  • Starbucks Singles!!! Summer in China is HOT!!! My favorite thing in my suitcase: 3 dresses from Athleta! Next time I would bring 5 and a swim suit, and call it a day!! Laptop, camera, extra battery, extra SD cards, power strip! We always call down to housekeeping and get 2 adaptors, and bring our own power-strips! Hotels may have power strips for you too! I do like to bring my own blow dryer, but the hotels do have them!
  • protein bars, cup o soup
  • money for diet coke. That drink got me through.
  • m&m’s, tube to place paper to prevent wrinkles for travel home, plastic shoe box-put snacks in for trip there and breakables for trip home
  • granola bars, beef jerky, trail mix, duct tape, medicines
  • trail mix, beef jerky, Bible, running shoes, camera and computer
  • Disposable washclothes, hip sling with soap in them
  • Tablet with Google Translate on it – used it a lot when we were not with our guide; Duct tape used on on suitcase at the Beijing airport that split a seam
  • comfort food from home
  • my computer
  • good chocolate, a 12-pack of Diet Mountain Dew
  • computer
  • starbucks instant coffee
  • instant oatmeal, Febreeze (stinky rooms and clothes :0) My computer with a downloaded VPN and Skype credit to make phone calls.
  • laptop
  • Special K Meal Replacement Bars. These were lifesavers during the plane ride and when hungry but food not available or convenient at the time.
  • antibiotics, skirts, laptop
  • medicines (precautionary…tylenol, motrin, cipro, antibiotics. Snacks (packets of grits, tuna fish). “gladware” containers/bowls, and sturdy disposable plastic spoons/forks for use in the room to cook the grits. Good, supportive shoes!
  • my pillow and antibiotics for daughter
  • sleeping pills (for the flight), my own herbal tea
  • Ergo, Melatonin (1 mg) for us and child, playtex drop-in bottles and liners
  • granola bars and baggies, travel bags from Target that I could put all our clothes in then press the air out of. In GZ, I used them as dirty clothes bags, and just pushed all the air out to get them to fit into the suitcase.
  • bathing suite, a good stroller
  • oatmeal and ziplocs
  • lysol, old clothing amd undergarments to discard after use
  • peanut butter, tuna fish snack packs, water flavoring packets, granola bars, plug converter for the computer, duct tape
  • instant oatmeal, battery candles
  • my husband
  • Granola Bars
  • Laptop! And the ability to skype.
  • Peanut butter
  • ipod with movies for the plane rides, dramamine for same,
  • Travel peanut butter, plastic silverware, bowls
  • A few snacks and some meds from the US in case we got sick
  • Zip lock bags and thermos for hot water
  • snacks, antibiotics, sunglasses, sunscrean
  • ipod w speakers, computer w Skype
  • The best thing I brought was Starbucks instant coffee packs
  • Trail mix, hand sanitizer, computer for Skype with my girls at home!
  • air bags for the clothes and roll out the air. keep organized
  • water treatment stuff!
  • Laptop, Chocolate, Baggies of All Sizes
  • instant latte, my own insulted coffee cup, non fat instant creamer and sweetener…see a theme? Also a VPN, skype with all of my addresses pre programmed, panda phone
  • dutch cookies, coffee and instant soup
  • nyquil, pepto, snacks, backpack
  • gifts for ND foster home
  • chocolate and bubble wrap
  • extra pair of sneakers
  • Snacks
  • coffee bags, they can’t make coffee in China! (me), water flavoring (mom), peanut butter (the girls)
  • Some one gave us these sheets help you wash out clothes in the sink. I had some liquid Tide but those were fabulous for little mess ups when I didn’t want to do a whole bath tub load.
  • the IPAD and VPN
  • Protein Bars, tissues, hand sanitizer, laptop,
  • Laptop
  • Powdered protein drinks, Camera and Probiotics.
  • A lot of t-shirts. Scissors (I don’t know but a lot of other parents came and borrowed my scissors!)??? :)
  • Antibiotics, Mom got sick!
  • Starbucks VIA (I need my coffee asap in the morning), ipad with kids movies
  • gatorade, granola bars, those individually wrapped mint life savers
  • laptop
  • I love the food in China– I also liked having easy snack/meal options for the room. Oatmeal, PB, coffee singles, breakfast bars
  • Ziploc bags of every size
  • Pepto (!), granola bars, those wisp toothbrush things (for the flights), laptop
  • snacks,
  • oatmeal packets, pb and j, small scissors
  • Pepto chewables for adults – DH got food poisoning!
  • ziploc bags to organize the packing
  • cameras !!!
  • granola bars and pop tarts
  • granola bars, plastic baggies
  • Kindle to read while she slept on me, Advil
  • Oatmeal, ziploc baggies, granola bars, crackers, crystal light drink mixes
  • camera, laptop, water bottle
  • tuna salad packets, zuni connect travel router to create wireless hotspot to use my smartphone
  • Umbrella for the sun, Dehydrated camping meals, thermos, antibiotics, packing light
  • M&Ms
  • Wheat thins
  • individual pouches of almond butter for AB&J sandwiches (found a bakery in Guanzhou with bread)…lots and lots of snack foods. We never really ate lunch out. I could only handle so much of the food and I’m usually a pretty adventurous eater.
  • Anti-bac wet wips, ziplocs, peanut butter, hand sanitizer, Kindle
  • trail mix, laptop, pepto bismal, cipro, plastic forks/spoons, peanut butter
  • Sudafed
  • skype – we almost didn’t bring the laptop on account of space, but that would have been a big mistake
  • Enough under garments so didn’t have to wash them or send them out to be washed!
  • chocolate
  • snacks from home
  • american snacks, granola bars, crackers, candy bars
  • travel sound machine alarm clock, pillow, cashmere wrap/shawl, & flashlight
  • Small packs of tissues, ziplock bags, small container of laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, snacks
  • snack food, water bottles to save boiled water for whole family, over the counter meds for cough & cold, computer to blog
  • a bar of soap from home
  • Trail Mix and Cheezits! Wish I had packed more. Some favorite movies…”While You Were Sleeping,” ” My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding”, Lap Top! Girl, I have to have my Dial Soap…so, it made the trip. All kinds of meds…for Catherine and for me. Ended up needing the Cipro my doc prescribed. Endless supply of antibacterial wipes…just sayin’.
  • lots of vitamins
  • Pringle chips…our baby girl was quite whenever she was eating them but we bought them in China
  • TUMS. Eye drops. Back Pain meds. MY ergo baby carrier.
  • Individual french vanilla creamers (liquid) for the hotel room coffee.
  • granola bars
  • coffee, bars, snacks
  • comfy lounge pants for the hotel room, chapstick, and laptop!
  • few snacks
  • Extra shoes
  • laptop, skype, hubby.
  • Chocolate! plastic utensils and napkins/tissues, ziploc bags
  • disposable spoons! Pedialite (for me)
  • Snacks, plenty of clothes changes for hot days, medications
  • pop tarts
  • Breakfast bars
  • zip lock bags
  • lipbalm
  • comfortable clothes-yoga pants! laundry soap, meds
  • my Bible. God’s word helped me through some extremely difficult days over in China.
  • dry fruit snacks and starbuck instant coffee in travel size packages
  • black clothes
  • cold medicine
  • my croc sandals, peanut butter and whole wheat mini-bagels
  • melatonin liquid!
  • Granola bars, iPad, ziplock bags
  • comfortable shoes, quick-drying clothes, laptop, Ergo baby carrier
  • books, my laptop for skyping home
  • Baby carriers, stainless steel bowl for washing bottles and baby dishes, outfits packed in ziplock bags, small thermos, backpack diaper bag, camera with lots of memory, laptop
  • Kleenex for the bathrooms that didn’t have tissue.
  • fruit bars for us. playtex bottles, thermos for hot water
  • A pharmacy worth of OTC medications, Sharpie, LOTS of baggies in all sizes, snacks
  • Instant oatmeal, peanut butter and crackers, over the counter meds like sudafed and cough meds, plastic baggies in many sizes, duct tape, disposal vinyl tablecloths to put on the floor in the hotel room for the kid(s) to play on. A small notebook computer loaded with kids videos.
  • Breakfast food
  • Nutella
  • nothing special, laptop, some mini pocket sized books wich I read during her nap, or when I couldn’t sleep
  • laptop, camera
  • ziploc bags and peanut butter
  • granola bars, sling
  • thermos for hot water to make formula, metal chopsticks to hold nipple and ring while rinsing with hot water, energy bars, dish detergent, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, iphone with skype to chat with kids at home
  • granola bars, pop tarts, computer
  • wipes, small zip-loc bags and rubber bands so I could pre-measure formula to make bottles while we were out (used my thermos for hot water) which was also helpful on the plane ride home, teething gel, and pedialyte powder
  • instant oatmeal, easy mac
  • tuna fish with mayo packets
  • my laptop, a really good camera, gum
  • my cousin to help with the new baby and my three year old
  • tablet and netbook
  • Ebooks, suduko, falsnaptha soap for nightly laundry, travel unders, (exificio)
  • Coffee!
  • ziploc bags
  • Chocolate
  • Starbucks Vias, alcohol wipes for restaurant utensils, sweet and salty bars and backpack snax (trail mix, M&Ms, bite size chocolate
  • Duct tape one of our strollers broke in country
  • Vacuum bags
  • lots of lg ziploc bags and space bags (I used them for EVERYTHING and it helped me stay organized)) yep, i brought duct tape. coffee. protein bars. allergy meds. ponytail holders (it was HOTTTTT!)
  • my photo card reader, dryer sheets for my luggage, very comfortable shoes, chocolate covered coffee beans, ziploc bags
  • Lounge wear
  • oatmeal packets. When I just needed something that tasted like home, this was an easy pick because there were hot pots for boiling water everywhere we stayed. Plus, they were SUPER easy to pack. Also Peanut Butter. Next time, I’d just pack a whole (plastic) jar. Last time, I took Jiff travel sized. Also Crystal lite for my water. I wouldn’t drink anything but bottled water on the trip, so this gave my water some taste when I needed it. Bible app…..I needed it DAILY! Meds- you name it, I brought it, and I never regretted it. Specifically, I would NEVER travel to China again without a full round of antibiotics with me (but, hey, I got meningitis upon returning home, so I’m a bit paranoid now!) Also, VSL#3- best EVER probiotic. We took it for a month before going to China AND we brought it to China with us. The only thing all 5 of us did NOT get while in China was a stomach bug. It prevented all stomach bugs COMPLETELY!
  • Ipad. good for ALL ages, filled with movies, games, email, skype.
  • Ambien
  • Jif to go packs and Z packs
  • Duct tape, small pharmacy! IPad, tuna snack packs with crackers, comfy clothes
  • coffee creamer!
  • premixed coffee & vegemite
  • Ergo baby carrier
  • Hat & sunglasses

___________________________________________________________

What items did you bring that you wish you’d left at home?

  • too many clothes
  • dress pants for meeting the officials
  • my kindle! No time to read.
  • Too much food, ie snacks for the adults
  • lice treatment
  • brought way too many clothes
  • cards and ziploc bags
  • this was my second trip so i was more prepared and didn’t bring as much.
  • I used everything.  I packed lightly.  I brought a lot of old clothes that I just left in China after wearing them.
  • We really didn’t pack anything that we didn’t use.
  • nothing
  • box of cereal and peanut butter, we brought too many snacks, I guess we thought we would starve.
  • nothing really…
  • Blow dryer and curling iron
  • snacks we didn’t eat anything we brought with, too many stuffed toys for DD she was terrified of them, too many clothes,
  • ergo carrier
  • nothing!
  • Nothing.  We packed carry on only for 3 wks
  • none
  • We brought too many snacks. We loved the food in China!
  • Play dough
  • snacks for baby – but I know we’re in the minority here
  • nothing really
  • extra shoes
  • backpack carrier; should have brought a stroller instead
  • clothes that she didn’t fit
  • Brought too many clothes for our daughter
  • Dress-up clothes
  • too many clothes / you can wash them.
  • thermos
  • too many toys and books for kids
  • snack foods
  • Thermos
  • I brought too many clothes, but left a lot in the hotel when we left. I purposely brought not-special-clothes I could wear in China and leave behind.
  • Not much.  We only packed one bag!  If not for the liquids, we would have done carry on only.
  • too many clothes for all of us
  • ? think we used everything–we packed light!
  • lots of clothes
  • My 18 month old!  Ha.  It was a very tough trip on him as well as us.
  • books
  • many of the meds we brought didn’t get used, could have done without, diapers
  • chinese dvds
  • bug spray, bubbles…
  • Stuffed animal- baby was afraid of
  • Hair dryer
  • Various medicines,adapters,
  • Used pretty much everything we brought!
  • Nothing.  As a matter of fact I think I packed too light!
  • baby prunes
  • To many clothes and things for my daughter that we ended up getting in China.
  • used most everything
  • medicine, though I guess I would have been glad to have it if I needed it!
  • sweater
  • chinese translation book
  • plastic bags,too many clothes
  • syringes
  • Toiletries for hair/lotions!  The hotels are much nicer now, and usually they give you this.  Especially if you are at The Garden in GZ!  You will probably get a basket of soaps, etc. for your babies too!
  • the kitchen sink (just kidding, diapers (I brought way too many), too many clothes
  • I think we used everything. We did not pack tons of clothes but got them laundered there. I used every single prescription med I brought over..would have liked to have not needed that.
  • couple of books for child
  • too many ziploc bags
  • books for reading – who wants to read when you have a new child to engage with
  • Flash light
  • Power Converter – never used it but did use the plug adaptors
  • We brought pacifiers each time but never needed them
  • we packed so light, I used everything!
  • gerber puffs, cheerios (our baby, at 11mo, was not developmentally advanced enough to manage either one). And my 10yo (just kidding, kind of)
  • too many shoes
  • antibiotics, antidiarrhea, etc
  • Lots of medicine, but I wouldn’t risk leaving it at home . . . just in case
  • anything dressy
  • Swimsuits, it was too cold for the outdoor pools and our hotels didn’t have indoor facilities.  I don’t think we would have felt like it anyways, we were kept so busy while there.
  • the three extra suitcases of clothes we never wore
  • We pretty much used/needed everything we brought for the most part.
  • power bars
  • too many clothes & shoes
  • Formula dispenser, books
  • I can’t really think of anything.
  • tampons
  • bubbles, too many medicines
  • diapers – we bought them there, hair spray – too humid to worry about my hair…
  • formula
  • blankets
  • Dolls
  • Pull ups
  • Clothes line
  • Not much
  • Small handbag
  • plush toys
  • duct tape and too many clothes for me…it was too hard to dig through to the bottom of the suitcase!
  • Too many shoes! Always my problem!
  • swim diapers
  • nothing
  • Too Many Shoes
  • exercise clothes…ummm never happened
  • a towel
  • backpack frame child carrier. Waste of space, only used the much smaller cloth carrier.
  • extra clothes
  • clothes…… for us….. packed WAY TOO MUCH
  • We brought too many clothes
  • Nothing – it was our 3rd trip!
  • Gummies. Some snacks we brought for Jack. He didn’t know how to chew.
  • I did okay on that….
  • Too many snacks
  • Sterilized milk bags
  • Medicines.  Although, I’d still bring them.
  • Baby formula. She did not appreciate the one I brought from home at first, so I started with the Chinese formula and slowly switched to our’s once we got here. So I stocked on Chinese baby formula there, left ours in the hotel.  You have to roll with what you are given.  She even HATED the bottles I brought. So I went to the market and bought all I saw of baby bottles and chose one, cut a big hole off the nipple and off she went, she took about 90 seconds to empty a bottle. A machine! That was the only way she was happy… I slowly changed nipples and reduced the size of the hole.
  • Duct tape, packed too many clothes
  • some cloths (brought way to much again)
  • shorts and bathing suits
  • brought too many clothes!
  • I wish I could remember everything we took from our first adoption– there was quite a bit that we didn’t use. We traveled fairly light for the second one.
  • I needed it all just not so much
  • lots of shoes for daughter (she only liked the ones she had on when we met), a lot of unnecessary meds
  • most medicines, tape
  • never had to use all the extra medicine
  • board books – she had zero interest in them
  • nothing
  • the extra clothes
  • traveled light so we didn’t bring anything not needed.
  • diapers
  • baby food, she was 16 months but only drank formula and rice cereal.
  • hmmm…. can’t think of anything this trip
  • lice shampoo but I guess it was good to have just in case
  • clothespins, duct tape, dish soap
  • Hardly used uv water purification pen because had kettle and bottled water
  • Dish soap to wash sippy cups.  He preferred reg water bottles and open cups.
  • powder for flavored water
  • Tried to pack light, only brought about 8 outfits, our agency suggested 5.  I wish I would have followed their suggestion.
  • too many clothes for everyone, but packed for snow, cols & sunny Guz so what can you do?
  • dvds, hairdryer, ipod, books, coloring books, adapter, puzzles
  • Finger puppets, stuffed animal(s)
  • I took too many clothes and I didn’t need the power strip
  • less clothes
  • too many clothes for her, she was much smaller than we expected and had to purchase a bunch when we were in China
  • soaps, shampoos as you can get all that there and they are heavy for weigh in
  • hair dryer
  • baby sling- he was too heavy for me to use it easily, coffee- the hotels had great coffee,
  • I’m OCD.  Even if I didn’t need it, I was happy to know that if I did, I’d have it.
  • camera case…kept it in my purse for security reasons….baby carrier….she hated it
  • Wish I hadn’t packed as many clothes for myself and taken advantage of the laundry service.
  • too many clothes, some too big
  • I was told not to bring snacks with wheat because most snacks are rice based in China
  • Diapers.  Can buy there.  Bottles.  Ditto.
  • We brought too much food!  I love to pack light!
  • peanut butter
  • too many wipes, our daughter was fully potty trained
  • nothing – ha ha   i packed a little light for myself
  • pull ups, he was still in diapers
  • lots and lots of medications. Didn’t need them because we didn’t get sick, if I had got sick perhaps I would answer this question differently…
  • laundry detergent
  • a book for me…no time for that!
  • to many clothes for me
  • Carrier
  • Nothing, this was my 4th trip so we had the packing down
  • most of my own clothes
  • too much of the baby items   Less clothes for us all   small toilet paper rolls never used
  • excess clothing
  • extra winter clothing
  • Extra pairs of shoes, too many clothes
  • dressier clothes
  • extra clothes
  • alcohol wipes,
  • Mei Tai baby carrier, just didn’t use it.
  • all of the extra diaper.  We found good ones in China
  • nothing
  • I brought more meds than I needed but I would bring the same amount again to be sure to had what I needed “just in case”.
  • His coming home outfit
  • A corkcrew!
  • I brought too much clothes
  • too much luggage, everyone does not need a bag, a carryon and a backpack.
  • Tamiflu
  • snack cup & sippy cup (he wasn’t ready for them), extra bottle (plenty to buy if needed), diapers too small, small hair scissors that got confiscated by the China TSA, too much clothes for us
  • over the counter medications
  • We travel together lots internationally, so we were pretty accurate with our packing
  • too many clothes!
  • stuffed animals, too much clothing for me, cloth bibs for the baby
  • duct tape, OTC medications for us and baby, inflatable bathtub
  • All the medications I brought
  • Didn’t bring shampoo, conditioner, body lotion -didn’t need it, hotel supplied
  • Too many snacks!
  • duct tape
  • Pull ups
  • big food items like peanut butter,, hair dryer
  • Snacks
  • Medicine, but I’d still bring it just incase someone (baby) got sick
  • well, I don’t know that “i wish we’d left them at home” but…we brought a lot of toys, bubbles, coloring stuff.  And our DD, kinda like your Poppy, wanted nothing to do with anything.
  • too many snacks from home
  • an electric tea kettle (can you imagine carrying it for two weeks?)
  • ziplock bags. Everyone said I needed them. I never used them. TOO MANY CLOTHES! Well, I’d say all the anti-bacterial wipes and hand washes I brought and didn’t use, but, again, I got meningitis, so in hindsight, I might have wanted to use those more!
  • umbrellas…hotel had them.
  • way to many clothes for all
  • individual Kraft mac and cheese
  • Thermos
  • half my clothes
  • bottles & milk powder (our daughter wouldn’t take either!) some medicine – but still glad I took it!
  • Medications for the baby.
  • Too many diapers, the ones you can purchase in China are fine!

__________________________________________________________________

What do you wish you’d brought that you didn’t bring?

  • more snacks and small meals like noodles(they are so light)
  • a good book
  • nothing
  • An Ergo carrier
  • More clothes for my son.
  • more chocolate!!
  • Tums
  • more jelly beans
  • Nothing.  I was able to get everything I needed in China.
  • Pedialyte powder, my girl ate until she vomited
  • My BETTER camera!
  • nothing
  • My other children!
  • I wish I had purchased silks in more sizes (even thought I bought 10+ outfits and dresses
  • Advil; smog gave me a terrible headache
  • hair straightener
  • flat iron
  • more breathe free shirts
  • xtra underware in my carryon, as they lost my luggage for 3 days in Beijing
  • A steroid. I had an allergic reaction to food 2 times. Also, crayons and playdough for our daughter.
  • More cold medicine, extra feminine products
  • an extra seat for the plane ride home
  • we took it all and had over weight luggage and paid exta did not regret it
  • anti-itch cream, a (borrowed) Kindle or the like
  • more meds for child
  • extra clothes; washing in the sink or laundry service was just not up to expectations
  • oatmeal, ramen noodles
  • more cup a soup for me, got tired of ramen noodles, but still wanted something warm at night, sometimes you are just tired, want a cup a soup and to fall into bed.  The thought of going our in search of food can be overwhelming some nights.
  • none
  • lap top computer
  • more money
  • Um, we forgot our camera (who does that????)
  • wish id had a Kindle instead of all those books
  • tuna kits
  • crayons, the only kind we could find in China were more like the sticks that people use in real art like working with oils or something.
  • Baby food
  • Ibuprofen
  • flip flops for room
  • Snack food!
  • nothing – I brought way too much
  • a belt!!! could not find one in China and had lost weight and could barely keep my pants–wish that was the case today!!!
  • umbrella
  • Can’t think of anything
  • Not really
  • I wish I had sprung for the individual packets of pre-measured formula. The way we did it was cumbersome and messy and hard to get into the swing of a new baby with a bottle AND travel issues at the same time…. Especially when she was freaking out and I was trying to count scoops!
  • outdoor toys
  • Couple more nicer outfits for me rather than easy travel stuff that made me feel a bit frumpy and not put together for all the pictures that will be looked at F-O-R-E-V-E-R
  • I took everything….
  • More clothes for all of us
  • My bed:)
  • More diapers/diaper wipes
  • More cozy pants and tops for me…and a few more outfits (dresses because they work whether your child is shorter or taller than expected) for my daughter.
  • More allergy medicine & cold tablets for me.
  • Can’t think of anything at this time.
  • really felt like we had what we needed, I might have brought more baby clothes because they were expensive in Chongqing
  • nothing… I had it all… gave a ton away! (side note, 2nd adoption, wish I had more pedialyte!!)
  • More Aveeno bath
  • a baby spoon (weird, but true)
  • more snacks from home,dvd player
  • This was our 3rd trip..   I think we finally got it right!  Remember you can go to Wal*Mart and Carefour for everything!!
  • battery charger for video camera
  • A couple good novels for when I could not sleep.
  • shopping bag (like kind from TJ Maxx)–to carry gifts for adoption day, trips to grocery, shopping in GZ,baby powder
  • more clothing in general, esp. socks and underwear.  I didn’t think it would matter about having a stranger wash my socks and underwear-I still bothers me.
  • nothing
  • Juice nipples, they allowed the thick formula to flow.  Much better than poking holes
  • My curling irons did not fit in the plugs because of the one prong is wider than the other – I wish I had brought some adopter to accommodate that or have filed down the plugs
  • extra batts for camcorder and camera
  • more kids snacks – cheerios, etc.
  • More familiar food for the aforementioned 10yo so I could eat something besides McDonalds and Papa Johns
  • comfy and cool-er clothes
  • baby bjorn for 8 mo used Chinese version not the same
  • My other children
  • more comfy shoes
  • More long pants, it was colder than we expected.
  • more ziplock bags, laundry hangers
  • We did pretty well…we had packed/ re-packe/packed again and were totally ready to walk out the door about 3 or 4 months in advance…just incase!
  • sunglasses
  • I took travel sippy cups and should have taken the good kind.
  • more toys for the plane ride back home
  • excedrin, how did i forget that?!
  • nothing
  • adult meds – pepto & immodium, more shorts – no A/C except in hotel…
  • rain poncho (cheap ones from the dollar store)
  • i pad
  • More gifts for children around city
  • Electronuc toys for our new son. He was fascinated with our older son’s Nintendo DS
  • a sippy cup
  • Paper towels, napkins
  • Instant grits packages for the hot pots since grits are a lot like congee
  • More feeding spoons
  • ex-lax; a belt
  • can’t remember
  • We visited her finding spot, but I regret not going to the police station where she was taken. I wish I had asked more questions at her orphanage. I’ll never get those chances back
  • More socks, carrier for our son (he is heavy but would have been small enough for a ergo or carrier of some kind)
  • can’t think of anything
  • forgot to bring another outfit for her, from the hotel, had to buy not one, but, two new ones before we could get back to the hotel.
  • I wish I had made a list of possible gifts b/c shopping became overwhelming since I had never been here before.
  • stroller-hated to but bought one here
  • toys
  • Video camera
  • hubby wishes he’d had his wife with him
  • my other kids….missed them like crazy
  • Blanket for child, little gifts for officials (our agency said it was not allowed, but we felt horrible not being able to give anything)
  • More snacks/food packets
  • A really good novel!
  • More movies for us when we stuck in the room.
  • I was okay here too.
  • Wish we would have taken more photos and video
  • snacks
  • A few casual dresses and something really great for our guides.  They were awesome, but didn’t want to accept anything.
  • Our agency had a very complete list for us, I brought everything they suggested… I had everything I needed, my husband, my 7 year old daughter and my new tiny baby daughter, happiness was there at that moment. I thanked God everyday.
  • Childrens clothes in various sizes…he was much smaller than we expected
  • nothing really…in Nanning I wish I had a stroller but when we got to GZ, we got one for free for laundry services!
  • games for us and the older kids to do in the room
  • benadryl (forgot)
  • A little tape recorder.
  • Second trip so I think I had what I needed
  • Sanity. I totally forgot to pack sanity.
  • music, tennis shoes (or more comfortable shoes than I brought)
  • bubbles!  Thankfully a travel buddy had plenty!
  • not really
  • scissors , and barettes for her hair …they were expensive to buy by we needed them!
  • a blow drier…the ones in China did not do the trick.
  • more toys!
  • more bottles, we only had one.
  • more oatmeal
  • starbuck’s via for me, bubble bath for her
  • A skirt. I usually wear skirts but opted just for pants. A skirt would have been cooler though when we went north the pants and sweater were required
  • Nothing really.  I always forget how easy it is to find things there. Never skimp on the meds though.  I don’t take ant OTC meds at home but in China we always seem to get the crud on the way over.
  • peanut butter
  • Because of reading lots and lots of blogs, I felt pretty prepared.  We really didn’t have much that we wish we left behind.  We got a medical pack from John Hopkins hospital that included antibiotics, medicine for lice etc.  Did need anything but was glad to have.  I really can’t think of anything that I wish we brought but didn’t…at least that I remember.
  • can’t think of anything
  • didn’t bring enough pull-ups and they were not easy to find!
  • NyQuil, DayQuil, cough drops, “Touch ‘n Feel” book
  • a few over the counter children’s antibiotics or medicines
  • a lg. mesh zippered bag to pack clothes and shoes bought in china/ hint; use duct tape : )
  • ezcema cream
  • a journal to make notes to myself
  • Ergo Baby Carrier! And candy (skittles) for the local children
  • A list of questions to ask the caregivers about our son.
  • A rope to tie him to us so that he didn’t run off all the time!
  • Soooo wish I had packed a better variety of sizes for Catherine…what I packed ended up being too small.  I underestimated what size she would be.  Thankfully, I bought some things for her in China…but I wish I had had some things that I had washed and “mommied” over to have for her.
  • Shaklee’s Stress Relief Complex (will send you some if you tell me where to send)
  • Tampons
  • More snacks. Granola bars, energy drinks.  etc.
  • Swim suits… in an effort to pack light, we skipped this but then ended up buying suits there.  Although they were hillarious looking!
  • swim diapers
  • more childrens tylenol, enough for a child with a fever the entire trip! advil for me, miralax for a super constipated child, sugar that mixes easy with formula, I could only find sugar in the raw which takes longer to desolve. my child was on formula with rice cereal and sugar in it, she was 23 months
  • nothing, you can usually find it there
  • a winter coat – it was colder than i thought it would be
  • A heavier coat, another pair of jeans
  • Nope, brought too much if anything.
  • nothing
  • my husband!! maybe a pre made card with our name and e-mail to keep in touch?
  • Baby snacks, gotcha pressie for the other family
  • I’m happy to say I wasn’t lacking anything
  • More underwear
  • More personal feminine products for me.  What is it about a trip to China that mother nature insists she give you your period??
  • tons of skin moisturizing cream and lotion
  • better toys, more snacks, downloaded more movies to watch during naptime.
  • M&M’s.
  • Tide Travel Size Cloths Wash
  • more boy clothes – the stuff available in China was odd
  • I took waaaay too much of everything
  • more antibacterial wipes
  • more “lighter” clothing for Guangzhou
  • nothing that I can think of…..maybe more money to shop.
  • flip flops, electrical adapter
  • Gerber baby foods in the plastic cups, a friend had them, they were great.
  • Not something I didn’t bring but wish I had taken more pictures.  You can never have too many!
  • More bibs!  Our DD had an unrepaired cleft lip/palate.  I brought a lot of bibs, but we needed more!!!!!
  • Nothing I can think of.
  • Stacking blocks and snack cup
  • Swedish chocolate
  • nothing. Anything we missed we could  buy in China
  • pull ups
  • More small items for the civil affairs office
  • dvd player with videos for adults and baby
  • baby nail clippers, hangers to dry clothes
  • nothing
  • Nope!
  • band aids
  • more tuna and other sources of protein
  • the charger for the laptop – we forgot it
  • antibiotics!!!  She got pneumonia and I had to put her in an awful provincial hospital, it all could have been avoided if I had antibiotics with me
  • tape as in just plain clear tape
  • Blanket for our son,
  • nothing…
  • more socks/undies
  • Deodorant
  • not really
  • Warmer clothes for us and the girls
  • Safety pins & Adult vitamins
  • ummmm. laxatives for adults.
  • Nothing I can think of
  • hmmmm….don’t think there was anything. I completely over-packed! Like i said though, a full round of antibiotics.
  • nothing too important
  • wish we purchased more art instead of junky stuff. (well we enjoyed the junky stuff while it held up)
  • we were set
  • Nothing, we really brought everything but the kitchen sink!
  • more snacks for the adults
  • more tinned baby food!
  • Can’t think of anything
  • Chinese lullaby music

___________________________________________________________

What gifts did you bring for the officials?

  • make-up, key chains, candy
  • small notebooks with pretty covers, postal stamps and post cards, lip gloss
  • M & M’s and burt bees lipgloss
  • Lotions from Bath & Bodyworks, Salt WatervTaffy made near our home town
  • Stamps, Lancome products, See’s candy
  • our travel group did a donation to the orphanage- it bought a washer and dryer
  • Wizards t-shirt, chocolates
  • lotions and hats
  • lotions, soaps and fish oil for the adults, multi-vitamins for the children. Our agency requested those items.
  • nice pen set, applets and cotlets (we live in Washington)  lotion, red nail polish
  • Goodies from “Bath & Body Works”
  • oil of olay cream
  • lotion, candies
  • lotion, college t-shirts, Dove chocolate
  • Bath and body works lotion
  • money
  • lotions, room sprays, chocolate
  • maple syrup, body shop lotions and soaps
  • it was a group gift, alcohol, |I think
  • Soaps, picture frames
  • lipsticks and pens
  • Bath and Body Works lotion, fancy lip balm and Jelly Bellies.
  • College baseball cap, chocolate covered almonds, small gift set of bath products
  • chocolate, etc.
  • special tea huge hershey choc bars lipstick cosmetics something special from our area
  • shirts from our state, candies, scarves, an inexpensive digital camera
  • american candy, local pottery
  • chocolates & tees from Hershey, PA!
  • jelly beans, chocolate
  • post cards of Atlanta Braves, Georgia key chains, chocolates, lotions, fish oil capsules and a good multivitamins
  • A scrapbook
  • sand castles made from the sand of Lake Michigan, dried fruits from the state of Michigan, lotions
  • candy
  • We were told not to
  • lotions, leather gloves, frames
  • chocolates
  • lotions, scented sachets, and um…that’s all I remember
  • Postcards, Key Chains w/ photo holder, Fridge Magnets, Notepads
  • Creighton t-shirt, chocolate truffles
  • jelly bellies – boxed set with American flag on it
  • Mini soaps and lotions
  • pistachio nuts, lotions, deoderant, chocolate
  • USA team sport t-shirts (ie. Phila, Eagles, Phila, Phillies..) note pads, local home made soaps
  • jewelry, lotions, deodorant
  • Bath and Body Works lotions and chocolate
  • chocolate
  • I solicited “made in america” personal sized toiletries from Avon, from my dermo’s office, from Mary Kay, etc. I also brought local made chocolates.
  • ginseng
  • handmade stationery, chocolate bars with a wrapper that looks like an American flag (from Wegman’s for $1.99 each)
  • Chinese New Year of the Rabbit stamps, red lipstick, candy
  • Candy
  • fish oil capsules, variety of herbal/american teas, local candy/peanuts
  • Local candy/peanuts; lotions/bath salts
  • Licorice from a local store here…which in hindsight was kinda dumb…I mean it added like 12 pounds to the suitcase!  It was yummy though!
  • tools, jelly belly candies
  • Basketball jerseys
  • scarves- never saw them open the gifts
  • USA lotions, and money
  • sheets of postage stamps, Mary Kay skin care, Mexican pralines
  • calendars from our home state, jellybellies, lotions, baseball cap
  • lotions
  • Bought them in Province the day before Gotcha so I didn’t have to pack it!!!!  I just brought the red bags and tissue paper.  The Chinese love dark chocolate..  So, my guide just helped me shop for what they like.  This past trip we also bought in province A LOT of diapers that we brought to the orphanage director in person on our visit!
  • lotion, chocolates, notepads
  • Homemade jewelry for the foster parents. Our agency did not want us to bring anything to the orphanage.
  • University of KY t-shirts (we were in Wuhan, also–he opened gifts in front of us, probably to make sure no money)
  • jelly belly beans, ginseng tea
  • make-up and jewelry
  • I don’t remember!
  • lotions, caps, shirts
  • local products…made in Washington lotion, chocolates, local sports team hats and accessories
  • shell necklace made in laguna beach
  • honey from Utah– the Beehive State
  • elvis cd ( tn native) & goo goo candy (made in tn)…but i totally left everything in the hotel room, so they got nothing:(  i left it all for the hotel staff.
  • frowned at lotion, soap asked for chocolate
  • something original to the state you live in
  • baseball hats, lotions
  • Jelly Bellies and handmade tile necklaces with either ladybugs or dragonflies on them.
  • it was unique to where we lived in Spain but the tile sign is still hanging on the walls of the SWI
  • Fancy US postal stamps, t-shirts from our state/area,  American candy items (something that will not melt).
  • chocolate
  • chocolate, makeup and lotion
  • Small leather notebooks and nice pens for the men
  • I’m from KY, and I was able to order horseshoes that had been used by horses while racing at Churchill Downs.  I loved that.  They were only about $4. They did cause some concern when our luggage was going through security in China though.  They had us open our suitcase to take a look because they had no idea what they were.
  • ginseng tea, local candy, tourist book from our area (in Chinese)
  • ties
  • sterling silver bracelets and See’s candy for females; sterling silver bookmarks and See’s candy for males
  • cigarettes, make-up, coasters, flower seeds, candy
  • Lancome lip gloss
  • red envelopes with money
  • Lotions and candy
  • Mary Kay donations, small boxes of chocolates, nice pens
  • Candy
  • Burt’s Bees kits
  • chocolate, hymn CD
  • Well, this is not the norm, but I will tell..I make very whimsical wire head crowns and headband tiaras, so that is what I brought along!
  • Lotions, candy,
  • souvenier spoons, notepads, candles, candy
  • Smoked Salmon, Ipod Shuffle
  • the usual…soaps, lotion, cosmetics
  • Lotions and local chocolate. Clinique makeup for the foster Mom and local apparel for foster Dad and photo album for the foster family. ( our guide told us Nike gear is very popular and expensive in China so that might be a good gift?)
  • scarves
  • perfumes, etc.
  • Lotion, Chocolate from local shop, pen from husband’s business
  • sented oils, ginseng root, chocolate
  • clothing
  • Centrum vitamins, plus children’s vitamins, toothbrushes for the orphanage, and scented mini hand sanitizers for the nannies.
  • chocolates
  • pistachios, handmade soap and lotions
  • Hats (for guys) Shirts (for gals) all with local Cincinnati stuff on them.
  • I went to the Navy Exchange and asked if they would give me some free samples for the gifts explains the situation. They hooked me up. I added some jelly bellies and Chapstick and packaged it up nicely when we got there.
  • Vitamins, makeup, lotions, candy, key chains
  • Soaps lotions etc
  • Candy, but there was little focus on this.
  • Our agency do not give officials gift, but we do bring toys and stuff for the older kids. Cloths, crayons, coloring books, snacks
  • NFL team shirts, chocolate made in our state
  • Burt’s Bees products (native to NC), Kiss My Face products
  • soaps and lotions and lip glosses
  • community coffee, pralines
  • Framed postage stamps for the SWI director; red lace bags filled with red lipstick, almond rocca, and 100 Yuan for the nannies; red boxes with gold ribbon filled with almond rocca and red Lindt choocolate truffles for other officials, offices.
  • Ties that I found on sale for $5 (real silk ones)
  • Travel size Bath and Body Works lotion, instant Starbucks, and 3 pieces of chocolate form a local chocolatier
  • chocolate, lotions, sports team hats
  • lotions
  • jelly bellies for officials, candy, necklace for foster mom and tshirt for foster dad
  • oil of olay cream
  • razors for the men and they loved them.
  • lotions, stationary, pens
  • lotions, colored pencils, post cards from our area, lipsticks, candies, totally random things from the made in WA store.
  • soaps, locally made things
  • Denver Broncos T-shirt and hat, chocolates, soaps, lip balm
  • packaged cookies from local company, lip gloss
  • Ginseng, oil of Olay products
  • Cdn made candy and lotions.  Photos,Lockets and photo key rings.  Also photo tumblers fr Starbucks.  More personal items were for those closest to our son.
  • scarves–red and photo albums
  • This was the hardest part for me.  In fact, I don’t even remember because I kept putting it off and we ended up doing something very last minute.
  • lotions, candy, some mini-souvenirs that are local
  • fish oil Bath & BodyWorks lotions
  • Various Lancome items, Marlboro, money for the nanny
  • lotions, makeup kits, candy unique to the us, bath sets
  • necklaces, covered coffee mugs
  • we went against the rules and gave money, and prayed for each of them, they were very grateful.
  • we live at the beach and gave salt water taffy from made locally
  • kentucky derby stuff and louisville slugger items
  • scented lotions, lip balm, sunglasses
  • scarves and chocolates
  • lotions, jelly bellies, coffee, playing cards
  • chocolates
  • It was Girl Scout Cookie time right before I traveled, and a family who had adopted 3 girls from China shared that idea with me.  Those cookies were a huge hit!  This family even shared the explanation of the the Cookies in Chinese with me so I could attach it to the cookies.
  • handmade in us lip balm and hand balm wrapped in red tulle bags with ladybug ties
  • I can’t remember…and I spent so much time putting everthing together
  • Pan Dulce. (A mexican sweet bread famous in Texas)
  • Wendell August stuff… we live near Grove City, PA, and lotions
  • american lotions, american chocolates
  • small prints from the area where we live, starbucks coffee gift set for my guide with agency
  • In and Out Burger tees, nicer neck ties and chocolates
  • chocolate
  • Lotions
  • maple syrup, maple candy, fish oil pills
  • lotions/makeup and chocolate, small multi-tools
  • small boxes of chocolates,scarfs
  • Welsh love spoons
  • made a scrapbook of all the children that had been adopted from there before and included updated letters from their families.  They said it was the best gift ever!
  • Scarves
  • Lotions this trip.  We also brought chocolates for the girls that cleaned our hotel rooms.  We were messy & they deserved a special treat!
  • chocolate, aftershave.
  • chocolate and tea
  • hand made soap that made all my cloths smell great and crystal light travel packs
  • photo frames, lotions
  • small things to fit in luggage
  • Burt’s Bees chapstick and Moravian spice cookies (both made in NC)
  • american branded candies
  • Centrum vitamins
  • multivitamins (for the nannies), local sweets and alochol (yes, our agency told us that officials in Jiangsu liked that).
  • can’t remember
  • Coins, Year of the Ox postage stamps.
  • Commerative stamps
  • lotions, cross pens, sheets of stamps, post cards of our city, candy from our city
  • small calendars, local salt water taffy
  • Small boxes of “Jelly Belly” jelly beans. There are made in the USA and the boxes packed well, plus they were good gifts for both men and women. Coffee Table books from the city I live in for the Foster family and/or Orphanage director. Once we reached Guangzhou, we mail our provincial guide some Starbucks coffe since it was not readily available in his area.
  • Burt bees items
  • Local made carrot marmelade and a tray. So stupid!
  • Soaps, Chocolate, Beautiful handmade keychains which included a hanger with a picture of our daughter and on the other side a picture of our family, necklaces, handmade bookmarks designed with a picture of our daughter (these were gifts from two seperate travels, to our first daughter (2007) and our second daughter in 2011)
  • chocolate, jellybellies, lipsticks
  • coffees and t shirts from our local university
  • lotions
  • chocolates, coffee and lotion
  • nothing for the officials; I brought chapstick, candy, and a Razorback coffee mug for the orphanage workers.
  • We were from Orlando, so Disney mugs and Disney chocolates
  • lotions-won’t do that again, too heavy
  • Lotion, pins, small jewelry boxes, lip gloss and pens
  • high-end cosmetic bonus bags (Clinique), praline pecan candy, cigarettes
  • Chocolates and notepads with pens
  • Chocolate, re-gifted perfume (never used) lotions,
  • lotions, state postcards, homemade pecan gralle’
  • nail polish, chocolate
  • Lotions
  • I’m from Texas so took Texas gift bags; chili mix, tea towlels with a map of texas, in gift bags tied up with a bandana
  • Candy, lip gloss
  • Made in China wallets
  • we just did money in red envelops.  boring? yes.  but easy.
  • basketball team caps, pralines, scarves, fancy paper, nothing made in China
  • Lavender products from our town
  • Burt’s Bees lotions b/c they are made in the USA. Small bottles of Maple Syrup. Being form NH, this was a natural choice for us, but it was also a huge hit! Salt water taffy- again, we went for New England themed treats.
  • small Swiss army knife got cheap at TJMaxx.
  • In Hubei we took make-up (got it at CVS/ Walgreens for 90% off), Sports ball caps for men, and US made chocolates. Nothing made in China
  • bracelets
  • Small lotions, special regional candy, smoked salmon & maple syrup – country specific, we are from Canada, liquor
  • Hershey’s chocolate; handmade purses for nannies; almond roca
  • lotion & money
  • Make-up
  • hats, t-shirts, cosmetics

__________________________________________________________________

What is your best advice for someone preparing to go to China to adopt their child?

  • enjoy every second and know that you will be home before you know it.
  • go with the flow. Be flexible. It is not about YOU
  • To go without any preconceived ideas of how things will go, be flexible and fluid
  • RELAX!!! dont worry so much, just enjoy the moment
  • keep your expectations low and trust that God already knows the outcome
  • be ready for anything – changes happen constantly
  • Go with the flow.
  • I carried my girl EVERYWHERE using the Ergo and I think it did wonderful things for our bonding.
  • Relax, have fun, and be adventureous
  • RELAX!!!!
  • Be prepared for the worst but hope for the best!
  • don’t overpack, but if you think you may need it, take it
  • Read up on attachment and a little bit about chinese culture so you know what to expect from chinese people; take cues from your new child…don’t move too fast for what they can handle emotionally
  • Don’t Stress
  • Do not overpack, if I were to go again tomorrow I would try to get it down to 1 checked bag and 1 back pack per traveler…no carry-ons, it was too much to juggle with a new squirmy 3 year old.
  • make sure everyone knows how to use the video camera and camera….
  • get lots of sleep! Pack in ziploc baggies, it saved my life
  • Go with the flow
  • good attitude
  • Just be flexible. There will be parts of the trip that don’t go as planned, but try to enjoy your experiences. Not many people get the opportunity to take a trip like this so savor it. Even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy certain aspects, go in with a good attitude and come prepared with ways to entertain yourself if you do get stuck in your room a lot. Our daughter would nap for at least 3 hours every afternoon so I was glad to have books to read and my computer to watch movies on. Keep in mind that things might be rough at first as your child gets used to you and is grieving, but it will get better!
  • Getting VPN and skype for international calls, don’t expect your child to be happy when you get ready to leave civil affairs
  • I read through your tips before I traveled!
  • meds take meds anything and everything and a goo thermometer
  • do you best to enjoy the experience but prepare for the worst and be VERY aware of HOW your child is grieving and recognize it for what it is (I didn’t do that very well last time)
  • wear clothes more than once!
  • find packing lists & tailor them to you; then, just relax and enjoy the experience.
  • prepare for the worst, hope for the best and just go with the flow….try and enjoy the time in country with your child
  • Get yourself into Go with the flow mode.
  • Always think in their perspective.
  • expect the unexpected and don’t stress too much.  The guides are there to help with any situation
  • have someone take pics for you, bring water to gotcha day
  • Relax and try to soak it all in.
  • expect Gotcha Day be tough emotionally
  • only worry about passports, paperwork, and money once you step into your fist airport, eveything else can be replaced
  • You can honestly find everything you need to survive for 2 weeks while there, don’t sweat the small stuff…and remember a camera!
  • Read a lot about attachment before you go and sensory issues too.
  • Bring a carrier and wear your baby while you give him/her room to grieve. Hold her/him a lot and leave your expectations of how YOU-think-things-should-look at the door!
  • try to relax and have low expectations
  • Pack light.  You will be glad not to have all the stuff to lug around.  I also wish that I had taken a lot more pictures of the scenery.
  • pack lighter than you think
  • If your child is small enough, use a hip hammock or baby bjorn rather than a stroller to help with bonding and face to face time.  Follow a schedule with meals, bed… if child is on formula, keep on chinese formula until you get home–take sesveral cans of Chinese formula home and make the switch once home a few days!
  • Go with the flow – on the second one I was much more relaxed!
  • Expect the worst and hope for the best!  Have a lifeline at home if at all possible.  Skyping with my Mom each day saved my sanity!
  • pray
  • Once you have your child in your arms, focus MORE on the bonding and attaching and LESS on shopping, LESS on touring and doing all that site seeing, etc. It’s an amazing journey but you can never get those first days together back. Make them count, even if it’s hard and full of grieving, etc.
  • sleep when they sleep *nap more
  • Best tip–get to the orphanage and finding spot even if you have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to get there (as we did)
  • read everyone’s blog, and stuff about attachment, pray hard and stay close to the Lord
  • Get your cash exchanged at a hotel; you’ll sit for hours at a bank.
  • Be prepared
  • Oh my goodness…have zero expectations!  Also, if you get to the point that you are just soooo ready to get home…take some time and really think about how you want to enjoy the time in China.  After all, when you explain to your child all about their adoption, you want it to be a positive experience.  Something they will be proud to hear about!
  • Relax & enjoy the little moments
  • Enjoy your time it goes very quickly
  • pack light, bring OTC meds that you couldn’t live without
  • ENJOY every minute… it goes by SO fast!  Be open to new experiences and remember you are in a foreign country, they act differently, do not be offended!
  • Get out and mingle with the people, visit local markets, find your own places to explore (particularly if you have been before)
  • Be flexible.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  It’s a huge transition for everyone.  Try to enjoy the moment!  We wish we would have been a tad more adventurous and explored our surroundings a little more.
  • stay where beds are soft if possible
  • get the show-stopper items together and don’t stress about the packing after that
  • Don’t over think it…  Remember when it comes to packing for yourself, you can use the Chinese Laundry!!  I have been there 3 times, and every time I bring clothes I don’t wear..  If you are going in the summer, you will sweat!!!!  That’s why I loved the dresses that are like swimsuit fabric, that I could literally wash in the sink if I needed too!  Bring something nice to wear for Gotcha Day..  These pictures will be in your life and your child’s life forever!!!!  I have always packed a separate suitcase for my girls..  Especially if they are older.  They will be so excited to have their own things!  If you bring siblings, remember they will probably want to match!
  • Be flexible!  You really need to go with the flow and understand when things don’t go the way you think they should.
  • A great sense of humor
  • Relax and enjoy
  • Prepare to go with the flow, the less expectations the better.  The trip is about bringing a child into the family, not the family sight-seeing.  Pray, pray, pray for God’s help, wisdom, and healing for your child.
  • Don’t forget to bring your sense of humor. Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.
  • Pack less than you think you need.  You can get so much stuff there!!
  • With an older child if you see your child gravitating to the guide because they understand them, you may need to do a family day rather than a group outing.  We did this and it was great.
  • Do your homework.  Join a Yahoo group.  Ask a lot of questions everywhere you can.  Enjoy every second.  Try not to become too anxious over the small details and soak it in.  It’s such a short adventure and you will never get that special time back.  Try to make your China time all about bonding with your new child w/o distractions.
  • enjoy every minute of it…even the tired and jet lag minutes.
  • expect the worst and be flexible. If you want to see the orphanage, make sure you don’t let your guide talk you out of it if the orphanage director says it’s okay
  • don’t overpack, take a good camera, pack comfy clothes, take snacks, relax and rest up!
  • see as much as you can, purchase many items to be given to child over time
  • Bring a photo album of family left at home, pictures of the house and room, pets etc.
  • Be prepared for ANYTHING!  You never know how your child will react to you.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff, you can buy most things in China so don’t overpack except when it comes to clothing for yourself be prepared, bring any and all paperwork because you don’t want to be missing an important document while there, soak up the experience it will be over before you realize it, bring antibiotics for upper respiratory/sinus and for GI bugs.  Also, bring an extra suitcase if you can to bring your souveniers home, you WILL buy more than you intend too! :)
  • basic parenting instincts are better than any special adoption parenting training you’ve had.  Patience and love are key
  • Be flexible, expect the unepected, and most of all soak in as much of the culture and experience everything you possibly can…and enjoy it immensly!
  • enjoy the moments with family before you leave
  • no expectations,
  • Your #1 priority is bonding and establishing trust with your child. Everything else builds from that, so make it priority #1.
  • Just do it and try to enjoy each step.  It isn’t easy, but it will definitely be memorable.  I tried to take as many pictures and video as possible because I was afraid I would never remember it later.  I’m so glad I did.
  • not to have an agenda for gotcha day
  • don’t overthink it – take what will make you comfortable & concentrate on this special time with your child.  use the hotel’s strollers.
  • Learn the language
  • read alot learn from others experience so you have no real surprises
  • Relax and make it all about the child.
  • Wear your baby. Take tons of photos. Ask room service for several extra down comforters – I slept on 2 or 3 and the concrete bed was actually tolerable. :)
  • The first few Days are so different than you expected
  • Understand that the child you meet is overwhelmed and not the same child he or she will become in your loving home.
  • pray a lot
  • Buy a cheap suitcase in China so that you have room to bring home all your treasures!
  • Enjoy ever minute it go by so fast
  • Give it all to God – He’s the one in control anyway!
  • prepare for an unhappy, grieving child that may not want to be held by you
  • take a million more pictures then you think you should! Seriously, take pictures of everything! And then take some more.
  • Take lots of pictures! Try your best to enjoy the trip, when I got home I wished I would have taken in more and complained less! Relax and let go of all your expectations. You have plenty of time once home to get on a schedule, just do what is right for your new child!
  • take all medicine possible even though you probably won’t use it.  still good to have medicine for pink eye, yeast infection,etc.
  • Once you get the child in your arms, don’t let him/her go to anyone else for several days.  Do it all yourself, so as to BOND with him/her.
  • Not sure I have anything great as I haven’t left for home yet, but I became determined to find something positive around me every day to make the most of this experience.  My new daughter was the (mostly) easy part.
  • what happens in China stays in China…real life at home is what matters
  • do not stay in sweet heaven, adopting is hard work from the first minute
  • Set aside your expectations.
  • Have a travel mate to help relieve the stress
  • Don’t overthink the gifts  -ANYthing you forgot (except paperwork can be obtained in China – You are in survival mode – don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Relax, go with the flow, follow your child in everything. First build trust then start to correct. Prepare for chinese habits / cultural: give gifts with two hands, receive gifts with two hands, respect…..
  • Take an external hard disk (USB) and extra batteries / memory cards / USB memory sticks for all your pictures. Keep your backups seperate from your computer (different carry on or in a checked bag) You’ll want to give some to travel buddies you meet, and you want to back up everthing so if the ‘puter dies or is stolen you have your copies! The “cloud” can be unreliable from China, and the stuff we bought in country was poor quality.
  • Just relax and go with the flow.
  • Do not judge anything in China….it all gets better from here.
  • smile relax breathe
  • Don’t have any expectations. Try to run with the punchs. Our daughter refused feeding for two days.  She only started feeding once I changed her bottles. and after that she refused food. I had to put her cereals in the bottles with some baby food in it.  That was the only way she would eat. I adapted to her. In china you can’t really expect anything. I had a wonderfull trip once I adapted myself to her. She started to eat solids two months after our arrival! Enjoy each moments, look around, look at the Chinese people, take pictures of these wonderful people. I have a wall at home of beautiful Chinese, old and young people with either us or her in the picture with these wonderful people. She loves her heritage wall.
  • Read, research and then just be flexible
  • just go with the flow, don’t focus on the small stuff, focus on bonding with your child
  • go with the flow and don’t assume anything
  • leave your expectations at home
  • Expect your new child to totally flip out when you meet them; try not to have too many expectations about sightseeing; try not to stress over bonding with your child while in China– it will all come eventually. The time in China is hectic and a huge transition. If you are able– don’t shy away from venturing out, trying the local foods, etc.
  • Be organized and read groups and boards for advice.  Know as much as you can about the cities you are going to.
  • Plan as best you can and then be ready to go with the flow, eat local, don’t try chicken feet (they taste like the fatty part of a rib), see as much as you can.
  • just try to relax & go with the flow. enjoy the trip, relish the memories.
  • Remember, you can buy things in Chna!  They do have Wal-Marts!
  • for a toddler who was in foster care her whole life, BE PREPARED FOR HORRIBLE GRIEVING.  No training classes at all prepared us for 4 months of solid grieiving and anger towards us.
  • ENJOY!!!!
  • make a list and check it twice !! maybe three times.
  • ask all the questions you can about your child from the people that know her most. this is your only chance to get the best history possible for your child
  • Everyone’s experience is different – just go with the flow!
  • be prepared to change everything you expected on a dime to adjust to your new baby.  We expected a toddler at 16 months and we were handed a baby, it changed everything.
  • BE ready for anything.  It was a rough gotcha day- but we expected that. Nothing will go as you planned.  Be flexible.
  • Our child was older (5) so we needed lots of games to keep her busy during down time at the hotel: paper and markers, stickers, card games, nail polish.  Definitly bring a journal or find a way to blog every day. You think you’ll remember it all, but you won’t!  You are creating special memories and to have that recorded somewhere is so fun to look back on.
  • Arrange for support for yourself when you arrive home jet lagged and have meals on hand
  • Take some melatonin if you have to, but sleep is so valuable!
  • Go with the flow.
  • Be flexible and really use the time with your traveling partner (my husband) and the child you are adopting.  You will never have another time that is uninterrupted and totally focused on being together.
  • talk to other BTDT parents, read Karyn Purvis’s book The Connrcted China, make freezer meals and plan to simplify your routine after coming home to let your child settle in
  • be flexible and pack your sense of humor
  • Don’t take diapers, wipes, formula, baby-soap, lotion, etc.-that is all available in China (even Pampers and Johnson & Johnson brand).
  • check as many blogs (and surveys like this) to learn from other people’s experiences. Don’t stress, you will be in good hands in China.
  • Don’t just hang out in th hotel room.  Go out and walk the streets, take pictures, smell the surroundings.  When your child gets older they will want to know about where they came from.  Staying in the hotel room will not give them what they will need years from now.  That is not even mentioning that the 4 hotel walls may be a real frustration to your new child.
  • Enjoy the journey! and don’t over pack, you can buy so much there. cheap.
  • prepare for the worse and hope for the best.
  • you can read and plan for your trip, but be prepared to change those plans and do what works best for your baby. Each childs needs are different. Dont’ be afraid to ask for help and it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. Enjoy your baby and watch them blossom infront of your eyes, it’s truly one of God’s best miracles to witness.
  • Video everything!!!!!!! I took lots of photos but wished had taken more video!!
  • Pray.
  • Even if Gotcha Day is terrible, don’t panic! It gets way easier.  You will adjust.
  • relax
  • Pray and Pack…and go with your gut on what you think you will need and what your heart tells you your baby is going to need ’cause you’re the momma.
  • be strong, the fear (child’s) will pass
  • It’s the scariest and overwhelming time in your life but somehow the craziness settles and you just become a family.
  • Bring all the recommended meds!  Take alot more pics of local scenery, traffic, nannies. Dont just take pics of baby!
  • Pack light… you can buy almost anything there!  And try to relax and just enjoy the whole experience!
  • slow down don;t rush and just love every single second!
  • make sure you have plenty of infant tylenol and miralax just in case for child
  • no expectations, enjoy each moment of the journey no matter how tired you are!  Make memories and take more pictures than you think you should!
  • Give in to your new little one whenever possible -much less stressful for child and mama.   Be prepared to see you your child greive – it can be really hard when you feel helpless.  i would have done anything to help my dd but in the end she just needed time and to feel safe.  It was really hard though.
  • Take all the photos you can and keep blogging
  • Be excited but have no expectations. Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst. Have fun! Soak it all up! Don’t think that the child you get on day one is going to be the same child a month later.
  • Be flexible and remember that what is “normal” while you are there is not going to be your new normal once home.
  • savor every moment, go to bed early
  • Split things between bags so if one doesn’t arrive you’ve still got necessities for everyone
  • Not to set expectations.  Be relaxed and go with the flow.  Also, don’t base anything off of your time in China.  It takes time to get to know each other and to see what each other is really all about.
  • Pack what you need, just pay the little bit of luggage fees in country and have what you need
  • BE FLEXIBLE!!!
  • try to be well rested and healthy before travelling
  • Read everything you can (blogs are great) to prepare. Be organized!! so important.
  • don’t rush things, take your time with the child, if they want to watch cartoons for 4 hours in a day let them. Just sit with them and read just be there. remember this is the last time they will ever see the cartoons that they so love much
  • remember it’s your ADOPTION trip, not a vacation.
  • soak in EVERY minute of the trip.   Try to eat more of the local food.
  • have loose expectations on what your child’s reaction to you will be
  • lose all expectations and go with the flow!
  • Pack lightly, be prepared for anything & sleep as much as you can before!
  • Borrow somone else’s list and just start from there!
  • pack LIGHT and be willing to buy lots there (shoes, keepsakes, snacks/food to bring home for our other children
  • Pick that baby up and don’t put them down.  Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to others who may want to hold your child…that will come in time but not now.
  • be prepared that your child will be frightened and most likely will bond with one parent and reject the other.  you will be tired
  • For the plane flights, bring extra clothes for ALL of you!  I have now changed my clothes and DD’s clothes in the Guangzhou and Detroit airports because my DD liked to puke at the most inopportune times!!!
  • Plan for more hotel time and less touring time to allow your child time to adjust to your presence.
  • Enjoy the moment
  • Go open minded.
  • Don’t stress too much!!!! The moment you hold your child for the first time ALL IS GOOD
  • take a lot of photos, and m&m’s helps to make friends with your child
  • Be prepared for every emotion, good and bad.  You will experience them all.
  • be prepared for anything.  Go with the flow. It is only 2 weeks of your life.
  • dont fret about baby stuff you can buy in China, do bring just in case prescription meds because that will be difficult to get in China
  • Be prepared for the smell of cigarette smoke everywhere. Don’t eat uncooked veggies and fruit. You will get sick. It’s an awesome experience!
  • GO TO THE ORPHANAGE if at all possible.  I have worked in several orphanages in China, and seeing the orphanage, the town, how much the staff love your child, etc., will be a very special gift of knowledge that you can give your child as they get older.  It may seem overwhelming while you are there to try to go, but my advice is to make every effort possible to go.  There is also good closure for your child.
  • savor the experience
  • Be flexible and go with the flow.
  • ENJOY yourself.  We had heard horror stories from other families that did not enjoy their trips.  We had a fantastic time and cannot wait to go back.
  • bring your own of any type of medicine you may need, for you too, because of the air pollution you will probably have respiratory issues…
  • Enjoy EVERY single minute and do not stress the little things
  • Embrace the entire experience, take notes on the history of the province, you’ll be home soon, don’t wish the trip away. No expectations
  • Try to “relax” as best you can and ENJOY the journey!  Try to take in your child’s country.  Be adventurous and not down on trying to acclimate to their culture while you’re there.
  • pack as light as possible
  • Pack light and then pack lighter!!
  • as you know; relax! It will likely NOT be what you expected either way
  • It’s about your child(ren) not you.  Keep your expectations low as your child(ren) are going to be dealing with alot.
  • Don’t bring too much. Back all in 1 per each adult (expandable) carry on. This can be done.
  • read the tips on the RQ travel board!  They’ll tell you everything you need to know!!
  • explore, it is your child’s birth country
  • Don’t worry because you can buy nearly anything you need in China!
  • Expect the worst, hope for the best, and know that it gets better.
  • keep your mantra: the unexpected WILL happen, keep your humor, sense of adventure and flexibility handy, they will get you thru this very hard, but very amazing trip.
  • Don’t travel alone.. have help with you! (I know I know..)
  • If they don’t cry, that is a good thing.  If they do cry, that is also a good thing.
  • Remember it is not a vacation. Go with the flow, plans/touring might change based on the needs of your child, just try your best to connect and build your foundation for a relationship in China – discipline later once you are home, well rested and into routines, use a bottle – even for toddlers to help build attachment, learn about grief and what kids who shut down look like
  • if your child is small, keep them in ergo carrier for first few days.  keep them closed, lots of physical affection if they will take it.
  • you can never take too many photos!
  • Read about attachment, be organized
  • Don’t be an “ugly” American

__________________________________________________________________

Anything else you want to add that you think would be helpful?

  • take tons of pictures-I wish I had taken more
  • Savor every moment. Before we know it you are back in your comfy bed and washing machine and life is “dull” again! lol
  • Make every effort to visit your chid’s orphanage or foster family.  We almost backed out because we thought it would be too hard on our daughter.  But she did great and meeting her foster family was one of the highlights of our trip.
  • Remember we all will be hanging on the edge here waiiting on posts from you!!!
  • If your child’s orphanage, or foster parents are open to you visiting… DO IT!!!  Do it even if you need to travel a couple hours.  You will miss an awesome opportunity for you AND YOUR CHILD.
  • Always be prepared for the unexpected. my guide was horrible. he was late everywhere we went and had no idea they changed the passport procedures. i almost got stuck in china an extra two weeks.
  • I adopted my daughter in Wuhan in 2002. She was from Chongyang.  Not many people speak English so communicating was very frustrating. We stayed at the White Rose.  It had a great breakfast and dinner buffet.  Try to do some tours – Yellow Crane Tower, Hubei Provincial Museum, the Buddhist Temple, Wuhan Zoo etc.  It’s good to get out since where we stayed was not the best area to just take a stroller ride around the hotel.  It’s a crowded city,lots of people, bikes, motor bikes and probably cars now.  The air is usually foggy and it seemed to rain all the time. I was in Wuhan on the best day of my entire life!!!   Enjoy your trip.
  • My girl would not drink her formula for days the doctor suggested adding 3 packs of sugar to the formula (during the melamine scare so we brought our own)  did the trick she downed those bottles like crazy.
  • Enjoy your time away from the chaos that is otherwise known as “home!”
  • take tons of pictures because they grow up so dang fast…
  • Relax!
  • Have a fabulous time. You’ll be home before you know it!
  • Buy clothes in China for an older child
  • toddler is way easier than baby
  • Don’t be afraid to be adventurous! When we were in our daughter’s province it felt like a month because our guide didn’t have many activities planned for us. We had a ton of down time and I wish we had asked to go more places. We were intimidated by the language barrier, but I’m sure we could’ve worked around that.
  • Getting 2 rooms for 5 people was the best money spent
  • You can live anywhere for two weeks.  It will be over soon!
  • take a zillion photos and video keep a journal….you will want to remember every tidbit
  • As a teacher, you think I’d answer this one, wouldn’t ya, but I must suffer from test anxiety as I’m drawing a blank!
  • less is more on packing–it’s ok to wear those jeans/shirts more than 1 time. other stuff can be washed in the sink.
  • stroller; extra clothes; extra bags for trip home; lots of snacks.
  • The agency can make or break this experience.  We had a great agency who made our time in China a great experience that we’ll never forget!
  • If you really want to see the sights in Province do not expect your adoption guide to do this, you might get part of a day but otherwise make arrangementsother touring, I thought our guide would be around each day to get us different places that we wanted to se…not so, they are there to make sure your adoption biz gets done. Check and double check your documents needed list from your agency against what other btdt parents tell you, I kew my agency had a few items mixed up, I questioned them, they assured me it was all there, they were wrong!  Had to do some scrambling in Province to get them what they needed, check and double check everything, plane reservations, dates and times of all passengers, everything! The whole “I don’t speak Chinese, how will we communicate!?!’ seriously cross that one off your list, such a non issue, humans communicate, it will be a lot easier than you thing and the guide will fill in the gaps. I totally should have shelved that whole issue! Also, don’t shop too much in province! Wait til you go to GZ, hit Shamian for the shoes and then hire Ann ( Red Thread China) to take you shopping for everything else, especially Chinese traditional clothes, seriously the best day of out trip, our daughter loved Ann, and she is so good with kids, and our daughter liked feeling like a princess, getting to shop for pretty things for her, it was just a pure fun day and by the time it came we really needed just some mindless stress free girl fun!
  • Don’t push anything. Have fun!!
  • Enjoy this time in China and learn and see as much as possible and your child will allow you.  Remember, however, you are there for him/her.
  • always have change of clothes in your carry on
  • Bringing our 5 yr old ds, adopted from China 3 yrs before, was a good experience for him and reslly helped ouf new dd transition
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff!!
  • Bring something to back up your photos every night, just in case you lose a camera or something.
  • Hopefully you can have family or friends help with cooking or shopping when you get home.
  • Pray for wisdom. Pour on the love!
  • a gastroenterologist told us to always take 1 – 2 Pepto Bismol tablets (brand name, not off brand) before eating anything and you’ll be fine.  Works like a charm!
  • Enjoy your trip!  Can’t wait to follow your journey!
  • You will be so exhausted, so take naps when your child does, and go to sleep at the same time!
  • take time to enjoy!
  • Enjoy & Relax!
  • Ask around and push the guides if there’s something you want or need that they aren’t just offering up. For example, we pushed to have some of our sight seeing pared down and switched around to accommodate our daughter’s really bad cold/sinus infection.
  • older siblings to help are worth thier weight in ‘gold’ in the bonding process
  • You rock. Loved meeting you this weekend. Hope we can rub shoulders again.
  • don’t eat any raw veggies outside the hotel, use the squatty potty with handrails on the wall and pull the back of your pants well forward, be ready for grieving and the need to show love in the midst of rejection and exhaustion, Best Wishes for your trip!!!
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Keep your copy of your dossier, etc in your take on bag, pacl an extra set of clothes for everyone for the flights, never know who might get sick or spill something.
  • Enjoy!
  • For those adopting for the first time, I would say…please don’t expect your child to act like a civilized human being.  I made that mistake and got frustrated with our daughter because she wasn’t acting “age appropriate”.  Which is pretty dumb, cuz she is only 2…I mean, really…how should I expect a 2 year old to act whether adopted or not!  I guess I am just trying to say…please don’t worry about discipline while you are there…it may become messy at times, like when your newly adopted daughter screams the ENTIRE hour and a  half flight, kicking the guy in front of you, while you are getting some pretty awful stares…yea…just let that go.  BREATH…BREATH…AND BREATH SOME MORE!
  • stain stick for clothes, cotton diapers for burp clothes.  I wished I would have brought more.
  • Be ready for a rough transition and trip then if or when it does or doesn’t happen you’ll be ready for anything.
  • buy what you want and can afford– had some regrets with this one…hee hee
  • ENJOY it!  It is an experience that you won’t get often (unless you are Stefanie or Amie (he he he)!  Fall in love with the country where your child was born so you can be openly loving about it when you talk about it… then they will love it too!
  • You’re a pro, enjoy!
  • We have two regrets:  1.  that we didn’t bring at least one of our older boys with us, and 2.  that we weren’t able to visit our daughter’s orphanage
  • go with the flow and pray!!
  • arrive a few days early if you can
  • Remember this is your child’s birth country!!!  Be respectful!!  And, remember the gift they are giving you!!!!  If you are adopting an older child, don’t over stress about the language!!  You will be amazed how quickly you communicate even when you don’t understand each other’s words!!!!   Your guide can definitely help you with some key phrases, etc..   Also, remember your child will most likely need to control something..  Their entire world is changing!  Create the boundaries at home when they know they can trust you!  Meet them where they are at!  Your number one job is to love them where they are at!
  • Spend as much one on one time with your child as possible to help the bonding process
  • I wish I could do it all over again!
  • Enjoy every moment and focus on staying in the present.
  • Get your laundry done two days before coming home so you are guaranteed to have a clean set to travel home in.  Also add some juice to you water to stay hydrated and fight jet lag.  The juice makes it stick with you where water runs right through.
  • We had a great time at Disney in Hong Kong before going home.  It was a celebration for us of the new family we had just become.
  • Soak it all in, time flies WAY too fast.  Our oldest from China has already been HOME for over 8 years!
  • We’ll be praying for you!
  • The Garden– it’s even nicer than they say it is. And Guangzhou felt like paradise after being in the province.
  • i took a pepto bismol tablet @ day for unsettled stomach…just nerves.  also packed lots of mints, minty gum, mouthwash, etc. to feel “fresh”! ha!
  • be adventurous you may not go back for many years if at all
  • Blog at least once a day or moreif you can!  It is so nice to go back later and be reminded of things that you may have otherwise forgot.
  • Blog or write to remember
  • Take the travel Tide packs, they work well for laundry in the tub and this will save you money while there.  Don’t waste your money on laundry srvices, its only a couple weeks!
  • Keep a journal for yourself even if you blog, keep a private one.  Be honest about each day. So much of those weeks are fuzzy now years later.  I don’t have a hospital story to tell at baby showers, but I can see just as easily how God provided for each of us during that special time together in a hotel room
  • We are SO VERY THANKFUL for our children!  Praying that we can adopt again sometime soon!
  • neck pillow for the plane
  • make sure you get all medical questions answered there
  • Bring a 2 gallon size Baggie to put all gotcha day clothes in and don’t wash them! Smell is the most powerful scent tied to memory
  • I wish I had been more vocal while in our daughter’s province.  We were told by our agency that everything would be taken care of.  Our guide spent about two hours a day with us, and we were in a hotel that was not even really near any restaurants besides Pizza Hut and McDonald’s.  I feel like we really missed out on seeing parts of her amazing city.  I should have communicated with our agency while we were there to tell them that our guide was not doing her job.  It is the only real thing I have regrets about concerning our trip.
  • i wish i had a list of pictures to take while there.  i was so overwhelmed at the time.  i just took alot of pics of my daughter (not that there’s anything wrong with that…..)
  • live in the moment
  • enjoy your time it is one of the most special times of your life dont be afraid and know God is with you
  • Enjoy and HAVE fun!
  • Went as a family for our first trip, I went alone on our second trip. Third trip was just hubby and I. Benefits to all three!
  • Soak it all in. We have been exhausted several times touring but know it’s all worth it and will be gone before we know it.
  • You are your child’s eyes and ears of China, so soak it all in and experience all that China is!
  • Enjoy every minute it will go by do fast.
  • All the places we stayed only allowed 4 people in a hotel room, which meant we had to get 2 rooms for our family of 5.  This was an expense we weren’t prepared for.  Beijing tour is half the price for children as it is for adults.
  • My thermos was invaluable for making bottles on the go.
  • Bring a special purse or carrier for your passports, $, etc.  You tend to pull them out a lot and you don’t want to leave them in the room unless it is a safe.
  • i have a packing list if you want it. :) very helpful to think of everything and mark off as you go.
  • Some come with RAD…do lots of research on this, so that you can recognize it, then, deal with it, if it happens to be yours.  It’s not fun.
  • I felt very guilty during our first week in China b/c, quite frankly, I hated it.  It was hard, but the “hard” did not have much to do with our new daughter.  I happen to really like people, but we encountered a lot of folks that just don’t seem to like us or even each other.  The environment was tough, & I felt guilty for feeling that way.  Fortunately, I was honest about it on my blog and got a lot of encouragement from others that told me I wasn’t crazy.  We had to look for things to like during the first week, but our 2nd week in GUZ was a bit better.  Still not where I’d choose to hang out, but the weather was nice for us & we were able to get out & have some neat experiences together.  Safari Park was a highlight.
  • jet lag is a killer…bring a sleep aid and if possible get a suite so you can be up without disturbing others…you can buy almost anything you need in China.
  • make sure you relax and do not stress to see as much as you can, some can and other can not, make sure you do the best just looking at your new child
  • I wish I had shopped more.
  • This experience is WONDERFUL!  When you don’t have a travel companion going with you, it can be very stressful (especially if the little one doesn’t seem to like you much).  My husband called to say, get me a cheaper way to talk to you now.  We have to talk!  Needless to say, being together would have been very helpful.  God had other plans for me, an 8 week old newborn at home to care for.  But we now understand why they stress having a travel companion.
  • Be respectful of the culture and people. You’re not in Kansas anymore.
  • Prepare to ask EVERYTHING to the orphanage director / nanny, ask if you can visit the SWI, ask if you can meet the foster parents…. ask for contact details to keep in touch…..ASK ASK ASK…..
  • My aboslute best tips – Stay dynamic. Your schedule won’t go as planned, scheduled events and maybe even in country travel dates will change – go with the flow and don’t worry about it – your guide will get you there! Make sure you notify your credit card companies you will be out of the US so they don’t stop your cards because they think they were stolen / compromised. Turn on international roaming for your cell, most carriers will do it for a month for $4-5 USD if you tell them you are adopting! Don’t use the cell in country, just turn it on, see if there is a message indicator, then use skype to call your voice mail etc and return your calls! Take 1 extra power converter, don’t open it before you leave. If you need it you got it, if you don’t you can return it when you get home! Take a power strip for chargers, you can adapt the plug on the strip to the power outlet, then plug all your chargers (camera, recorder, laptop, cell phone) into the power strip with only 1 adaptor!
  • Expect the unexpected and pray for peace.
  • Take it one day at time.  Stay in the room and hunker down if you need to, be prepared for the stares. Oh, and the driving, ACK!
  • Buy stuff for her, jewelry when she be older, a bag, a dress, a tea set, a blanket for her wedding day, a hair piece, a table cloth for first house, I started giving things to her (all depending on ages) it’s very emotional and priceless for both of us. Have a WONDERFUL trip, I really can’t wait to go back with my family.
  • PRAY!
  • ask to go shopping for special items (i.e. Jade) for keep sakes and ask for a guide to go with you.  There is better quality items off the island but you need help to get there and negiotiate.
  • relax and enjoy
  • I brought a battery operated fan b/c the rooms sometimes are too warm.  Zhengzhou didn’t have the air working well and it was hot.  Mosquittos were hot.  Buy the green bottle of essential oil to keep bugs at bay.
  • I’m praying for you!
  • Don’t go with expectations of your child.  Deal what is given to you at that moment and move forward slowly.
  • I loved everything about China, but had limited sightseeing/expereinces due to DD’s heavy grieving.  Darn, now we’ll have to go back someday!
  • take lots of videos of them speaking chinese they are precious
  • Enjoy the journey , relax and have fun! Take too many pictures and love every minute of the adventure.
  • travel light!
  • Don’t plan a trip to Hong Kong on the way home- you’ll be too exhausted! What were we thinking???
  • Don’t eat the “chopped chicken”  there were bones and feathers still in it. I think our guide was trying to kill us. Take one day at a time.  The baby wearing was the best thing I could have done for Chloe, she still asks to ride on mama.
  • Laugh.  Try and laugh a lot.
  • experience as much of the culture as you can: food, language, smells, sights…everything
  • Bring more supplies in your diaper bag than you think your child could possibly need on any outing. Expect delays at the most inconvenient times.  Take pictures of everything and everyone especially if you visit the swi or foster family.
  • Praying for you and T and also all at home!
  • Even though we had a wonderful experience, we were glad to get home to all of the things that we are familiar with…for me who eats very healthy, food was the biggest struggle for me.
  • Don’t wish the trip was over sooner, no matter how tough it is… it is truly a life changing experience for you and your new child.  Use the time to begin grafting the new one into the family, and bonding as parent/child/ sibs (if they come)
  • enjoy each day and buy everything because you will regret NOT buying it once you are home!!
  • See China on your “free days”, too. It’s a great experience. The Chinese don’t bite!
  • Trust the LORD… only God… Cherish these sweet days. Not everyone gets to experience the joys of adoption. You were chosen for such a time as this. ~ laugh~ Rejoice!!!
  • Get to know your travel mates before travel if you are traveling in a group.  We made lasting friendships with some of our travel mates and cherish their friendships
  • Remember each adoption is special and each child is diferent with different indivdual needs. Be patient and try to relax
  • Enjoy every minute! And take lots of Video!!
  • Thanks for doing this!  We leave on April 13th so I need to get myself in gear!
  • When adopting a 5 year old boy, spend lots of time in parks, rent paddle boats, play hacky sack, etc.. anything to get the energy out before going back to the hotel room.  Bring family and friends to tag-team with!
  • We want to go back.
  • I bought a stroller in China…and it was wonderful for the times Catherine wanted to be near…but have her own space…and, it sure was nice to have it to load up with packages and luggage…just bein’ honest.  I think you have done this…but I so wish I had bought some Chinese dresses for Catherine to have as she has gotten older…just wasn’t thinking that far in advance.  One last thing…this idea was passed on from another family.  I wrote Catherine a letter on hotel stationery after I had gotten her.  I mailed it to her from China so that it would have a Chinese postmark.  I wrote her about why I was there and how God had led me there to bring her home and what a gift she is.  It is tucked behind her referral picture on a shelf for now…and, when I believe the time is right, I will give her that letter.
  • maybe leave little notes strategically placed around house for those left behind
  • Relax and pray!
  • Pack way more diapers/formula for trip home.  Planes get delayed and cancelled.  UGH>
  • DO NOT take a nap!  When the sun is up, you are up.  When the sun goes down, you sleep!  Just force yourself to stay on their time!!!
  • everyone’s experience is different but when you have the love all will be fine.
  • I adopted a very sick child that had never had food, had no idea how to eat, best advise is not to worry just feed them what they are used to , they will eat at some point, did i say bring extra tylenol!
  • “Nest” your house before you leave, you won’t have time after you are home!  Get those to-do lists done and stock up if you can.
  • Even if your adoption trip isnt exactly how you have imagined it to be – know that it does get better.  You get home and get settled,  kids start to feel safe and loved.  It has been an amazing journey for us – I am one very grateful happy mom!!
  • Be prepared for the stares, just smile back.
  • A good attitude goes a long way!  Don’t sweat the small stuff, make the most of your situation, shower your new family member with love, and watch what happens!
  • Don’t worry if you are not in a travel group, it’s more fun solo!
  • You can’t buy too many artefacts whilst in China, buy it when you see it, you won’t necessarily see the same thing again
  • Take lots of pictures, and if you see something you think you might want, buy it!!
  • There are no tampons with applicators sold in china.
  • Don’t feel like you have to go on each & every tour.  Some of our best moments in China were playing in the bathtub & hanging out in our room.  I wanted to see China, but wanted to get to know my child more.  My mom and older son had a blast touring & took tons of pictures.  Levi & I went on some, but spent the bulk of our time snuggling, playing cars, play dough & playing in the water in the bath tub.  With 6 kiddos waiting at home to meet their brother, it was a blessing to spend 2.5 weeks of one on one time with our little guy.
  • not only take care of your child, also take care of yourself so you are able to take care of others
  • Having a carrier was nice but a stroller saved us. She loved being in it and my back was killing me. Our first airport experience with her and no stroller was a nightmare.
  • Sign your credit card before you go don’t write on it see I.D. the banks there go crazy and won’t give you any money for your special trip you have been planning to Heavenly Lake
  • i wish I had more one on one time with our guide to ask her questions about the local culture etc.
  • Seriously…the melatonin helped our whole family adjust to the time difference!
  • We’ve gone twice and the second time was easier as we knew what to expect in China.  Relax and enjoy your child…that’s what this whole trip is about
  • Take a video of yourself each evening capturing your day in as much detail as you want for personal memories/use.  I tried to blog and was exhausted and wished that I’d thought to turn the camera around on myself and capture each day in detail.  Also, ask your guide to translate a little card about what you are doing.  I found the people of China to be curious and when they found out I was humbled by their encouragement, smiles and well wishes.
  • Don’t stress the small stuff.  Try to enjoy China.  take a risk with food you may find something you really enjoy
  • Read the book “Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft” by Mary Hopkins-Best. Even if your child is older than a toddler, the book had wonderful ideas for bonding.  Some of the successful things we used with both our adoptions were “mirror time”: making eye contact without being too intimate. Rubbing lotion on the child’s leg, to develope touch, again without getting too much in their space to start. Be patient and give them time to develop trust before expecting affection. This can be reaaly tough as a Mom, but it is worth the wait.
  • It does snow in the spring
  • Don’t go on too many trips/tours while in China. Relax, take it easy, nap together, enjoy those first moments with your child. Bond, play, love. YOU are all they need in those scary times for them.
  • Loved Korean Air because families with kids get ushered to the front of the line, are seated first, and the kids are given nice little toy or something to help keep them occupied.
  • Buy all those things, the jade, the pearls and the silk.  You’ll kick yourself later if you don’t.  I have a few bruises.
  • Don’t take a ton of clothes for baby.
  • pack light with easy wash clothes, don’t be shy about asking your guide if you want to see something special (we got to see the local side of Nanjing)
  • Appreciate as much of your child’s culture as possible.  You might be outside of YOUR comfort zone, but remember, different is not wrong, it is just an alternative way of doing things. Also, please blog positively about your child’s culture.  When they read it someday, you don’t want them to be ashamed of or embarrassed by, where they are from.  It’s ok to be honest about struggles, but don’t “bash” China.  I hope this makes sense, because it is not a specific “finger pointing” just an observation of a China mom (and culturally sensitive missionary) who has been following travel blogs for 8+ years!
  • Soak it all up!  Enjoy bonding with your baby!
  • I cannot tell you  much the children’s tea helped.  I bought five boxes to bring home just in case.  We have not had to use it since we returned home.  You mix with water and give it to your baby in his or her bottle.  If you are interested, I can e-mail you a pic of the box.  It’s labeled only in Chinese.
  • Even though it was my second adoption, I was so unprepared for how traumatized and sick this poor little one was.  Prepare for the worst, and then you can rejoice if it doesn’t turn out to be necessary.
  • I have six daughters from China and I enjoyed each moment of every trip!  Experience China and embrace the amazing culture!
  • Save water bottles to play bowling. Clean out empty containers to use in tub for playing with
  • Pack an outfit for everyone in carry on AND pack one outfit per person in each bag.  Ex. in my bag, I had mostly my stuff, but one outfit from each other person.  Our luggage doesn’t like to make it to us on time…
  • Sleep meds on the plane…a MUST
  • Don’t be afraid to get out and seek adventure!
  • You waited a long time for this, just go with it.  No matter what, you will be bonding with your child no matter the circumstances at the time
  • Read everything you can prior to going about attachment and developmental stages. Be prepared that the report you get from China about your child is only a snap shot and possibly a flawed one at that.
  • Bring safety pins to make loose children’s cloths fit
  • Blog.  a lot.  like every moment that you can. the good. the bad. and the ugly. Because it all happens to quickly, it serves a moment by moment memory book.  And, it really extends the experience to friends and families who aren’t with you.  I wish I would’ve bought more chinese clothes for our DD in a variety of sizes and styles.
  • talk to others about how to get the scrambler code to be able to blog from china if you get there and your access is blocked
  • Fill your eyes with beautiful China…
  • if you are standing in a shop looking at an item and thinking “Oh, I don’t know. Should i buy this?” The answer is YES, you should, because if you don’t you will return to the states, regret you didn’t buy it, try to buy it on China Sprout, and kick yourself even harder because it’s now marked up 300%! (Not that I would know that form experience or anything!) I find it hysterical that I’m answering these questions for YOU. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?!?!?!?
  • Remember your child had NO idea what was really going to happen to them.  And they really really don’t understand what will happen next.  We have spent soooo long waiting for this, but they are blindsided…take that into account every minute.
  • Don’t stay at the White Rose in Wuhan!! It was FULL of nasty stale smoke, hot, dirty, etc.. Shangri La was wonderful according to others who have traveled to Hubei.
  • Best wishes!
  • Relax and enjoy the ride!
  • get as much information from orphanage staff as possible on gotcha day- write it down.  its all they’ll have.
  • Experience China – don’t eat at Lucy’s every night!
  • RESPECT your child’s birth country. Yes, the customs are different, that is what makes it so special for us.

The End.

Thanks to everyone for playing along.

Hope y’all had as much fun with that as I did.


Signature

Comments

  1. Leah Lyons says:

    This is WONDERFUL!! We are waiting on TA for our 3 year-old little girl living in Jiamusi SWI. Thanks!!

  2. Missy Klem says:

    Have a safe trip. When we traveled to China in 2004 and 2005, I wish I’d had those tips. We ran out of money, diapers, wipes… during our second adoption, we didn’t expect our daughter to still be on formula. But it all worked out! I started reading your blog last year during Poppy’s adoption. I saw pictures of Esther and it took my breath away. My 8 year old (also from Hunan) looked exactly like Esther when she was that age. I even went back to my daughter’s old referral pictures because I thought I was imagining it. Nope. Esther and Mallory could be sisters. Best wishes.

  3. I’m sitting here with a little pout on my face, because reading these comments make me want to go back and do it all over again! My Sabrina has been home for 6-1/2 years, and my only regret is that I wasn’t able to do it a second time. Only those who have had the experience can understand what a magical thing it is to meet your child in their birth country. Also, many in our travel group will be friends for life because we shared a life-changing 2 weeks together. Even with the year-long attachment challenges we experienced when we got home, I would never, ever change one thing about this incredible journey!

    For those who are going for the first time, or for those who are lucky enough to go again, all I can say is EMBRACE IT!!

  4. Oh Stefanie! I feel so silly, but I am sitting here in tears of excitement for you! I am so hoping that one day I will be looking this blog post up for when I am lucky enough to travel.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Now that my friend is a LIIIST! Loved it. What a great resource for all future adoptive parents. Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This unbelievably helpful. Thanks to you for organizing and everyone else for sharing. Makes me feel so unprepared, yet so ready!

  7. Absolute GREAT STUFF – from the practical to the priceless!

    hugs – aus and co.

  8. WOW! Although I highly doubt I will ever need this information again (who knows?)..I am SO impressed. You did a lot of people a GREAT service by compiling this all. What a fabulous resource Stef. You are a kind soul.

  9. This is wonderful! I’ve linked to my blog so I can come back to this quickly when I am in panic mode while packing. :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] an excellent blogger I follow assembled some super helpful travel advice from the BTDT crowd. Click here to see […]

Leave a Reply