Adoption in China

A 1999 Shangrao Adoption Trip

Orphanage Photos Included

We returned home safely from our trip to China on May 7, 1999. We accompanied our daughter and son-in-law to China to adopt a baby on April 21, 1999. We were concerned because of the unrest caused by the Chinese espionage case in the U.S. and China's position on NATO's action with Yugoslavia. We were flying home when the inadvertent bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade took place.

We returned home with a granddaughter, Maya Xiao Bo. Xiao Bo was the Chinese first name given to our little girl and our kids felt that they should retain it as her middle name. We were part of a group that went through the adoption process with 15 children. 11 came from Gao-an, 2 from Nanchang, 1 from Jiujiang, and our little girl came from the Shangrao orphanage. All of the children were quite healthy and ranged in age from about 6 months to 18 months old. Maya's birth date was estimated at July 28, 1998 but she was one of the smallest in the group. She was abandoned at about 2-3 days old and left at the gates of the orphanage. When checked in the U.S., her physical size was more equivalent to a 5 month old child, although some of her motor skills did approximate the 9 month old age that was listed on her birth record. She does sit up some but does not attempt to roll over or crawl. When my daughter first received her she would not reach out to grab anything but that changed very quickly so we expect to see rapid development in other areas as well which seems consistent with other reports parents have made.

We could not travel to Shangrao as it is a closed city but our China liaison did, took some pictures and gave us a report on conditions there. Shangrao orphanage is a small orphanage (45 children) in the city of Shangrao, 170,000 population, about 7 hours by bus from Nanchang. The buildings were constructed 35-40 years ago and show their age. They are now in the process of constructing a new building about 3 kilometers from the old one so he did not see the status of the construction. The babies were placed 2 to a crib for sleeping and they used the little wooden chairs to care for them when they were up. We did travel to the Jiujiang orphanage, and felt that they were making a serious effort to keep things as clean as possible and the babies were being well cared for. There were about 100 children in this orphanage with 25 under 1 year old.

Photos of the old Shangrao Orphanage obtained by liaison:

We traveled to Beijing via Detroit from Minneapolis MN. We spent 3 days sightseeing in Beijing and stayed at the Harbour Plaza hotel. We flew to Nanchang to pick up the babies and stayed at the Lakeview Hotel. The initial plans called for us to stay in Nanchang for 6 days but we were delayed and spent 9 days there due to the May day holiday and some delays in the adoption process. From Nanchang we flew to Guangzhou to finalize the adoption with medical exams and interviews with the American Consulate and to obtain the Visa for Maya. We stayed at the White Swan Hotel which is only a few steps from the American Consulate so it is very convenient. There are also many places to shop in the hotel and within walking distance. Our return flight took us through HongKong to Tokyo and on to Minneapolis, MN. We stayed overnight at the Regal Hotel adjacent to the airport in HongKong which worked very well, no shuttles or taxis needed.

Everyone that we came in contact with in China was very friendly but communications is a problem even when accompanied by a translator. A Chinese phrase book would be very helpful if you attempt to venture out on your own. Our Chinese liaison handled all of lodging and travel in China, bargained for the best rates where possible, and as a result required cash payments. We had planned to use our credit cards for these so we had to make a trip to a bank to secure additional cash which was only a minor inconvenience. You can use credit cards for many things but cash does work the best and the hotels would exchange US dollars to Chinese currency(RMB). Riding through traffic in Beijing and Nanchang is story in itself so be prepared for delays.

Our daughter and son-in-law worked through Crossroads in Edina, MN and they felt that they were very helpful but lacked some knowledge on preparing some of the forms. Overall the trip went very smoothly. Our liaison in China did an excellent job but a group of 15 adoptive families (about 50 people counting the babies) stretches the ability to do things in a timely manner. Our experiences on this China trip are unforgettable to say the least. We were very fortunate to be able to share this adoption experience with our children.


Another 1999 Shangrao Adoption Trip

We adopted our daughter from Shangrao in March of 1999.� She was brought to us to our hotel room in Nanchang.� She was 7 months old and so very precious.� I was so scared that she would not take up with us but she acted like she knew exactly who we were, nothing but a big smile on her face with the cutest dimples I ever did see.� She was so tiny, weighing in at 10lbs.� All we wanted to do was kiss her and love on her, the day had finally came.� I still get teary eyed just typing this or even talking about our incredible journey.� Our paperwork went to China in December of 1998.� In March of 1999 we got news of the new age law that went into affect on April 1, 1999 where couples had to be 30 to adopt which I was 28 at the time.� I was starting to get worried when we hadn't heard anything from our agency, then one morning at about 2 am we got a phone call from our attorney saying he was in China and had our referral and that we needed to be by a fax machine that evening so he could fax us a picture and information.� At 6:00 p.m. we got a phone call saying the fax was on its way.� I was sooo excited I couldn't hardly stand it.� As soon as we received the faxed picture I signed immediately and sent it back saying we accepted our daughter.� We knew nothing about her medical condition other than she was Hep B negative.� Everything was in Chinese but I knew she was our daughter and that God had planned it this way.� On that following Monday I received a phone call at work from our attorney saying you need to be ready to leave on Friday.� I was so scared but yet excited at the same time.� I had never flown before and didn't know what to expect.� It was a little bumpy on the ride home but we made it through it and Olivia done better than I did coming home lol.� When we were in China everyone there was so nice to us.� We traveled with one other person which I had met his wife on the adoptionchat room a few months before we left.� We had no idea that we would be traveling together.� We had such a wonderful trip.� I am so blessed to have my beautiful daughter, I don't know what I ever would have done without her.� She is our whole life and then some. I have attached some photos of her, she will be 5 in August.� Anyone that is thinking about adopting from China I wish you the best of luck, it's the greatest thing that's ever happened to me and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything else. (K)

Please e-mail me at if you have any additional information or if your child is from here and you would like to post a picture here or other contact information.