Monday, August 9, 2010


I found out when we finally got to China that there are quite a few things about the international adoption process that they don't tell you up front. Since I know that many of you are probably now considering an adoption yourself, I think we should tell you ten important things you have to know before you make the final decision.

10.  In China, the Colonel's 11 original herbs and spices have been DRAMATICALLY altered to appeal to Asian taste buds, or perhaps to enhance the flavor of drumsticks, and thighs, and things that don't necessarily come from a chicken. Stick with Pizza Hut and McDonalds. The taste is pretty close to what we are used to.

9.  An American man in bright orange and green plaid shorts draws a lot of attention in Chinese airports and government buildings.  I suggest gray or khaki.

8.  At some point on the trip you will probably have to use what they call a squat potty, which is a hole in the ground with a toilet seat on it. Sometimes there is a sign that says "out of order".  How can a hole in the ground be out of order? Please note: No toilet paper is provided so bring your own. There was a "community roll" at the Guangzhou airport.

7. Before you travel, try to get into the greatest shape of your life.   Chances are you will have one of those "full body scan x-rays" at an   airport.  You'll want to look your best.

6.  I did realize that we were traveling to a communist country.  What I did not realize, was that even at a five star hotel, you are not allowed to select your own room temperature. If you are not always comfortable at 78 degrees Fahrenheit, bring a fan.

5.  Every Chinese conversation sounds like a confrontation. I thought our interpreter was about to have a fistfight with the parking attendant at the train station. Turns out they were discussing the weather.

4.  There are traffic lights, stop signs, crosswalks, and police officers, just like in the U.S.  There though, those things are apparently for decorative purposes only. Venture out on foot at your own risk!

3.  Read this one very closely. I did not hear anything about it until they brought Lily to us.  Before they leave you with the child for the first time, you are required to sign a "Harmonization Agreement". It is written completely in Chinese and you must depend on your interpreter to read it to you. Basically it says that the child is being shifted temporarily into your custody for a period of 24 hours in order to determine if you are compatible with each other.  AND, here is the big thing, if anything happens to the child during that time something really really bad is going to happen to you.  Ruby, our interpreter, never exactly would tell me what the bad thing was, and I don't think it rose to the level of a firing squad, but it was pretty scary nonetheless.

2. Starbucks abound. You can get a Seaweed and Green Tea Latte 24/7.

1. There is a phrase "the miracle of adoption", and now I understand it.  My biggest fear through this whole process was that I would not be able to love an adopted child as much as I do my wonderful biological children.  I am not sure if I can express this adequately, but at this point, besides the fact that she looks chinese, in my heart I absolutely cannot tell any difference.  This is truly an amazing thing. I hope some of you out there will choose this road, or rather, like us, God chooses it for you.



Anonymous said...

Disclosure #1 says more than the other 9!

Mike-n-Kerri said...

You are such an inspiration...