January 21, 2013

Where she is & where we'll be

Prior to receiving LOA (letter of acceptance) for Meili, we were not allowed to give any identifying information about her. Now that we're SO close, they aren't quite as strict anymore.

Here's what our trip will look like when we finally travel to adopt her:

We will initially fly into Beijing.

China is divided into provinces, but Beijing is not in a province...it's sort of it's own province. I feel like it's similar to Washington DC, but that's mostly a guess. We will stay here for about 3 days. All families traveling in our group from our agency will meet in Beijing and there will be some opportunities to get acquainted.

During our time here, we'll get rested after our MANY hours of travel and get acclimated to the time difference (they are 14 hours ahead of us). It is recommended that we experience the Chinese culture while we are here so we can get a taste of the where our little girl is from. We'll be able to visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen square, etc.

On day three, all the families in our group will split up and fly to their respective provinces to meet their children. Nearly all adoptions are done in the capital city of each province. Meili is in the Jiangsu province, therefore, we will be flying to Nanjing.

It is about 650 miles from Bejing to Nanjing (roughly the same as Omaha to Dallas). It will likely be evening when we arrive at our hotel in Nanjing. The next morning (which will be about day 4), we will meet Meili! Meili is not from Nanjing, but she will be brought there by the orphanage staff. Her hometown is about 4 hours from Nanjing.

We will stay in Nanjing for 3-5 days to finish the adoption procedures. We will be completing documents and having them notarized and will also be getting her passport, as well as other various pieces of paperwork.

This should bring us to the end of week one. At this point, we, and ALL other families in our group will leave our provinces and fly to Guangzhou.

ALL adoptive families MUST leave from Guangzhou because this is where our children's visas are issued and immigration is completed. This distance is about 875 miles...roughly the same Sioux Falls to Dallas. We will likely be quite happy to be in Guangzhou at this point. Since ALL adopting families must come here, it tends to be somewhat of a "haven" for us Americans. Things are much more "western-ized" and the area is full of other Americans as well as great shopping and restaurants.

Oh, and it's WARM there!
Like sub-tropical warm.
We certainly aren't there to vacation, but I can't imagine I won't enjoy that...at least a little.

We'll be in Guangzhou for about 1 week. When we leave, it has to be from either Bejing, Shanghai or Hong Kong. Which one we end up in depends on the date/time we need to leave, our airline, and available flights. I'm expecting either Beijing or Hong Kong, but I don't know for sure.

If we leave from Bejing...(???)

I have to admit, I'm a little worried about packing clothes for three different climates for a child whose size I don't know. Beijing's climate is similar to South Dakota's. Nanjing is in the middle somewhere and Guangzhou is subtropical.

I think we'll just plan on layers.


  1. I am a friend of your Mom's. My name is Pat Jenks. My husband,Bob,worked with your Dad at EFJohnson in Waseca, Mn. We are living in Tianjin for the past year and will be for another 6 months. We actually live in TEDA, part of Tianjin. Beijing is about 80 to 100 miles north of here. It is huge, and does have a lot of expats living there. I find more english speaking people there. The air pollution is high and it is cold! Not below zero by any means, but in the 20's. I can't believe how you must travel so much and to so many cities! Yes, see what you can in Beijing, there are tour guide services that are so helpful. They explain everything and can take you to eat or steer you to the markets. We lived in Shanghai for 4 months 6 yrs ago, that area is usually a nice mild warm temp. I have been to Guangzhou a number of times...nice and warm! And I like the Cantonese food.
    IF there is anything we can do, please let us know. I am so excited for you. I have visited an orphanage in Tianjin. Chinese do NOT adopt these children. Foreigners are their only hope.
    Good luck and hope to hear you are uniting with your little girl soon!
    Pat Jenks

    1. Thanks Pat! We will have a guide with us most of the time, I believe. If there is anything that you feel is must-do or must-see in either Beijing or Guangzhou, please let us know!