Thursday, February 05, 2009

So you get to China and...

Ok, so the plan is to fly to China, tour, rest and the meet LynnMarie! Then what? Seriously? What do you do once you have met her?? I'm being serious. I know we will be busy with things like paperwork and stuff but . I'm looking for your experiences. Lets say she has a cold and we stay in room, what do we do all day??

I warned you that I had a lot of questions.My mind is racing. I love it!


Paul and Robyn: said...

I had the exact same question before we traveled. I can tell you my experiences, of course yours may differ. Our guide had activities arranged for us everyday. One day it was a trip to the park, another day it was market, another day it was a museum. Basically these outings only lasted 3 hrs or so and then we would go back to the hotel and let Avery nap then get together for a group dinner or something.

I will admit I did have times of boredom. I am just not used to being in a hotel room the majority of the day. There were several days that my family would just venture out by ourselves and walk up and down the streets of China. Those were some of the best times, just taking in the culture and seeing Avery's heritage.

Once you get to Guangzhou it's all about the shopping and you can go out exploring all around the island and never really feel uncomfortable.

The most important thing is getting in the bonding with LynnMarie and everything else will fall into place!!

Keep asking those questions. The more you know what to expect the easier the trip will be!!

sara said...

I don't blame you for asking! Like Robyn said, your experience will be unique! There really isn't that much paperwork; it isn't very time consuming.

There are some scheduled outings. For Henan, we went to the Lotus one day (2 hours) and they also had a museum trip which we forewent because we had a three year old and because it was just more money to spend!

We were in our hotel A LOT. Which is recommended for bonding anyways. We also did the hotel hallway a lot. Plan for both. I know some people say you can get anything you want & do anything in China (& you can!) but it is better to prepare to NOT do those things. Plus, you will probably be visiting a certain person & where your child lived. That will take a day. It will be exhausting!

We, like Robyn, did a little walking around the streets of China & picture taking. It was so neat to walk the streets where our daughter was born.

I would say don't worry about trying to see & do everything; you can come back to China for that - this is the time to meet this little being who will be your child forever!!

Mark, Rebecca and Sophia said...

Hey Amy-

I haven't been in the China situation, but I have to say that you'll be amazed how much time you can spend doing nothing with a little one. Just playing, snuggling, acting silly. As others have said, there will probably be plenty to do, but just hanging out, taking walks, etc. will take up more time than you might think!

sarah said...

I never quite adjusted to the jet-lag / time difference - so that was a bit rough for me (and I also got bronchitis / sick and completely lost my voice for a few days).

However, each day your guide has the day planned - things you have to do and sometimes stuff that's 'optional'. Of course, I recommend doing all the 'optional' stuff because you don't know when you will get to those places again! We did walk around the cities were were in during times when there was nothing else planned and I loved that. If your baby is sick (ours was but not so badly that we didn't do most everything that was 'optional' except for going out to eat in the evenings - we didn't do any of that) and you stay in the room, you should have enough to keep you hopping - or if you're anything like me with jetlag, possibly you can get a nap!

Linda said...

My daughter came home from China 2 weeks ago and they were never bored. They stayed on Shamian Island and it is very nice for walks, there are parks and stores, even a starbucks with a nice patio. The guides had things arranged everyday, and dinner each night. You will meet other parents and their children so you don't have to be alone. There is also the bonding and attachment and each person has a different journey.. I don"t think you have to worry about what you'll be doing. My daughter said the time just flew by... You will be so wrapped up with LynnMarie you won't believe it... Looking forward to following your journey to your dreams... Linda

Alyson and Ford said...

I will just address the free time in/at the hotel: we had a 24 month old who hated us, cried constantly and was a full time job caring for her. No boredom only being very tired. But you do have play time which can mean playing with her on the floor of your hotel room, slow movements, lots of sign language, feeding, walking or strolling the hallways or outdoors. Our group of families had "happy hour" which was about an hour before everyone was going out for dinner; we would gather in the public/common areas and let the babies crawl and play with each other. Most of them would cry as they were still uncertain of what was going on, even the babies, so Mommys were close by and lots of holding/ cuddling. I recommend that you keep your baby in your baby carrier; against your chest facing you as much as possible. You will be with her constantly; in the bathroom, everywhere. She will not know who to cling to at first so will be very scared; she will cling to you as she just won't have any other choice and she will soon decide it is a lot better than being alone.
Some people have it alot smoother, others worse. You will know what to do to entertain YOUR baby. Hopefully you have a good travel group. We had a few families bring their middle school age children so had plenty of "experienced" parent with us.
Overall, you will love the experience and it is high intensity which is needed to begin the bonding. You will be loving and cheerful; know that in a few months you will have the perfect daughter for you.

Alyzabeth's Mommy for 4.75 Months!

Kristy said...

Trust me you will find a ton of things to do. You will be falling in love and your entire life will be wrapped around your daughter and God puts in all in order, no worries ok, it will just happen.
Love, Kristy

Shelly and Family said...

Time is going to fly by when you are soak up what you can....take many walks around the streets, do some shopping, and enjoy the locals and food sampling.

The one thing I did on both of our trips to China was shop. I know there are a lot of adoptive parents out there that think it is just terrible to drag your newly adopted kids through the stores in China, but I did and for good reason. I shopped for a lot stuff to give to our daughters in the future and I shopped for some stuff to add to our home to bing in their culture as well. The one thing I must say that I am so happy I purchased was a tea set from each of my girls province that I will have for a life time. Just little things here and there that I hand picked with care that they will always have to remind them of where they came from (how proud they should be that they are from China), the journey we took to bring them home, and that we so want to include some of their culture into our lives...

Whatever you I said in the beginning...time will fly by so just try to relax & enjoy. And even if you are hanging out in your is such a life changing experience - that you will want to spend every waking moment with your daughter.

Kiy said...

We had an odd trip. We spent most of our time in our daughter's province and only three days (THREE days!) in GZ. Forget all the paperwork and such needed to do there, I only had THREE days to shop. Yes, I am still dealing with that (smile).

Our guides also had several outings planned for us while we were in Chongqing (we had days of outings and free days). We went on most, but we didn't do much on our own. Oh, we could have. And we had planned to. But we changed in mid-stream. Oh about the time they placed a sweet baby girl in our arms. We were one of the lucky ones, no freaked out baby. She was outgoing and happy, but we wanted to hunker in and just be. So, we did. Plus, our hotel just wasn't situated in an area that lent itself to walking around. We did take short walks near our hotel, but it was pretty industrial. Nothing to see, but it got us out of the hotel a bit. We spent a lot of time just playing with Emi in our room, walking around inside the hotel itself.

The one thing that you read over and over is to not bring reading material for yourself. IGNORE that. Really. There is a lot of downtime. Babies sleep. And if you are lucky, a lot. Emi took two naps a day. That's a lot of quiet/downtime. Many times my husband would use that time to walk (hike) to the local store for our water, formula or the hundreds of little things I thought we needed (remember that when trying to cram all your stuff into luggage to leave!). I did a lot of reading, stitching, emailing, uploading photos and yes, sleeping. I don't think anyone is really ready for a baby and the energy they take. Allow yourself those naps. The saying 'sleep when baby does' is a good one, use it!

I do look back and say 'I wish we had gotten out more' when we were in Chongqing. However, we are SO securely bonded with Emi. I have to think that much of that is the amount of one on one time we did with her. No outside stimulation. It was all about us, being a family and getting to know each other.

I doubt you will get bored. More the other, there will be so much you want to do, see, experience, etc that you will run out of time before you know it. I do wish we had added an extra day on the beginning of our trip and at least one at the ending. Unlike most families traveling, there was no big tearing rush to get back home. There wasn't anyone waiting to meet us at the airport, or at home. So we could have stayed those extra days and seen more. But by the time we realized it, it was too late and our air tickets were purchased. Ah well, there is always the heritage trip.

Enjoy your time there. Allow yourselves to realize that you WILL be tired, exhausted but also happy, in awe and just flat out in love. It's a wonderful experience. I wish I could go back and do it all over again!

Cheers, Kiy

Beth and Ryan said...

Luckily, we had playrooms in both of our hotels. When all else failed, we headed for the playroom...change of scenery was the key. We had two goals, keep everyone happy and see as much of China as possible so that we could tell MK about our trip one day...and of course, we took pictures. We pretty much had an outing everyday in the morning, then we would all have a rest in the afternoon and then it was time to go to dinner which was always an adventure, then bed. We always had something to do (our choice of course)but we never really felt rushed to do anything, we just enjoyed our time.

Shari U said...

Our little Abby got sick with an ear infection on day 3. We laid low for a couple of days and just held her and played with her on the bed and watched her sleep. Getting the antibiotic into her 3x a day became an adventure all of its own. There was never a moment of boredom. Remember that you will never have another time like this with her. You don't have to worry about fixing meals, answering the phone, paying bills, taking the dog out, doing laundry. It's just you and Michael and LynnMarie together in a hotel room. Take a million pictures and tons of video. At times it seems like you'll never get home and then all of a sudden it's over!

awaitingmissemily said...

Oh you have received such good advice. I will keep it short as my advice is just as everyone elses. The time will fly by, yet stand still if that makes any sense. Enjoy your time in China, it really is an awsome experience!!