All of us belong to an ethnic group by birth. For most of us, our belonging is part of our life experience. For transracially internationally Chinese adopted children, this may not be the case. Because the majority of adoptive parents in this population are Caucasian, much effort must be applied to maintaining an affiliation with the child’s culture of origin and ethnic identity.
Many families choose to join play groups, attend culture camps and access Chinese community events to encourage an ongoing connection with their child’s heritage. Many families also celebrate country specific traditions and holidays within their homes. They also proudly display artifacts and mementos – and prepare dishes unique to the child’s homeland on a regular basis. A large number of families also entertain the idea of future trips to revisit the child’s country of origin.
Chrysalis House, Inc. has recently learned of a Chinese Culture Trip opportunity and wishes to share the opportunity with our families:
POP’s Foundation and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (in Beijing) are pleased to invite your family to participate in our Summer 2013 China Culture Trip. This heritage tour is designed specifically for families who adopted from China and are interested in bringing their children (age 10+) back to visit the land of their birth. We will enjoy many tourist venues and cultural performances, but we will also have the special opportunity to visit schools, orphanages, a factory, and many more behind-the-scenes destinations. An official welcome by high level Chinese government officials and scheduled activities with local Chinese children will make this tour truly the trip of a lifetime!
This summer will be our 4th tour in China with families like yours, and our diverse itinerary showcases the wide variety of experiences that China has to offer. Highlights tentatively on our itinerary include:
· Beijing: The Great Wall and Tiananmen Square
· Tianjin: The Prince of Peace Children’s Home
· Xian: The Terracotta Warriors
· Yangshuo: Li River cruise
· Guilin: Reed Flute Cave
· Suzhou: Humble Administrator’s Garden
· Shanghai: Shanghai Children’s Palace, Bund waterfront, and General Motors plant
Tour dates: June 30th -July 13th, 2013 (14 days).
Cost: $1745 USD per person (age 12+), $1480 per child (age 10-12). Cost includes hotels, most meals, entrance fees, transportation for the duration of the tour (domestic flights, high speed rail, overnight train, and bus), and tour guide tips. It does not include international airfare/visa fees, insurance, or personal expenses. This trip is partially subsidized by the Chinese government and we promise you won’t be able to find a better deal anywhere else!
Short trip: For interested families, we are also able to offer a partial 9-day trip (June 30th – July 8th), visiting only Beijing, Tianjin, and Xian. Cost for the partial trip is $530 per person (age 12+) and $490 per child (age 10-12).
Application and payment deadline: Application package and payment must be received by March 29th, 2013. Please note that participation is limited and space may not be available through this date.
Questions? For application forms or questions, please contact Maisie at the POP’s Foundation office at POPCHeNewsletter@gmail.com or (510) 723-2425. We hope to hear from you soon!
Additional Contact Information:
3536 Arden Road
Hayward, CA 94545
In closing, CHI would like to remind you that all children have different personalities, levels of maturity and emotional needs — so you, as parents, are the best people to decide if a culture trip may be suitable for your family/child. Preparation will be key: Discussions should be held on a myriad of topics before traveling to minimize surprises proactively. Talk about what to expect, potential challenges, whether the child would like to visit their orphanage and the place they were found (if abandoned). Conversations about hopes and fears can be integral to ensuring a positive experience for the entire family!
If you’re considering a culture trip for your family, this tip-sheet may be of use to you in deciding whether and when to go: http://testnuke.wiadopt.org/Portals/wiadopt/Tipsheets/Culture-Diversity/LandofBirth.pdf
**Please note that Chrysalis House, Inc. is not affiliated with POP’s Foundation and that this post shall not serve as an endorsement. We seek to share resources with our families and do encourage you to research this opportunity fully, in the event you may be interested.