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Category Archives: Adoption Preparation

China Adoption Pack-List

Before I forget what we packed and what we needed and didn’t need–I better right it down for any mommas who might ask me our packing 2 cents. (Got an email just today–and thought it’d be a great thing to share…this is for you Katie:) When you finally get that TA–it can be so hard […]

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Maria - July 4, 2013 - 11:55 am

Thank you so much for posting this! We are leaving for China in 2 weeks to go get our baby girl (she’s 2 also). This list will be SO helpful for us.
Thank you!

Mary - July 8, 2013 - 6:56 am

Thank you! We’re awaiting TA and supposed to go in August. This will be our first child (a son). This is a great help. I love the cheerfulness of your post!

Cindy - July 8, 2013 - 12:40 pm

I am so happy for your family! Congratulations to you all. He is adorable.

Janice - August 4, 2013 - 9:13 pm

I just found your packing list and we are getting ready to leave for China in 3 weeks. How did you fit all that stuff in just 2 suitcases? How did you fit all your kids clothes in their carryons?

admin - August 4, 2013 - 10:07 pm


We actually had EXTRA room in our 2nd suitcase! SOO…we took (along with all this on the list) a backpack, 6 outfits and several books–a massive care package for another little girl’s family who wanted to send a care package. All her stuff from her soon-to-be parents took up HALF of one of our suitcases–so if you aren’t taking things for people too you should even have extra room. My kids are just 8 and 7 so their clothes are little. A carry on was plenty big for a week’s worth of clothes–and we traveled in the summer–and shorts and tees do not take up nearly as much room as sweaters and jackets (this might be tighter for winter travelers). There’s really no need to take lots of snacks either as there is PLENTY of edible yummy snacks in all the little shops on the streets:). Please feel free to contact me through my contact page if you have specific questions! Happy to give you my cell number too if you have questions too!



Ashley - January 19, 2014 - 10:39 am

I googled “packing for China adoption” and your blog popped up! This list looks great – THANK YOU! We are hoping to travel to get our daughter in April or May.

Many Blessings to your family, Ashley

Post-Adoption-Prep: “The First Days Home…When There’s a Full House”

Families have asked me how to prepare for the first weeks home after international adoption (and honestly these would apply to bringing home through foster care and even a newborn too!)–and to be honest–even after a year home with our first one, I had to really THINK HARD what to tell them. It’s really hard […]

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JessicaD - June 27, 2013 - 4:13 pm

Your sister shared this post with my sister today. With me in mind. I cant tell you how blessed I am that she thought of me. It’s been a hard day here… and small things count.

This post is fabulous. And I am coming back to peruse the rest of your blog. 🙂

Saturday a scared little-girl-inside is coming from Ukraine to spend 6+ weeks with my little family. I have no idea if she is free for adoption. I do know she had been with a foster family but “they got rid of her for younger children”. I hope and pray she can be my daughter.

Julia Dansby - June 27, 2013 - 6:36 pm

My nugget that God has and is teaching me is that we never arrive! We adopted a 12 year old daughter out of the foster care system 2 and a half years ago. It is important to know that we never arrive period, but especially in the sense of adopting – we never get to a point where all of the complex dynamics of adoption cease to exist and healing has finally been achieved and things are now “easy”. There will always be new issues or trials that arise as a result of adoption and all that is involved with that in the child’s life. We never arrive with our children through adoption and it has helped me greatly to let go of this expectation and idea that one day (surely one day) we will “arrive”. As if we will finally reach that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It will forever be a process. Hopefully progressing to deeper levels, but always a process. God is using you to encourage so many Andrea (especially me) – keep on keeping on!!!

RLR - June 28, 2013 - 10:37 pm

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions!

We are in the homestudy process for international adoption, and I know I’ll want to come back to this post one of these days. Would you be willing to add some kind of image so this post is “pinnable”? We also know a few families who will be bringing children home from Uganda and Ethiopia over the next several months, and I’m going to remember to pick up kids for playdates and take meals.

Jessica - June 29, 2013 - 2:57 pm

What wonderful advice! We’ve been home about four weeks with our little blessing from China, and I agree with everything you said!! No new nuggets of advice here, but thankful to read yours :).

THE Birthday Party {happy 2nd birthday Zeke!}

So last week I got surprised with pictures from the party that was delivered to Zeke’s orphanage in China! Ann from Red Threads is amazing! We contacted her a couple of weeks before Zeke’s birthday once we realized there was no way we would be there by then–and she quickly helped us put together a […]

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Jessica Irvin - May 20, 2013 - 6:12 pm

What perfect timing to be all done with school and sports before you get Zeke. Lots of bonding time now

sherrie bezuidenhout - May 20, 2013 - 6:45 pm

Such an amzing boy! His face is just precious!! God is so good!!

Sarah - May 20, 2013 - 8:33 pm

Lord, he’s cute!!!!

Candy - May 24, 2013 - 2:07 pm

Rachel, just wanted to give you a heads up on something on. Fox News today…

Katie - May 28, 2013 - 4:23 pm

This a.m. the Lord’s been prompting me to pray for your travels! Praying for health, for no setbacks, and for strength for the journey. Thanks for letting us follow along with God’s beautiful story through your blog!

Mother’s Day {when your heart longs on this day}

I’m sitting here…typing tonight–unable to sleep. In this empty nursery. Longing for it to be filled. I am also a mom. But tonight my house is quiet…as the four little ones are split up in two by two tonight–half with Gigi (Rich’s mom) and the other two with Nana (my mom). On Mother’s Day Eve. […]

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Aleah - May 12, 2013 - 6:02 pm

Dear Andrea,
As always, thank you for your beautiful post on this most special day. I have been faithfully following your blog since before Isaac joined your family.

You have been a constant blessing to me through our adoption journey. My husband and I have been in the process of adopting from South Korea for 4 years. That’s right, you heard it correctly…4 years. We have had a referral for a beautiful baby boy since last June…nearly a full year. Laws in South Korea have changed concerning adoption, and as a result, the program has slowed down significantly. These last four years have been difficult for this momma’s heart, but this weekend has been especially difficult.

I celebrate this day already being a mother to two beautiful biological children. I understand the blessing of being a mother, and I long to have our new sweet one home. Thank you for the reminder that God is perfectly writing our story…something I know well as I have seen it at work already. But to be reminded on this day…a very sweet reminder from someone who is walking the difficult journey as well. God is good! I needed this today!

Thank you.

Tricia - May 24, 2013 - 9:26 am

Thank you so much for this encouraging post! I’m reading it a couple weeks after the fact, but God knew when I would most need those verses. I’m holding on tightly to His promises in that passage.

I’m still waiting for my opportunity to be a mom and for some reason God has chosen to make our particular journey a long and at times difficult one. Thankfully, “He gives strength to the weary!” Thank you for this reminder!

Praying for you (and your family) as you journey to China for your little one!