Heritage Tour - Testimonials
Testimonial 1

Dear BLAS, CCCWA and CCAI,

The Winter Heritage Tour 2012 was a fantastic trip. Thank you for providing it. I really liked visiting the Great Wall, The Terra Cotta Warriors, The Panda Reserve and the Li River. I thought it was an amazing trip. We got to do so many things kid related. I loved all the shows and the productions. It was wonderful to be able to visit China again. I liked learning how differently the Chinese live than how we do. Meeting new friends was really fun. When we first got there, we were a bunch of strangers sitting in a lobby of a hotel and only having one thing in common, we were adopted from China. 10 days later we were hanging out together and were really close. The food in China was great! I’ve had Chinese food before such as the basics, orange chicken, egg drop soup, stir fried rice and dumplings. I loved trying new things. At the cooking school, it was fun to make our own Chinese food. I’ve talked about this trip for days with my friends. I can’t believe that I held a panda! As I looked at the pictures, a lot of the things we did don’t look real. Thank you so much. It meant a lot to me to go back and visit China.

Love,

Susan B.

Testimonial 2

I had a great time in China. In Beijing, I liked to see the Emperor's Palace (Forbidden City). I also really like to see the Great Wall. I was so excited to climb the Great Wall and see how long it is. We went to Xi'an and I really liked seeing the terra cotta warriors and riding a bike along the Ancient Wall with my daddy. We got to eat a lot of dumplings there and got to watch a really pretty show after dinner. I really liked when the people dressed up like the warriors and danced. Next we went to Chengdu and got to see the Pandas! It was very fun sitting next to a Panda while he was eating honey on a bamboo stick! We also saw lots of pandas, baby pandas and a red panda too. The last place we went was Guilin and Yangshuo. We got to take a boat on a river. I saw two waterfalls and some horses too. The boat on the Li River was huge and I had fun. In Yangshuo, we got to go to a cooking school and I learned how to cook and it was very fun! We cooked egg dumplings, vegetables, and chicken. The food was so yummy! I love China and I wish I could go back and see my guide Eric, he was great! I got to meet lots of new friends and we got to be together a lot on the trip. Thank you very much CCAI! I am so happy I got to see China's amazing places.

Adoptee, age 7

Testimonial 3

The CCAI Winter 2012 tour was such an amazing trip. We did really fun tourist things, as well as great cultural experiences most people who come to China wouldn’t be able to do. Some of the things that we did were really cool, like a boat cruise, a cooking school, and the Great Wall. We got to go to a panda reserve which was really cool, but we didn’t hold a panda. Personally it wasn’t worth the cost because you had to wear a suit while holding the pandas, preventing you from actually touching its fur. Also the toilets aren’t as bad as we had imagined. The hotels were very nice, and provided very good breakfasts, also some Western food. You may get offered a lot of strange foods, but don’t be afraid to try them because you may be surprised. It is very nice that the kids are split up into age groups. This way we made all sorts of really good friends that we had a lot in common with. The guides are wonderful and really added to the trip. They sometimes gave us little gifts to remember the province, they sang to us before they left, and danced at the parties. If you are a family of four (two parents, two kids) most hotels don’t have four person room accommodations. So it is super fun if the two kids can share one of the rooms together. If you do, most likely the kids’ and parents’ rooms will be right next to each other and conjoined, or right across from each other. Overall it was a great experience, and going back to China for the first time, it was smart to go on this tour.

Bailee M., age 16, and Liana M., age 13

Testimonial 4

Lynea, Age 12 - The trip to China was a very worthwhile experience for me. The Chinese people were very kind to me and it felt like they really cared about me. I was glad I got to go see the place where I was found and my orphanage. At first I was nervous to go back, but when we went to our first place, which was my town, the directors of the orphanage told me how happy they were that I could come back, so I felt more comfortable. Before we went to China, my parents told me stories about China and brought back souvenirs from the time they adopted us, so I was excited to go. On this trip I was able to see the culture and taste the food for myself. I loved the people who were in the Daisy Group because they shared where they were from and told us their stories about China when they were adopted. It was very exciting to see how many people had been adopted and to meet new friends. I will never forget our trip to China.

Testimonial 5

Shanae, Age 14 - Before the opportunity to travel back to China, my parents shared souvenirs they had brought back from their trips and shared their experiences about their time in China. Now I have had the opportunity to see the different culture and food for myself. I have memories I can share with others. I really enjoyed meeting other people from our tour group who had also been adopted from China. Going to my orphanage and being welcomed by the director helped me know that they really do care about me personally, and that meant a lot to me. This trip has taught me to know how lucky I am that I live in the United States and to love and appreciate my parents even more, and that I have the opportunity to take piano lessons, play soccer, have a good education, and have a loving family and friends. I felt at the end of the trip that I have roots in both countries.

Testimonial 6

Camille, Age 16 - The China trip my family and I went on this summer is a trip I will never forget. I loved to see the culture and learning about the history of China. In China, I realized that some of my personal traits and interests may have come from my Chinese heritage. It made me more grateful and proud of who I am as a person. Visiting my orphanage and finding place was a great experience. At the orphanage, I saw girls who had also been there when I was there. Seeing them and the way they lived made me appreciate that I was adopted and was able to come here because I belong to someone and I have had opportunities to develop talents and character that I may not have been able to in the orphanage. Seeing the place I was found made me grateful for my birth parents who took great risks to leave me in front of a police department building. Going to China is a trip every adopted Chinese person should try to take because it will change the way they see their lives, the world, and make them grateful for what they have.

Testimonial 7

Lora, Age 17 - China is a spectacular nation. I made many more friends in my tour group than I expected and learned a lot about the culture of my birth country. The guides were very fun to be with, the hotels were nice, and the food was amazing. Before this trip, I spent my whole life associating “China” as simply the name to write on a document when asked where I was born or a faraway place that I could only get a glimpse of in pictures, but now China is an actual, tangible place that I have memories to relate with. The main tour schedule was awesome! I doubt that if my family had traveled to China on our own that our trip would have been as smooth, nor would we have been able to participate in activities anywhere close to the things we were able to do as a tour group. One highlight of the visit was that I was able to visit my orphanage. The director was very welcoming, thoughtful and friendly. I may not think of China as my home country, I am an American, but Asian culture is my heritage and I am proud to say that I was born in China. I highly recommend that other adopted kids take a trip to visit the nation of their origins.

Testimonial 8

CCAI Heritage Tour staff,

The Heritage Tour was an unforgettable experience for our family. The tour is packed with exciting and historical sites. It gives you a taste of China with all the wonderful cuisine and culture. Our daughter, Clara, was able to experience the love that her foster family showed her. She had not seen them since she was 6 years old. Clara was with the foster family from birth until 6 years old. Later she went to the orphanage until we adopted her at 11 years old. The orphanage had a celebration for her 15th Birthday. They remembered and had a wonderful welcome planned with a beautiful cake. It gave her closure at an older age. She came back renewed. It was also beneficial to meet new friends that are also adopted. Clara experienced the joy of all the children that were adopted by incredible families.

It was very difficult to coordinate this trip with work, family and other responsibilities but we highly recommend it to all families to make the effort. The tour is a wonderful value. The cost savings are great. It would cost a lot more to do this trip on your own. Also, the support and peace of mind given by the tour guides was priceless.

Hopefully we can do this trip again in the future.

Blessings,
Iliat and Alejandro Llamozas

Testimonial 9

Mei Lin, Age 13 - This summer I was able to travel to China with my family. The experience was amazing, with my favorite memories being that I spent time travelling with my crib mate from Nanping, Olivia, for the first time in nine years and climbing to the top of the Great Wall of China.

It was so cool to see girls adopted just like me from all over the country. We all had different families, religions, states, and hobbies, but we all had a common love for the country of China. We had the opportunity to travel to some of the biggest landmarks in the world like the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Warriors. I also enjoyed trying different Chinese foods, as well as some new flavors. Who knew green tea ice cream or cucumber flavored Lay's potato chips even existed?

My trip to China was not only a great experience, but also an eye opener. After the main tour, we were able to visit my orphanage in Nanping (Fujian Province); then visit my sister’s orphanage in Maoming (Guangdong Province). My heart was definitely pulled two ways. I so wanted to stay and see that every child was loved and cared for. These are a few of many reasons I will be forever grateful for CCAI and that I was adopted!

Testimonial 10

The Dye Family – We are deeply appreciative of the opportunity CCAI, BLAS, and CCCWA coordinated, which allowed us to return to China for a much anticipated heritage tour. It will remain an unforgettable experience for our family of four, including our two daughters adopted from China in 2001 and 2004: Mei Lin, now age 13 and Kate, now age 11. The trip, which we affectionately refer to as our own version of an “amazing race,” was made memorable by the wonderful sites and Chinese hospitality shared with fellow adoptive families.

It’s difficult to express all the different ways the tour touched our family. Historical sites and the sheer beauty of the country, the room where adoptive families are matched with children, relationships built and experiences shared with new and old friends, extraordinary cuisine and shopping each day, and the wonderful welcome and farewell dinners provided by Bridge Of Love Adoption Service (BLAS), highlighted by talent shows featuring any of the children and young adults who wished to perform.

Our travels in China included plenty of remarkable destinations. And, the momentary encounters were also priceless. Invariably, on the subway, street, or in a store, people will begin speaking in Chinese to our adopted daughters, naturally assuming they are fluent. To which our daughters would show their card provided by BLAS (printed in Chinese), while also communicating in as kind and sweet of a voice … “I don’t speak Chinese. I’m from the U.S.” As Wendy or I stood by, persons would then ask our girls, “But, then where are your parents?” Motioning, Mei Lin or Kate would reply “This is my Mom/Dad.” Sweet moments all.