China Homeland Tours
Sunny Ridge presents China Homeland Tours for Sunny Ridge families
Our 2013 China Homeland Tour Dates are announced! The 2013 China Homeland Tour is a 10-day trip for families wishing to visit Jiangxi and/or Guangdong Provinces. Both tours include visits to Beijing and Chengdu. If your travel group would like to travel together – let us know.
Departure date: July 9, 2013
Program Registration and first payment is due November 8, 2012.
For more information on China Homeland Tours contact Peggy Earwood at email@example.com or (630) 754-4542
Purpose of China Homeland Tours
China Homeland Tours serve multiple purposes for an adoptee. Adoptees have the potential to gain self knowledge and cultural pride. Travel to their birth country links the adoptee to their past and gives them a sense of connection. Tours provide the opportunity for adoptees to explore issues related to their adoption and culture, while helping give context to bridge the bigger question adoptees have… Why? Not all adoptees are ready to examine birth parent/search issues, but many are ready to address issues of culture, language, social norms, and how they fit into their birth cultures. Additionally, homeland tours send a strong message to adoptees that their adoptive family values China and its place in their family history. More importantly, homeland tours acknowledge the sense of beginning for the adoptee.
Goals of China Homeland Tours
- Give adoptees the opportunity to learn and experience (see, smell, touch) aspects of their birth culture by visiting traditional tour sites and participating in activities.
- Enhancement of adoptees’ self-esteem and cultural knowledge.
- Establish a foundation for adoptees to explore their beginning/past by visiting adoptee’s province and social welfare institute.
Why group travel for China Homeland Tours? Peer relationships are very important at this age. Group travel often appeals to preteens and allows the children to form new relationships. Adoptees value the group support, which strengthens the concept that they are not alone in being a Chinese child who was adopted. Group travel validates that the adoptee’s experience is not unique. Group travel often protects the adoptee from self‑consciousness and therefore allows them to engage more freely. One Sunny Ridge staff person will accompany the group.
We estimate each travel group would consist of eight (8) families, 20 to 32 participants, including adoptees. This trip is recommended for immediate families and not for extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles). A single adoptive parent will be able to bring another adult. Ideally, this adult would be the same adult that traveled on the adoption trip with the adoptive parent.
Target Age of Adoptee: 7 and Older
For China Homeland Tours, it is believed that the preteen years are the optimal years for children to experience and accept their birth culture. Preteens generally have fewer fears and fewer preconceptions that could influence them negatively about their experience. They are more open to simply observing and accepting things as they are in China, without judgment. This stage is also a good time to lay the foundation as they continue with their identity building.
See above for 2013 date.
Initially, this program will be offered to families who have adopted through the China direct-placing program at Sunny Ridge, with the hope of extending it in the future to other families living in Illinois.
A unique aspect of Sunny Ridge Family Center’s China Homeland Tours is travel preparation, which includes several meetings prior to travel. These meetings will focus on addressing the clinical issues that adoptees and adoptive parents may exhibit prior, during, and after the tour. All families and adoptees will be required to attend travel preparation meetings. Due to geographical distance, we understand that some families will not be able to attend these meetings. Special accommodations will be made for these families.
If your family is interested in a 2013 Tour, please contact:
Peggy Earwood, (630) 754-4542, firstname.lastname@example.org