Welcome to No Place Like Home.

This blog is a place for information, answers and support for families who are considering international adoption, waiting or are home with their children. My name is Kimberley and I am the coordinator of this site. This blog is truly a network of families who are willing to support others along their journey to their child. The blogs listed on my sidebar are arranged by country and these families have volunteered to act as a resource to anyone who needs one. These are amazing people who are dedicated to helping families who are on the journey to their children in another country. If you are looking for someone to talk with or if you have a blog and would like to be available to help others, please feel free to e-mail me at timnkim@gmail.com.

Monday, June 9, 2008

This article comes from Laura Christianson's Blog 'Exploring Adoption'

Heritage Tours for Adopted Children

The new big thing in adoption is the “adoption vacation,” otherwise known as “heritage tours” or “travel experiences” for families with internationally born children. While children adopted internationally have been visiting their homelands for years, there are now companies that specialize in organizing trips for families who seek to help their children establish a deeper connection to their birth country.

A couple of informative articles by Ellen Creager and Craig Porter, of Knight Ridder Newspapers, describe the tours.

What is an adoption vacation? It’s much more than a sightseeing tour. It’s a journey of discovery; an identity-building trip. The focus of the tour is on exploring your cultural history and heritage, traveling with fellow adoptive families and visiting orphanages, pre-adoptive caregivers, and perhaps even birth parents.

According to Becca Piper, who founded Adoptive Family Travel (800-398-3676) in Wisconsin, most trips cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per person for a two-week tour, depending on the country, and are booked a year in advance. Her company currently offers journeys to Korea, China, India, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Guatemala, Romania, and Vietnam.

Families with children as young as 8 years old go on the trips. Piper’s company organizes all the logistics of the vacation, including hotels, flights and in-country travel.

If you are considering booking a heritage tour, ask the company whether they have experience handling adoption-specific travel needs, whether they provide counseling to help children grapple with the emotional issues that will come to light during and after the trip, and whether the have firsthand knowledge of the country’s culture.

Several companies offer tours for adopted children. Here are a few:

Lotus Travel, 800-956-8873. Arranges tours to China and Southeast Asia.

Holt International , 541-687-2202. The first agency to establish tours back to birth countries, Holt offers tours to Korea, China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services, 503.681.3075. Offers tours to China.

Children’s Home Society & Family Services. Offers tours to Korea.

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