Connell Family Adoption




Welcome to the web site about our adoption. We have organized this site in chronological order, so you can follow our journey (literally and metaphorically).


Here is our family before the adoption. (You can click on any picture for a larger image.)




2001 – We fill out LOTS of paperwork for our local adoption agency and the Chinese government. Then we wait a long time.


April 2002 – We get a “referral”, a match with a specific baby. Our baby is seven months old now and her Chinese name is Rao Hao Lin. The Chinese list the “family name” first, so in American format her name is Hao Lin Rao. Her nickname at the orphanage is Lin-Lin. She is from the Shangrao orphanage in the Jiangxi province in southern China. We plan to name her Elizabeth Lin Connell.


Here are the first pictures we have of Lin-Lin, which were taken at the orphanage. We think the picture on the left is at about 3 months old, the other one at about 6 months. (Click for larger image.)




May 2002 – We are getting ready for our trip to China to bring Elizabeth to our home. Our itinerary looks like this... Fly from Boston to Beijing. Spend several days in Beijing for sightseeing and to get over jetlag. Fly to Nanchang to meet Elizabeth and complete the Chinese paperwork for her adoption. Fly to Guangzhou to do more paperwork at the US Consulate. Take the train to Hong Kong for a day of sightseeing there. Fly home to Boston and begin our life as an expanded family!


Here are some maps to visualize where we are going: China in relation to surrounding countries; the provinces of China (Jiangxi is in pink in the lower right); and the cities in Jiangxi.


June 2002 – Our trip plans are firming up. Here are the hotels we will be staying at: New Otani in Beijing, Gloria in Nanchang, White Swan in Guangzhou, and Salisbury (YMCA) in Hong Kong. And in case you ever want to take the train between Hong Kong and China, here is the schedule.


June 25 to July 12 – We traveled to China. Everything went great! Elizabeth is awesome! We climbed the Great Wall, walked through Tiananmen Square, visited the Forbidden City, met our new baby in Nanchang, rode on a Chinese junk through Hong Kong harbor, and many other adventures. Here are our letters home with more details.


Here are photos from our trip. In the first picture, we have just met Elizabeth. She is with the orphanage director who brought her to our hotel. The second picture shows Charles pushing Elizabeth during a shopping trip in Nanchang to a porcelain store. Note the 7’ tall vase behind him and the porcelain dog. The last picture shows Katie holding Elizabeth. (Click for larger images.)




September 2002 – We are settled into life as a larger family. Elizabeth had her first birthday on September 20 and is growing quickly. She loves playing with her big brother and sister, swinging in the backyard, and making silly faces. Here are two recent pictures. (Click for larger images.)




December 2002 – Here is our holiday web page, with recent news and pictures…


May 2003 – We re-adopt Elizabeth in the US courts. This allows Elizabeth to get a US birth certificate, which is useful in life, and the big kids got to skip ½ day of school for the court appearance. The court appointment was quick and easy, then we went to brunch afterwards with our extended family. Elizabeth is doing great. Her gross motor skills have caught up to age level, her language comprehension is excellent, and her spoken language is coming along well. She is very social, and loves to charm adults who might be enticed into playing with her. Here are photos at the courthouse and of her first Mother’s Day. (Click for larger pictures.)




December 2003 – Here is our holiday web page, with recent news and pictures…


December 2004 – Here is our holiday web page, with recent news and pictures…


December 2005 – Here is our holiday web page, with recent news and pictures…


December 2006 – Here is our holiday web page, with recent news and pictures…



================== Additional Information for Adopting Families ======================


Here is the business card of the Director of the Shangrao orphanage, which adoptive families can use to send packages and to call (if you speak Mandarin).


Our list for preparing to travel to China after the referral.


Our tips for traveling with older kids


Our rules for handling drinking water in China… We followed these guidelines and never got sick.


How to be safer on taxis in China.


Why we think you should put your baby in a separate seat on the airplane with a carseat. And how to send a US made carseat to China, to use on the airplane flights.


How to send email home from China while you are there…