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My Vietnamese adopted daughter and I traveled with Ties to my daughter's birth country in late 2007, early 2008. So many years later, we both have very fond memories of that trip and see how the experience answered many difficult questions. We have had the good fortune of maintaining contact with my daughter's birth family since the time of adoption. During our trip, Ties assisted with arranging an interpreter and driver for two visits. Somehow, however, we recently lost contact with the birth family and I was concerned about the well-being of the birth mom. I contacted Ties and even though the organization was just emerging from a COVID hiatus, Becca got back to me. I made what I thought was a far-fetched request to ask Ties' Vietnamese contacts to check on the well-being of my daughter's birth mom. Not only did Becca willingly reach out to her Ties contacts in Vietnam but the Vietnamese folks contacted the birth family and I got the answers I requested in less than 2 days! (btw, the birth mom is alive and well.) It was a miraculous display of Ties' commitment to excellent service and honoring the precious but sometimes tenuous bonds between adoptive and birth families. Thank you, Becca and Ties!
How blessed we are to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing group of people who shared in each other’s journey on this trip.
I could go on and on...and I have been to anyone who will listen! Thank you for all you and your staff did to facilitate such a meaningful experience for our family.
I feel that I have been “adopted” by Korea itself. I left that beautiful country feeling as if I am able to embrace the country, its culture, history and people as part of the heritage that is now part of my own because of Aleigha’s roots that connect us. I am forever changed. Thank you again and again for the amazing work you and your incredible staff does. ~Kecia Binko (mom)
We can’t thank The Ties Program and Bea Evans enough for planning and organizing our trip to Ukraine. We saw the hospital in Kiev, where our daughter stayed for several months, and the orphanage where she lived until our adoption. We went to the place where our daughter was left and to the host family where my husband and I stayed during the adoption process. We explored places that showed us the background, culture and cuisine of the Ukrainian people. Our interpreter/guide (Olena) was fantastic -- organized, a wealth of information, flexible, and so very accommodating. Our daughter said the trip exceeded her expectations and my husband and I agree.
We're thrilled your family had such a memorable time in Ukraine!
We had an amazing journey with the Ties Program! I chose the Ties Program based on the itinerary and that it fit with my goal of introducing my children to South Korea and its culture. The journey exceeded my expectations - I never expected the individualized experiences we were given. My daughter was able to visit the clinic where was born and meet the foster mother who cared for her during her first 7 months. The Ties staff suggestion to use the KakaoTalk app for communication while in S Korea was a bonus because we are now connected through the app with my daughter's foster mother. The group aspect of the tour was also invaluable. It offered the chance for my daughter to balance emotional encounters with the normalcy of "hanging out" with other kids her age. The cultural experience, personal journey and friendships we made are invaluable. Thank you Ties Staff!
Always our pleasure Kristin. Thank you for taking the time to post.
So, I went to china...
I got to go to BeiJing, Xi’An, and Nanchang.
I met the woman who took care of me when I was at the orphanage and one of the women who found me. As well as met a man in charge of some children’s department at my orphanage. He took us on a tour of the place I would’ve grown up in (which we were the first family to experience that from him). It was such an amazing experience. Thank you auto Robin our translator for helping my family on this amazing trip. Robin took us around Xi’An and showed us his local park and even his family and house because I asked to see local life. I learned so much about my past and have yet to learn more. Thank you Bea Evans for making this trip possible. And also thank you to my parents for taking me on thus journey of a lifetime. (Just realized that was cheesy)
So glad you had an amazing time Lily!
Our two young-adult children (adopted from South Korea as infants), my husband, and I returned home less than 2 weeks ago from a whirlwind trip to Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island with the Korea Ties program. The journey exceeded our high expectations! We are so thankful to Pat and her kind, knowledgeable, funny staff and to the extraordinary guides and interpreters from Korea who enriched the trip and made adoption-related site visits possible. The visit enriched our family in at least three ways: through exposure to Korean sites and culture (food, markets, school, Taekwondo, palaces, natural wonders, baseball, etc.); by facilitating adoption connections we otherwise would not have made (which in our case included visits with birth family and drives to birth cities/clinics); and by enabling meaningful friendships among similar-age adoptees and among parents. It definitely was an advantage to be part of a fairly large group (108 adoptee/family participants), allowing for 3 tour buses divided by adoptee age groups -- encouraging adoptee connections with each other. The ability and flexibility of the staff to accommodate individual family schedule and travel needs (site visits, drivers, interpreters, etc.) without disrupting any parts of the group journey was remarkable. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but we know for sure that we will return to Korea on our own! Gamsahamnida, again, to all who made our family's trip so special.
This summer I travelled to China with my Mom and Dad with China Ties. I didn’t know what to expect from China Ties but I realized that it’s a special experience because it has some things that other tours might not include like a connect and chat time for the adoptees and a separate connect and chat time for the parents.
Another thing about China Ties that makes it different than other tour groups is that the friends you make on the trip will last a lifetime. You added things that are important like looking at your files at the CCCWA. This was important to me because I have wanted to know what my past was like. Another important part is that all the guides for China Ties were helpful and they were very nice and I think that we would have been lost without them.
It was emotional to go visit my orphanage because there were so many special needs children and the new orphanage director was the one who brought me to my adoptive family and she remembered me. This was also very important to me.
I think that the trip was long enough and it was fun. Overall China Ties is a wonderful experience!🙂👍🇺🇸🇨🇳
My daughter and I went to Seoul this April for her first trip back to her birth country. After many hours of research on what to do while visiting Korea I turned to Pat and the Korean Ties program. She provided the guidance and advice that made our trip unforgettable. With the assistance of the volunteers in Korea we were able to see and go places that we would have never ventured on our own. My daughter was able to get a real feel for being in Seoul and enjoy the culture, the food and the people to the fullest. I cannot say enough about the kindness and compassion of our in-country guides. Our visit to ESWS and meeting with her foster Mom was a wonderful highlight to an unforgettable trip. Our thanks to the wonderful team at the Ties program and especially Pat for making this a trip of a lifetime.
Always our pleasure!
My 22-year-old son and I recently returned from our Homeland Tour to the Philippines. We worked with Bea Evans/ Adoptive Family Travel. Their individual family travel option was perfect for us. Bea Evans was readily available to help us quickly put our trip together as we had a narrow window of time and opportunity to make the trip. She assisted us in every detail including making all of our airline and hotel reservations and helping to arrange all the venues we were hoping to visit. Most importantly she arranged for us an incredible guide; a notable social worker in the Philippines with decades of experience in adoption and child welfare. Glady was with us from the moment we arrived in the Philippines until the moment we left eight days later. She made every effort to help my son feel special and important and to help make our hopes and dreams for our trip come true. We visited my son‘s birth place, the hospital where he was born and the orphanage that arranged his placement with us. We met with the director of that orphanage and the social worker that put together my son‘s case file and was there the day that we met him 22 years ago! We also visited many meaningful and beautiful sites as well as had many wonderful cultural experiences. It was a trip of a lifetime and everything my son and I hoped it would be. It would not have been possible without Bea and Adoptive Family Travel. I would highly recommend them for any family wishing to plan a homeland trip. Please feel free to contact me through Bea if you have any questions about traveling to the Philippines. Thank you, Sarah Sharp
Sarah, it was my pleasure to help! We are thrilled the trip was so meaningful for you and your son!
Our recent trip to South Korea was a most wonderful experience. My husband, our daughter (adopted 30 years ago) and her partner were all impressed with what the tour had to offer. Before the trip we felt we were not the "tour group" type, however, we soon came to really appreciate the interesting content and the ease with which the tour flowed. Our daughter really came together with many of the adoptees on the tour and the experience of sharing their lives and stories will always be something she cherishes.
The tour leaders and support staff were exceptional and really identified and worked to meet the needs of the individual adoptees and also their siblings. They were approachable, supportive and right from the minute we signed up for the tour. Our daughter, Kaya, met her birth family for the first time which was an amazing experience. The Ties staff were very flexible in dovetailing the program with our family visiting needs.
Thank you Pat Hallada and the Ties Program which I can wholeheartedly recommend.
Thank you Jennifer. We frequently hear from families who are not group-tour people who are very pleasantly surprised to find that doing this trip in a community of adoptive families is so beautiful. That makes our hearts sing.