At some point on your China trip, something silly, something embarrassing, or something crazy will happen. You are away from home, out of your comfort zone, adopting a new to you child, and traveling in a unique culture. You can bank on some family giggles. The No Hands But Ours contributors have accrued their share of these laugh-so-you-don’t-cry type of moments. Have a laugh with us as we recount tales of mysterious white powder, escalator falls, diaper blow-outs, airsickness and fainting on the Great Wall!
Your most embarrassing or amusing travel moments?
Desireé: Passed out cold on the Great Wall of China with a bit of heat stroke. Had to lay with my shirt up and belly against the stones of the walkway until my blood pressure came up enough to stand up. 100,000 of my newest Chinese friends got a good look at the crazy american laying half naked on their wall. Sheesh. BRING WATER TO THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA!
Mandy: My husband and I got a Chinese massage before we adopted our daughter. It was very forceful and not very relaxing. It hurt so much, that while grimacing, I farted.
Whitney: Too many to count. We laughed our way through that trip and laughter saved our sanity. We still recount many of those memories. In our Shanghai hotel, they played the same round of songs every morning over the intercom… really old, really obscure songs! We still break out into song occasionally.
Rebecca: While traveling the million hour flight home with two newly adopted kids, our son had a massive STINKY diaper blowout through two diapers and all his extra clothes. When we arrived in Tokyo for a layover, we had to carry him through the airport wrapped only in an airplane blanket. He eventually wore his sister’s also dirty, too small “jeggings” while I scrubbed his pants in an airport bathroom and then dried them under a hand dryer with a large contingency of Asian women crowding around watching and pointing. All this while his sister had a scary high fever and her parents were learning to play nurse, also in the airport bathroom, administering mystery Chinese meds with Mandarin direction labels and using medical equipment that was still new to us. We left our pride in Tokyo and also certainly earned some in the field, honorary nursing and parenting badges.
Amy A: I fell down the stairs at the wholesale market with my son in 2013 (embarrassing). We laughed a lot in 2015…it was good for the soul!
Stefanie: Funny: In 2008, my oldest daughter (then 15) and I traveled to bring home our son Jude. He was just 16 months at the time, had uncorrected clubfoot and was cute as a button. But we got a LOT of stares, due to his “abnormal” feet. By the end of our trip we had grown quite weary of the pointing and laughter directed at him, and us. At the Guangzhou airport on the way home, we stopped in the bathroom and while in line, a few ladies waiting in front of us began to comment, laugh and point at Jude’s feet. I turned around to Victoria, behind me in line, and whispered for her to just start laughing with me. And boy, did we ever. Our fake laughs turned into real laughs and then full-on belly laughs. And it completely caught the commenters off guard. Still makes me smile to think about it.
Embarrassing: In 2010, I traveled with my son Asher to bring Vivienne home. He’d never been on an airplane and was beside himself with excitement to go. He had trouble falling asleep on the long flight over, but eventually he did. All seemed to be going well until he woke up and was horribly airsick. He vomited all over everything. Every. Thing. We managed to limp off the plane, in China at last, and I hoped that would be the end of his nausea. While we were waiting in line to officially enter the country, with security cameras seemingly everywhere, I looked over at him and his face was positively green. We, as discreetly as we could, stepped out of line and he threw up in an airport plant. Thankfully we passed the temperature scan and the entrance checkpoint – it was a travel moment I’ll never forget, but kinda wish I could.
Amy S: Getting a shot of Epi in my “hip” was a trip. Having a doctor ask me if I usually have heart arrhythmia was scary. The consulate closed two days before our appointment because of a mysterious white powder in the mail and we had to delay our return trip by 2 days but we managed to negotiate out of extra charges. It was an insane trip – but we returned with a living child and that was the goal.
Jean: Embarrassing – Paying the fees when your suitcase is too heavy and other are waiting for you…
Funny – When people in China remember you from your last couple adoption trips! It’s like meeting up with old friends! I was in the ladies room in the hotel in GZ and a woman walked up to me and said “Jean?” – I had no idea who she was! It was Ann from Redthreads! She recognized me from the photos we had sent (through her) to our new child! We ended up doing a shopping day with her – she was wonderful!