If you are already matched and hoping to send a care package to your child and/or request an update from the orphanage there are a few services available in addition to either going through your agency or just mailing a package directly to the orphanage yourself.
For birthday (or holiday) cakes, care packages and updates I have personally used www.Ladybugs’n’Love.com with great success. Angela is an English speaker with years of experience working with orphanages. She lives near Beijing and offers many care package options and will also request an update with up to 10 questions for you.
If you are mailing your own care package but would like to send a letter to the orphanage staff, foster family and/or your child Angela also does translations and the cost is based on word count. (Cost subject to change but most recently she charged $20 for 400 words, and $40 for 600 words.)
When it comes time to travel I highly recommend arriving in China a few days early to get yourself acclimated before you receive your child. If your agency isn’t already setting up some pre-Gotcha Day tourism Angela is a wonderful tour guide with a great knowledge of Chinese history and culture. She has different packages available to choose from which include meals and airport pick up/drop off. She will also tailor her time with you to meet your personal preferences and may be available to travel to other provinces if needed.
Great Wall of China in Beijing with Angela. We rode the chairlift up, then climbed for awhile and took the toboggan back down.
Please let me know if you have any questions about our experience with Angela by emailing me at WaitingChildInfo@gmail.com