Questions To Ask The Orphanages

Ok, so we are getting close to travel (within in the next 4-6 weeks) and Steven and I have decided to request our orphanage update on each child.  We are only allowed one, so we waited until about a month from travel so we would have up to date information and accurate measurements for wardrobe planning.  I may have to bring each of them a coat since it will be November.  Anyway, below is a list of questions I compiled.  I have taken some of the questions from other adoptive families’ suggestions.  I left out questions like how long has he/she been in care?  Where were they found?  Etc. because China is very good about record keeping.  I have the information on both kids about where they were found, by whom, a copy of their “finding ads” in the paper where they show them as being abandoned and ask for anyone who knows them to come forward.  I also have a lot of medical information on both.  So, I really only need to know social information.  Here are the questions I am going to ask each orphanage about Alex and Lillian Meng.  I am hoping I get good information back.  We shall see!  If you are an adoptive family and have landed on my blog, feel free to use any of the below questions.   Also, I omitted their Chinese names for protection.


Does Alex have a nickname?  What do you call him?

What makes him happy?

What makes him unhappy?

Does he have any fears or what is he afraid of?

What comforts him when he is scared?

Does he have a favorite toy?

What times of day does he eat?

What does he like to eat?

Does he have any favorite snacks (cookies, juice, fruit?)

Does he play well with other children?

Does he take a nap?

Is he toilet trained?

Does he wet the bed at night?

Who are his friends?

What are his clothing measurements?  How tall is he and how much does he weigh?

Is there anything we should tell him as he grows up?  Any special stories?

What is he being told about his adoption?  Has he received photos of our family?

Is there anything else you would like us to know about Alex?  Please feel free to express any concerns or other information you would like us to know.

Lillian Meng:

Does Lillian Meng have a nickname?  What do you call her?

What makes her happy?

What makes her sad?

Does she have any behavior problems we should know about?

What does she fear or is afraid of?

What comforts her when she is scared?

Does she have a favorite toy or doll?

What times of day does she eat?

What does she like to eat?

Does she have any favorite snacks (cookies, juice, fruit?)

Does she play well with other children?

Does she take a nap?

Is she toilet trained?

Does she wet the bed at night?

Who are her friends?

Who is her caregiver?

What are her clothing measurements?  How tall is she and how much does she weigh?

Is there anything we should tell her as she grows up?  Any special stories?

What is she being told about her adoption?  Does she have our family photos?

Is there anything else you would like us to know about Lillian Meng?  Please Feel free to express any concerns or other information you wish us to know.

I can’t think of anything else.  Quite a few of our questions were answered via their medical records and file information we received earlier this year. So, I am asking questions that may help their transition into our family.  You will also note that I ask different questions to each orphanage.  Alex has been moved for the third time, so I know that he is not with the same caregiver.  Lillian Meng has had the same caregiver for four years and I wish to know more about her.  I have pictures of the nanny holding Lillian Meng in the orphanage.  I hope all my questions get answered!  We shall see! Wish us luck!



About perpetualrenovator

Preservationist, lover of all things old, scrapbooker, mom and wife. Questions? Email me at: Awarren1802@gmail dot com
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4 Responses to Questions To Ask The Orphanages

  1. KT says:

    Clothing isn’t sized the same in China as it is in the USA and they generally put clothes on them that are too big so they grow into them. Often, they get whatever clothes are available that day and all the kids share. Other times, your child will have their own little set of clothes. You just don’t know. You’re better off just sticking to the measurements. Definitely find out who their friends are and try to get pictures of these friends with your kids. My daughter didn’t have any toys, books or anything. She played outside and “danced” and played with some of the other children who did have toys. I didn’t see any toys in her room when we visited the SWI. Definitely find out what food they eat. My daughter keeps asking for something she calls “guah yee” and I have no idea what it is and I ask everywhere we go. She really misses this food.

    • perpetualrenovator says:

      My daughter is tiny. When we went to the Philippines a couple years ago, I was in heaven. I found all sorts of tiny clothes for her that I did not have to alter, hem, or sew on to get them to fit! I am hoping to get a few things while I am there.

  2. KT says:

    Today is my 6 month anniversary of adopting my daughter so I was watching her Gotcha Day video again and noticed something. When I asked about her best friend/foster brother, who has a name similar to your daughter, they pronounced Meng as Moong with the oo sound as in moon, but with a slightly more uh sound. I thought you might like to know this.

    • perpetualrenovator says:

      Thanks Kimi! My husband is a research nerd and he looked up the pronunciation of her name. We have been saying it all redneck MEEENG. Hehe…

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