Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What We’d Do Different

A number of people who are en route to adopting from China have asked us about our trip and about how they can prepare theirs. So I figured I’d post a few things here for others who are interested. Please note that our hindsight is based on our unique experience: our agency, ourselves, and our baby. Yours will be different. Nevertheless, I hope these items are of use to others.

* You won’t know exactly what size your baby is (the medical reports aren’t necessarily accurate, and even if they are, the most recent one is often from several weeks back), and there are plenty of places and times to buy cheap clothes, so just bring lots of onesies and a couple of outfits

* bring a thing of diapers but buy the rest while you’re in China – by then, you’ll know what size fits her, and buying extra diapers while you’re there means you can use whatever you don’t use to cushion the souvenirs in your suitcases

* the orphanage gave us a bag of the formula they’d been feeding Jada, and we were able to find the same formula in the grocery stores there so we could feed her what she was used to during the whole trip and into the first couple of days home, so don’t bother bringing much food (we brought Cheerios and she couldn’t eat them, so they served as snack food for me)

* other essentials to pack – lots of travel wipes, baby sunscreen and bug repellent, bibs, a blanket or two, reading materials for you, camera and extra film and batteries, pen and pad for taking notes

* other things you don’t need to pack nearly as much of as you might think – toys and books (1 or 2 will do), clothes for you (just wear the same things over and over again, and wash them while you’re there), shorts for you (unless you want to stick out like a sore American), plug converters (you’ll probably be staying in hotels that have plugs that are US-compatible)
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