Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Countdown-- 10 days till we board the Train (I mean plane)

Time is flying! Only 10 days left until John and I say goodbye to our 10 children and drive down to LAX. It is a bittersweet thought. Sure I will miss my kids, and I will probably wonder constantly how they are all faring, but as John puts it, in a way, this is a vacation away from the kids. Is that bad?

I am more calm as of now, and I am not sure that is good because I feel like I am getting nothing accomplished. I mean after all, we do have 10 days before we leave and that's plenty of time, right?

I guess maybe I just don't know where to start. I have written the note that allows my friend to seek medical attention for the kids, and I have bought the food and 30 foil casserole dishes to make up some freezer meals for my family to eat while we are gone. But what next? Pack? Buy gifts? Print pictures? What exactly should I be packing in my carry on? What kinds of foods/snacks should I take? What should I pack for Dennis? What kinds of things will they let us do with him? I am packing the frog, some bubbles, a blow up ball, a picture book, but what else?

I am sure looking forward to your comments/advice on this post.

Oh and by the way, the raffle ends tomorrow and I will be drawing a name around 7pm PST. So get a ticket if you would like a chance to win the mug. It is not to late. A few of you tried to use RME and it never worked. Please email if you are still interested in participating in the raffle or if you know that RME didn't work for you. Thank you so much.


Amy said...

Hi Christine!
You can get alot of toys in Ukraine - though they may not be of great quality - they will last you long enough to get through a flight! Some other really easy things to take on the flight would be crayons (even at his age - he might enjoy it!) if you can find little figurines (like the soft plastic Playskool ones) those would be nice. Finger puppets or soft felt type puppets, beanie babies - quiet toys would be best - as you never know how the noise level will be on your flight! hint hint! One thing that REALLY saved us on our flights (Amsterdam to Seattle - 10 hours!) was some suckers. Our daughter (then 2) had one or two with us while in the baby house and LOVED them... they kept her quiet on the flight for about 15 minutes a time! (we also handed them out to other (screaming) children on the flight... which gave EVERYONE some quiet time!
Once you meet Dennis and spend more time with him - you'll have a better idea - and you can get alot of stuff there... you might want to ask other families who traveled to the same baby house where some of the toy stores or department stores are...
Best wishes!

Meredith said...

Hey there, I'll try to write you a long e-mail tonight :) I'm so excited for you!! They have some things to do but you'll visit in a big playroom with some swings, a ball pit, and a few other toys in it. We left our toys there as I know a few others did too so there might be some spinning tops and that sort of thing. That is-- if they let you take him out of the 'infirmary' area. I HOPE THEY DO!!!! Visiting in that area is a little more difficult as you can't really get down on the floor (or at least we didn't want to in there). He was close to walking tho so you might be able to get down with him after all. Mine were not sitting and I didn't want them on the floor. Try an Aquadoodle mat where he won't get anything all over himself or you maybe :) bubbles are fun so long as you don't get them on the bare floor (slippery). A container of Playdough that is really tiny might be a good idea. He'd probably love a soft ball to play with. And maybe something little you can leave with him- a tiny blanket or a toy or something- so he has something when you go home. There are toy stores there but they're not exactly inexpensive. Not too bad though. There are two grocery stores almost next door to each other and the "red one" (vs the blue one) is larger and has more selection including some kids' stuff, cardboard books in Ukrainian (or is it Russian?) and that type of thing. I will try to get you a phone number too :) A great guy we met that's a taxi driver but speaks English- we got to be friends while there. I'll write more later when the kids are in bed, and I'm still going to send you some pic's and a letter!! I've got to buy some printer ink tonight so I can print the pic's :)

I can't wait!! I'm so excited for you!


Chelley said...

I have had no luck entering the mug contest! I ended up donating money though the rainbow site insted.

DoveFamily said...

Don't pack one suitcase w/your items & one w/hubby's. Mix things up, in case one bag makes it & the other doesn't. And pack your SDA clothes in your carry-on, in case neither makes it initially!

Lucky you, going in warm weather. It will be a lot easier to pack without overcoats, sweaters, and snow boots! I still would suggest using space bags - it was amazing how much space they really save!

We took travel-size play-do (a 6 pack I think) and it was a hit. A hot wheels airplane also helped in talking about what was coming up on our trip home. Small stuffed animals are nice, and we were glad to have some small candies - ours were Smarties. Many also suggest taking a beach ball as it packs easily and is good when children have limited small motor skills.

Good luck!!

Nancy said...

Hi Christine! I'm excited that you leave in just 10 days.

I am somewhat unfamiliar with the adoption process in long will your trip be? Do you need to go on 2 trips?


Laurel said...

Oh Christine, I feel your excitement! Like Amy said, you can buy anything you need or want for Dennis there - no need to pack it from here. Breakfast bars that don't crumble are a good snack to take, as are tortilla and peanut butter! Those peanut breakfast bars at Costco work great. We just threw them in all the little nooks and crannies of our luggage. We also took instant oatmeal that we could just add hot water to for those mornings we were on the run. We took Mac and Cheese out the box and packed it in a zip lock. Those came in handy for those times we were safely "delivered" to our new apt. without a driver or a way to know where the store was!!! We also took Cream of Wheat.

We took the Aquadoodle mat and water markers that meredith mentioned. It was light, easy to pack, and very fun for the girls.

After you are there and in the middle of the difficult process, I will remind you that you are "taking a vacation from your kids!!!" :-) It definitely will not be a vacation - an adventure yes, bonding time with each other, yes, a faith-building experience, yes, but NOT a vacation. :-)

I can't wait for you to meet your little guy and send me pics!!!

Chelley said...

hey dont worry about the tickets! I just so happy to be able to help! Even if there wasnt a mug!!!

I am getting excited for you!! I cant wait to see you all together!!!

MMrussianadoption said...

Bubbles is a must to take. The best ones are the ones you get at the Gymboree class/store. They come with these great bubbles that dont pop unless you pop them and a cool blower that he can use too. touch and feel books are something we wish we had brought more of. Kevin liked the Baby Einstein soft blocks. There are four in the package and they each do something different. one jingles, one vibrates, one has a mirror, etc. he even had the darn red one when we came to pick him up two months later. he was not letting anyone put their paws on that one. bring gerber puffs or cheerios from home. at least in russia, they only had honeynut cheerios and we were afraid to give him the honey at that early age due to possible allergies. they didn't have the plain. playdoh, could be good. how about those vtech books that sing the nursery rhymes or those maraccas taht say things (not sure of the brand, but Olivia loved em) Dont forget the throw away camera to leave there and a stuffed animal or blankie.

oh btw, i sent you a letter in the mail. let me know if it made it there.

adoptedthree said...

Christine just remember to take anything you can't leave behind with you (not including living things or furniture :) and you will be fine! Bring few toys if you need some you can buy them otherwise everyday items make great play toys!

The must have for me and will be good for Dennis too- a small travel pillow we bought the blue and white stiped ones from walmart for less than 5.00. A must have for babies in a car and for tired heads of parents!

Ashley said...

It is so exciting that you are leaving so soon! It is going to fly by! These are all great suggestions!

tammy said...

I'm excited for you! It sounds like you've received a lot of good travel advice. Best of luck to you! Do you have to make more than 1 trip to the Ukraine?

Stefanie said...

Hey Christine, So glad you got the tickets worked out. Laying over in Moscow...not fun!! As far as gifts go. Money is the absolute best way to go. Considering the workers in the orphanage are being paid tragically low, $25 or $50 goes a very long way. They are struggling to put food on the table. I saved myself a ton of aggravation trying to find gifts and then back ache carrying the gifts around and making sure I had enough. My son had 3 primary caregivers. On our last day I privately gave each one a small money gift. They were so happy (and did not expect it). Lots of good ideas here for toys/foods.

His Hands His Feet Today said...

Cheerios! Definately take Cheerios!!!!
Congratulations! I am thrilled for you! :)

Irina said...

Hello, Christine!
I want to give small advices similarly :)
It is better to take small, inflatable or folding toys which are intended for children younger Dennis. It can be purchased on Ukraine.
Be ready to absence of hot water and conditioners in apartments. Have easy clothes accordingly.
A taxi-driver talking in English it is a large help, but he can be avid. Try to use services of other drivers for comparison.
Teenagers often well know English. They will be pleased to give help.

Ruslan and Inna said...

Congratulations! I haven't been visiting other blogs lately so I just found out you guys have an appointment and it's only 10 days away. I am very excited for your family! You are truly a hero and I'm very happy that Dennis will have a lovely family.

Chelley said...

Have you ever seen the
Usborne Touchy-Feely Board Books

We love them in our house and have too many to count!!!

here is link

my kids have always wanted me to read them over and over and love to touch the different parts on the page

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