Thursday, September 4, 2014

International shipping

One of the benefits of being matched early in the adoption process is being able to send care packages. However, international shipping is confusing. Thankfully my local post office was extremely helpful. Hopefully my daughter will get her care package in 2-3 weeks :). 

For those who are reading this and are adopting internationally, care packages are a great way for you to send your child something personal about yourself and the family they are about to join. I personally have been receiving numerous tips from others who've adopted internationally and this was highly recommended.  So if you're taking notes.... In my package to my daughter I included:
1. Clothes... Of course. It's an easy choice for children.  For appropriate seasonal clothing, I did study up on climate in the particular city my daughter resides and when seasons change there. I was already given measurements a few months back, so I sent two different sizes just in case. 
2. Lovie....  We call them lovies here, but any type of blanket the child can hang on to and sleep with. A comfort object. 
3. Gloworm.  Really any toy would do, but we have about three of these laying around so why not.
4. Photo album.  For my daughter's photo album I choose a Sassy baby photo book and placed pictures of her, myself, her brother, her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, etc in the book. I labeled each picture with the Chinese writing of who we were going to be to her. For obvious reasons it's helpful to send pictures of the family to your adopted child, but sending it with the Chinese discriptions and names gives the nannies at the orphanage an opportunity to tell your child who you are if they have a chance. I highly recommend this. 
5. Disposable camera. If you're like me and had to think about whether they even sold these in stores, you'd be happy to know that they still do.  This was recommended to me by my agency. With the camera I sent a note asking my daughter's nannies to capture pictures of her everyday life at the orphanage. This will give my daughter memories of her life before she came to America and will help her hold on to her Chinese identity.  I highly recommend this. Remember to write your child's name directly on the camera. 

A few other helpful care package tips:
1. Address the package in Chinese. It'll get there faster. Your adoption agency should be able to give you the address in Chinese. 
2. Purchase duplicates of everything you send. Even if you request the items be returned, it's not a garentee. So if your child gets really attached to the toy you sent and doesn't come with them when they leave, it's just another thing they've lost. Bring all duplicates to China when you pick your child up.