Over the course of the last year and a half, I have seen a lot of families receive their referral, go on a shopping spree, pack half their house into a suitcase and head of to China to pick up their child. It reminds me of the time when I was pregnant with my daughter Leah. I was overwhelmed after walking into the local Babies-R-Us by all the stuff you think you need when you have a baby.

The necessities are obvious. Right away we bought an infant car seat, a stroller, some diapers and formula. I also bought way too many little baby clothes, not realizing that everyone is going to give me more baby clothes at my shower and after the baby has been born. I even insisted that my husband buy me a boppy pillow (which was hardly ever used).

Now it is time to shop again and what have I bought? A couple rattle toys for the care package. That’s it. Of course, I have all of Leah’s old clothes that I hope the baby will be able to fit into. But I haven’t purchased one diaper, one bottle, or anything else I need. There are possibly three reasons for this.

  1. I can’t believe it is happening. I am the type of person who doesn’t get excited about life altering experiences until it is just about to happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about them. It’s just that I am pretty calm and at the last minute BAM.
  2. I don’t really need this stuff now. I have received a number of e-mails from women who have traveled to this same province that I am going to. All of them bought the baby necessities after arriving at the hotel in China. They didn’t have to drag all this stuff with them. In fact, I heard from one lovely woman who said that she only took three outfits for each family member (herself, her husband and son), all which fit into three backpacks and one carry-on. Now that is the way my husband likes to pack. I don’t know if I could get away with just three outfits though, but we are going to try to pack as light as possible.
  3. Spending money? What money? My check writting hand has a cramp in it. As soon as you get your referral, money seems to fly out of your windows. After months of not thinking about the adoption cost, you are hit with one bill after another.

So, once my husband gets paid again and we have a bit of spending money, I plan on purchasing a few of those basics like formula and diapers. The other stuff, as I found out after Leah was born, really can wait.

One thing I have done was pick out fabrics for the nursery. You can read more about that here.


10 Responses to “Unprepared”

  1. 1 Kristin June 25, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    That is a great idea! If I ever have a second, we will do things SO very differently! I had so much unneccessary stuff with my first!

  2. 2 Johnny June 25, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    You forgot to mention that you’re now required to buy a new mini-van!

    3 days of clothing for each family member? Outstanding!

  3. 3 Katie J June 25, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    I’m not that kind of a packer, but I think you really can get away with less clothing. The laundry services (definitely in Guangzhou) were plentiful and very inexpensive. If you know others in your group you can each share in the more “out there” things to take. Someone brought a tube of anit-itch stuff, someone else brought a tube of scabies cream and so on. The less stuff, the better for the most part. I did take stacking cups from IKEA and those were great, compact toys for Buttons. I do recommend taking cold meds and a few different varieties of tummy helpers. Almost everyone (thirteen families) on our trip had some sort of stomach thing at various times.

    Yeah, I’m not too good at packing lightly.

  4. 4 Lisa June 25, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    I am feeling quite stressed myself with all the packing that needs to be done! I keep telling myself to breathe!

  5. 5 Perrin June 25, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    I just found your craft blog and I love it. I also love the linkies you have listed there as well.

    Don’t worry too much about the packing, it seems so overwhelming when you start but then you get a handle on it and nowadays you can really get almost everything while in China. I hear you on the burning money thing after referral, we bled green from June of last year until Sept. when we completed the trip. Ouch! Worth every penny and trip to Target though.

    Can’t wait to see you bring home your adorable newby! Thinking great thoughts for you and your family.

  6. 6 sassyfrass June 26, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    As everything else in life, I way overdid the packing to China. Once I was there, I so regretted it.

    It’s so smart to wait. Everything will come together just fine.

    Plus, what I discovered is that until you meet her, you just don’t know. Alot of things. And you will change your mind from what you might think you need now. After you meet her, you will see things so differently. I’d even hold off on the formula. She may be allergic to what you buy. A lot of babies are. Buy while there.

    Fun, fun!! You are going to China, girl!!! 🙂 hee hee

  7. 7 Kristin June 26, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    we travelled in december and went from beijing to jiangxi to guangzhou… so from 30 to 60 to 75 degree weather! we had parkas and bathing suits… boots and flip flops! however, what it all worked out to was 4 suitcases… one for hugh, one for me, one for the boys and one for eva… eva’s suitcase also held the gifts as well as diapers, wipes and some baby food… i was glad that i had the huggies ultratrim diapers as they didn’t carry that specific type, but the wipes weren’t necessary (we used washcloths anyway as she had a pretty nasty case of diaper rash) and she wouldn’t drink from the avent bottles so we picked up a few from wal-mart and used those… we also bought a stroller in guangzhou… as far as clothes for her, i stuck to only a few things and thank goodness i did because she was so much tinier than her paperwork had indicated…

    ok, done babbling!

  8. 8 Sheri June 26, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Stephanie!! I didn’t know until just now that you’d received your referral!!!

    OMG – Maya is the most beautiful baby!! I’m so very happy for you all!


    Sheri, Mirielle & Maelynna

  9. 9 Wendy June 28, 2007 at 3:30 am

    Have fun spending!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to see pictures. I know I have probably said that a zillion times but I am so excited for you!!!

  10. 10 Maryellen July 2, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Isn’t funny to have waited such a long time and then have feelings of being unprepared! The medicines on the lists alone sent me in to shock. I am going to talk to the kiddos doc before I buy anything. Good luck with your Zen shopping:)


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