Tuesday, October 25, 2005

BTDT

Okay, let me start this post by saying these are the things I would do again and do differently if I was adopting LYDIA again. Each adoption is different. What I found worked and didn’t work for this child in this place during this time under this circumstance. Change any one thing in the equation and I could be saying the exact opposite; however, I thought I would share what I found…just in case it helps another in their journey to China.

First off, check and double check your flight reservations. Also make sure you prebook your seats as soon as possible. It was only by the grace of God and the goodwill of many individuals that Russell and I made it to China and got to sit with each other the entire way. We were not supposed to be sitting together, but kind people moved and accommodated us the entire trip. One couple even gave us their first class seats. However if I were to do it again, I’d have been more proactive on this issue.
Also we booked a seat for Lydia on the trip home. I would sooooo do this again. We needed the space. Flat out…I have no idea how we would have survived without the extra space with a fussy one year old.

Next…my agency told us not to worry about getting Chinese currency before we left and we could get it at the hotel. Well if you’ve read my blog you know it didn’t work that way. Play it safe, $100 goes a loooooooooong way in China. Just change over $100, heck even $50 will probably do ya. I was very glad Russ changed some money over in Tokyo, we would have been stuck without it.

My luggage was way underweight and I had (just about) everything I needed. I had too much of some stuff actually. For instance…formula. Just go and buy those individual packets. One box. Take about 4-6 packets and that should more than do you. Formula is easy to obtain and your child isn’t going to like yours. I’ve tasted American formula. It tastes like stale icky stuff. I’ve tasted Chinese formula and it tastes like sweet milk. Seriously, I’d drink it! Unless the child is famished they are not going to take your stuff without your having weaned them off it. I bought two HUGE containers of formula to bring home so I could start mixing asap in order to wean Liddy off the good tasting stuff. So far so good.

I also brought too many diapers. I brought 30 Huggies—about 15 too many. You really only need enough to get you through a day. The Pampers in China are good. I’ve heard how bad they were, but they worked fine for me. I will say this though…get the kind in the GREEN package—not the red package stuff. The green one was great, the red was crap. Russell remarked there was no difference in the packaging besides the colour and I said “Yes…to us, because we don’t read Chinese…but there is a difference!” All he could say to that was “Touche.” Also…about diapers…I didn’t try them because I found them as we were leaving and didn’t need them, but there are imported Huggies at the Wal-marts. Yes you read that right IMPORTED!

As for supplies…I did not bring enough snacks…not for us or the baby and snacks for little ones are hard to find. They do not have Cheerios there and Cheerios are very suspect by the Chinese people. Seriously!! I was strongly approached at the park about feeding Lydia Cheerios and the women were very disapproving. Also our coordinator tried to blame Cheerios on the cold symptoms running rampant among our 13 Guangxi babies. They wouldn’t be so sick if we just kept our rooms around 85 degrees, put blankets on them all the time even when they are hot and we should not feed them the diabolical snack food of America! (I am NOT making that up.)

I also wish I’d brought more Liquidlyte packets. (Pedialyte in powder form.) I actually brought plenty, but I was unaware many babies do not like apple. (I had no idea this was even possible.) If you try to feed my daughter anything apple flavoured she will look at you like you are trying to kill her and begin to wail. (We have a lot of grape juice here now at home…much bigger hit.) I’m glad I had the fruit punch stuff, but I’d bring that exclusively if I could now. The babies sweat a lot. It’s hot and everyone wants them swaddled constantly…bring it…you will not regret it! I’d also recommend powdered Gatorade for the grownups. I went to China in the fall and it was 75 at the coolest and 95 at the hottest. It was usually closer to the hottest…sweating will happen even in October.

I had a ton of drugs for baby…most of which got tossed because Liddy has drug allergies we were not aware of until we got to China, but I’d take it all again in a second. We used the Benadryl (which makes her hyper!) the saline spray (a GODSEND and made me quite the envy of the group) and Tylenol for teething pain. I did not have tons of drugs for us and that was a mistake. I should have brought cold and flu meds…wish I could go back in time and do that now. It would have made Russ’ life a lot easier. And I apologize to him publically for forgetting them as he was the one whose cold was the worst of the three of us.

I was glad I brought formula and diapers to Gotcha day. I knew my child for less than 5 minutes and she had the worst poo in our very short history together. She was STRESSED and famished. I had a prepared bottle and Lydia sucked that bottle dry!! Even though it was the poo tasting formula she wanted it and drank it greedily. Now, the next day, she’d have none of it…but that day, that time, she was just hungry and stressed enough to take anything.

As for bottles…all I can say is I love my platex nursers. I took the ones with the plastic inserts ( not the drop ins) and it packed great. Make sure you bring enough inserts and nipples though, they do not do the nursers in China. They were great though because at the end of the long day…I just had nipples to wash…very very nice!!
Also bring a variety of speeds of nipples. I wish I had. All mine were fast. Mistake. I know many say the babies are used to hot stuff thrown down their throats…not so much for Lydia and the other girls. They took their time and fast nipples were too fast. Also my thermos…good thing…was too big. I had a thermos for all day. Try one for 2 meals…it takes less space and I almost always used bottled water anyway.
I brought two changing pads and glad I did. One was in my diaper bag for outings. And trust me, you use it—no changing stations in pit toilets…you change baby on the sink and floor a lot. The other I used in our room as the changing station.
Charmin rolls…the travel kind are a must…about 3 should do ya. I had to use a pit toilet…some have TP…some do not. The one I used did not—but I was prepared. THANK GOD!!

Wow, this is long…I’ll go now…if I think of more later I’ll add it.

8 Comments:

Blogger Bonnie, Clyde, Bubba Jr. & Charleigh-Jo said...

Good advice, thanks!

B from MSN
http://www.blsthomas.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 2:40:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Believe it or not, I had some similar experiences when we went to Sicily with Lew (he was 6 months old). REally learned a lot about what we take for granted as being readily available vs what we could obtain there locally. We were in a small town nowhere near a tourist mecca and had major problems getting diapers (and quality was HORRIBLE), etc. So glad we brought along formula (they rarely use it there since most breast feed) etc. The drugs were good to have on hand too. My advice---take all things you never think you'll need and if you don't need it you're a step ahead. If you do need it you'll be patting yourself on the back for being so astute! Laura

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 2:58:00 PM  
Blogger LindaJ said...

Thank you so much. it really helps tons!!!
LindaJ

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Salome's Mom said...

Thanks for the advice. It is extremely useful for parents who are making this trip. I am glad to know that the diapers in the "green" package are good. I was worried about having to bring a ton of diapers. Also what you mentioned about having money at hand is something I had not thought of.

Thank you,
Yoli

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 8:57:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa~~ said...

Thanks for all the great advice. It is wonderful to learn from those who have btdt.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Sparky said...

You are the best!! Thanks for the tips. I have bookmarked this post to refer to later when we get ready for travel. By the way, your daughter is really something.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 7:49:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Lissa, thanks so much. This was very informative for those of us still waiting in line to go down the slide.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger PinkDevora said...

Great, great tips!!! Wow. I've added your comments to my ever-growing Packing List file.

Thanks, and thanks.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 4:38:00 PM  

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