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Adoption Travel Tips

This blog brought to you by my wise husband, because he was the brains behind all this travel stuff.
Alright, so you’ve made it this far.IMG_9963.jpg

You’ve accomplished paper work, and a date is given.

You’ve eaten lentil soup for dinner on Fridays nights instead of dining out, but in the process realized they’re pretty good!

To pay for your visas, you’ve cut out cable, put the tv in the garage, but noticed how much more time your family has together, and how much more your kids have been enjoying reading.

When you go to bed one night this week, a huge rip forms in your only pair of sheets.  Dang it!  Instead of being able to buy new ones, you pull out a needle and thread, and their good as new!  Then you notice that sewing is fun and suddenly you child’s room has new curtains from old fabric!

You sell most everything you own, and find your house is cleaner, and there is less stuff to organize.  “This is fun!” you say.

You can’t even afford Craigslist prices for a dresser, so you hoist yourself up at 5:30 in the morning to go garage sale-ing, and find one for $5.  Then a water table for $1, and some wooden puzzles for $2.  Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

You and your husband plant a garden together on the weekend, and find it’s way more fun than an afternoon at the newest movie theater.

You and your husband grow closer as a team of building and saving, creating and reclaiming, planting and growing, and you find that saving money to put towards the adoption actually brings a lot more joy and satisfaction and calm than before you were adopting and spending money to try and simulate the same feelings.  At the end of the day, you have worked a bit harder, and have dirt on your hands, but by then the crock pot is done cooking, and your dinner is ready, so enjoy–you’ve accomplished a lot today.

Crock Pot Soup and homemade bread


Pumpkin plant from last years seeds





And when the day approaches for you to LEAVE and meet your child that is waiting just for you, SOUND THE TRUMPETS!  Let rose petals fall from the sky (Well, unless they cost money, then the trumpets are just fine)


The flights are looooong, and when you arrive in country, you hit the ground running, so make it your goal to be as ready and rested as possible on the flight.  (We met Maria 2 hours after we landed from a 22 hours of traveling)

Stock up on anything that will get you as much sleep as possible.  Here what we got:
1. These awesome flight pillows.
2. Ear plugs
3. Eye masks
4. Serenity Essential Oil

5. And most important for flight AND stay, On Guard.  You need to keep your immunity up, stay healthy, you need to be at your best physically and emotionally.  Apply to the bottoms of feet each night for flying and staying.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar like the plague, they dry you out and don’t make you feel good in the long run.  I know, sad, even sugar, but seriously it won’t be good for sleeping or for the energy you need when you land.

Drink LOTS of water.  We brought a 24 ounce bottle with us, and filled it up at a fountain after getting through security.  We bought these electrolyte water enhancers, dropped them in and they were amazing.  And then each time your flight attendant Boris asks you what you would like to drink, you say, “water.”

We took these hippie homeopathic No-Jet-Lag pills only on the flight home, they seemed pretty legit, and we definitely had no jet-lag.

I am usually notorious for not sleeping on long flights, so I brought melatonin with us, and had one just after dinner, and I was OUT.  Plus, they help at night in country when it’s time for bed, but your body tells you it’s 10am.

Watch one movie so that you can eat your din din without interruptions, then get ready to sleep.  Pack a tooth brush, go to the bathroom and brush your teeth, you’ll be so happy you did.  I brought facial wipes for my face.

Take your shoes off before you sleep, cause your feet are going to swell up, floatation device not needed in case of water landing type of swell.  I wore Toms, and they were genius!  Easy to slip on and off for security, light weight, etc.

In Country

Have the best time of your life!  Don’t be sad, don’t be scared.  Be in the word each morning,  pray and give each day to God.  You are going to have an AMAZING time!

Still avoid sugar.

Don’t drink the water out of the tap (In Russia)

Bring a hotpot and pack some instant oatmeal.  It’s the perfect, cheap easy breakfast and will save you a bunch of money.  Bring some green tea too since you’ll already have hot water.

Look for ways to encourage and smile at people.  You are representing all the families with waiting children from America.  Make friends, tell jokes, give hugs, kiss snot-nosed babies–it will be time to go home in the blink of an eye, make the most of every opportunity.

If you feel a bout of homesickness one day, send out an email to close friends asking how their week is going!  When you hear back, you’ll feel good.  Pray, go for a walk.  Rent paddle boats out on the sea.

If you leave kids at home, don’t punish yourself for having a good time, because they are having a good time too.

Bring as many donations as possible, this is your big shot to give from the abundance of America, a very small, fleeting window in time, do the most you can.

Try all the local food, yum!

Stretch or do yoga in the morning, cause you will be in the car for a while on your way to the orphanage.

All right, that’s all I can think of!  Hopefully this helps.  Remember, this is a short time in you life, a memory you will savor forever.  There will be bumps and snag, be sure to roll with it.  Don’t tense up, but learn and live and enjoy.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Molly June 25, 2012, 3:22 am

    Love the list! Thanks for writing it. My only suggestion is to pack a bottle of water in our checked baggage, especially if you are adopting in the winter. We got really dehydrated when we first got to Moscow, because we went right to the hotel, were exhausted and a tiny bottle of water was $3. And, we had no clue were to go to get water AND it was freezing outside. Not a good combo!

  • Heart n Soul June 25, 2012, 11:05 am

    So excited for your journey … believing for unmerited grace and favour for you 🙂 All the best to you and your precious family.

  • Holly June 25, 2012, 8:27 pm

    For me- saline nasal spray on the plane is a must…my sinuses got so dried out the first 14 hour flight (china) that I was MISERABLE!! I love the idea of taking water in your checked bags Molly! 🙂 I take Ambien with me, a bit heavier than Melatonin but requires a prescription. I NEED it as I suffer frequently with insomnia anyway and China is 12 hours ahead of us here in NC. I have no experience with Russia or Ukraine or any other EE countries but in China, we take small American made gifts to give to the orphanage workers and the notary officials. Do you all do that too? I think they are most appreciated by the nannies as the govt. officials are a bit spoiled. 🙂 We also took protein bars for times when we had lots of appointments and no time to get food or if our palate was just not in the mood for more local food. I also take antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer as they are not available there. I am a bit of a germ-a-phobe! 🙂 Heartily agree to the eye mask and ear plugs and blow up head pillow!!We also take a small thing of laundry detergent for washing clothes in the sink. We don’t have access to a washer or dryer the 2 weeks we are in country and laundry can be a bit expensive to have done by someone else. What else? Skype! 🙂 Looking forward to your return trip!!

  • Molly June 25, 2012, 9:34 pm

    OOooh, this time we are bringing Tide PODS. Something we’d never use at home, but such an easy way to travel with detergent!

  • Heather June 26, 2012, 2:51 am

    Thank you so much for this list! I am pinning it for future reference!

    Blessings to you & your BEAUTIFULLY growing family!! I am SO excited for y’all!!

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