Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tips & Packing for Ethiopia

So these pics are in reverse order....sorry....sometimes I forget. Anyway, this is me making another peace offering trying to get Jonathan to not run away from me :)
I sat down next to him, and slowly got a little bit closer.......
Yeah, clenched in his left hand he has a gummy.....yeah......he thought it was something to hold and not eat- now he knows differently :) He was totally avoiding any eye contact with me at all.
Here I am talking with him, singing to him, and he says- yeah right lady I don't know who you are, but you are free to go away now....thanks.
Yep, that pic from the last post where he is sleeping....hew woke up and instantly started crying! Yeah- who are you? Why are you here? I love my special lady who takes care of me- please leave! Bye,bye.....

So I haven't blogged for a few days..not that unusual, but I did have to take our Joshua into have surgery yesterday. He has had a herniated belly button since before he came to us at age 3. But due to the foster care thing, and the uncertainty of the situation that went of for 3 years.......

So a few weeks ago he was wrestling with Andrew (big surprise)- he said it was hurting him. So we made an appointment, and we did the surgery. So it was a long day involving me getting up at 4:20am to be at the hospital by 6am......getting home around 4:30pm.....and my boy had a hard time especially when they said I couldn't go with him any further.....really threw him for a loop. He is my baby boy- yes I have 4 of them. He bonded to me as we had to go through the trials of 3 years in foster care, and is very attached! So even though we had talked about it, went over everything, it was scary...can't say I blame him at all.

He is doing pretty well, but hasn't gotten his HUGE appetite back yet......and was upset that I wouldn't let him go out to play today....because I know he would try to climb trees, jump off the playground, etc.

So I had a request for packing & travel here is a list....which I may add to as I will talk about our last trip. Note I am doing this to pass the time, because as mentioned in the last post - I am homesick for Naomi!!!!!

1) Take the advice of packing a little bit of everyone who is going, and your child or children's clothes in EVERY piece of luggage including your carry ons!!!!! Yep, some of our travel buddies didn't do this and they only had carry ons until a couple of days later. No fun, but hey at least that gave our group the opportunity to share as a Body Of Christ what we had. So that was wonderful, but I am sure not fun for them. In our group of 6 families - 3 had lost luggage!

2) Take those comfort foods- if you like a certain drink- like MT DEW (for me) put it in the checked luggage. Even just a few plastic bottles - which I recommend for those times when your luggage gets thrown around. Not that it happens....he he he. Take some candies, granola bars, etc. Because that will keep you going if you are a picky eater or your body is going through culture shock.

3) Take paper- to journal....even if you don't normally do this. You will want to because this is for your child for you, and for sharing with others later.

4) Take some sleeping med of some kind. I have gone to England a number of times....where there is a 6 hour difference and not had that many problems. But when you are in a time zone with even more hours difference, and the call to prayer happens at 5am, and there are dogs barking, etc. You will have major sleep deprivation. So take something- I hate taking any meds ever, but this is more of a necessity.

5) Take meds for you and your child(ren). Like cold meds, advil, tylenol, anti- diar., tums, anything else you might use- even if not often!!! Oh yeah, on the packing list, and I somehow forgot, but again a travel buddy was able to help us out with cold med for Jonathan. I will be bringing a prescription for Naomi if at all possible too, because Jonathan needed one, and we didn't have anything.

6) Take a list of those you want to get gifts for (don't forget yourself too)- those who have helped you along the way, those looking after children at home, future gifts for your child as they grow up....etc. Maybe I will do a post on items we brought home etc...that could give you ideas. Everything there was really reasonable!!!!

7) Of course you will be taking plenty of items with you for donations!!!! We have already started looking for sales on stuff needed :) Ask your church, sunday school classes, children's classes, youth dept, co-workers. etc.

8) Take games to play, and things to do with the person/people who are with you, as well as things to do with your child.

9) Your Bible of course- since this is a Spiritual Journey that requires you to be armed!!! I'm just saying that this is a Spiritual Battle against a force that is not going to be happy that you are brining a child into a home where they will be loved, prayed for, brought up in the Word, taught about Christ, and given a hope and future in GOD!!!! So prepare your heart and mind for that. God will use this trip in an amazing way to teach you sooo much....take that opportunity! I may be hard, but sooooo worth it.

10) Comfortable clothes. You don't have to impress others, just be you. (without spaghetti straps or that kind of thing of course.)

11) We put a few movies, and tv shows on our IPOD, as well as many pics of our kiddos at home. Helped me because I just don't leave my babes- ever!!! So it was sooo hard being gone so long. Plus my worship music brings me a lot of comfort.

12) Simple things of course- your alarm clock, toothbrush, paste, hair stuff, soap, etc. All of those personal items you usually pack anytime you go somewhere.

13) Camera & loads of extra batteries & Video as well!!!!!!!

14) Hand sanitizer & those sanitizing wipes for cleaning everything....because you can't trust the water to do that.....

15) I would also recommend bringing at least some bottled water in your checked luggage- for the first evening as you want to brush your teeth before going to bed, or just have something to drink, or as you get up and want something before you are acclimated to the whole hotel yet.

I would also write down a list at least a few weeks prior- even if you aren't a list person. That way as you think of things you may want or need while you are aren't panicking at the last minute when your nerves are all over the place :) Then your brain will definitely get lost in the shuffle.

I would recommend a luggage weigher thing- you can get one at Target for $10. That way you know what luggage is overweight and can change things around as needed.....although someone on the listserv for AGCI said something about a letter? I think it was for donations that you are taking- so you can get fees waived etc. GREAT IDEA!!

That's all for now......... :)


  1. Keep those ideas it! Will be adding diet coke and water to my checked bag. AND I will be buying the luggage weigher thingie.

    I hope your son feels better soon!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for this! Praying for ya'll and especially for your little guy as he recovers!

  3. I am loving these posts! We are so excited and anxious to be with our little one. I am making lists all over the place. Do you have your dossier in? I just can't seem to remember where you are at? T

  4. Hope Joshua is well and that he can climb those trees soon. You did the right thing, we know how boys are ;) Cannot wait for you guys to be with Naomi!

  5. Great list!!! Also wanted to say thank you for being a constant friend during my journey. Your words of encouragement and affirmation along the way will NEVER be forgotten. Believe it or not, when I think of our journey to our baby--you will always be one of the people that comes to my mind! How thankful I am for those God has brought in my life through AGCI, the blog world and simple, sweet comments! Thank you for your constant encouragement! I have needed it...and God has used you in my life!

  6. GREAT tips! My greatest takeaway, get started on the list now b/c I will be a nervous wreck closer to travel. Hope your little guy heals quickly!

  7. GREAT list ... but, you can't take bottled water in your carry-on. Hopefully you can buy some at the airport at your final destination.

    Last year I even bought a drink in the secure area, after getting off of one plane and waiting for my next plane, and they wouldn't let me take it on the next plane. Ugh! So, be careful about what is in your carry-on.


  8. Thanks for the note. I went blank and couldn't remember if the dossier had gotten sent off or not yet. Pray you hear about a court date soon! Tara

  9. OOOPS! I had a brain fart....he he can't take bottled water in your carry on's that would break the 3-2-1 laws. You can however take bottled water in your checked luggage (as well as other drinks you may want). That's what I meant, and I corrected it in the list above...thanks Laurel :)

  10. Love the pics! And love the list, great job! Praying for full recovery for your little man!

  11. Travel packing tips assist you to efficiently organize your travel things. Put shoes in first. Fill in any gaps with underwear and socks. Add layers of rolled clothing so that you can fit as much as possible in one suitcase. Put bags of toiletries and other items between the layers. Pack tight. Books can be packed in the outer compartments to create a shell-like protection.