We sent a care package to our girl! You know, that crazy lady who started crying in the post office? Yeah, that was me. (And not just because I spent $90 on shipping and stamps!)
So, what was in our care package? I searched a lot of sites and talked to a few friends, and here’s what I ended up with:
-toddler backpack, labeled with her picture and Chinese name
-thumb drive, labeled with her picture and name
-toddler chewable vitamins, labeled with her name and a “1 pill/day” label (I had this translation checked with a native speaker, so if you want to copy and paste it, here it is: 1粒/天)
-a couple of motor skill development toys (the little girl in the car is Fisher Price, I found it at Target)
-some candy for the nannies (I didn’t verify this translation)
-A photo book from Shutterfly that my mom’s sweet friend translated for us. The translations are beautiful, and I’m frustrated with myself for not taking a picture! Hopefully we will see it again and it will be well-read. It was simple with few words and lots of pictures. A page of pictures of my husband and me, a page for my oldest son, a page for my younger son, a page for my daughter, page for grandparents, page for cousins, page for house, page for pets, etc.
-A soft blanket and little lovey that I stuffed in my pillowcase for about a month to make it smell like me. I know, that’s a little weird and probably won’t work, but I figured it was worth a try. I have another of that same blanket and lovey to take with us when we go get her. I read it’s great to send sleep-related things, if possible, to help ease the sleep transition. (Again, I feel like we’re in, “I don’t know, but it’s worth a try,” territory here. That’s all I have right now, so I’m going with it.)
-I also freaked out about how it’s cold in her province, but also not in a location where they would likely have heat in the orphanage. My logical husband gently pointed out that people stayed warm for centuries without heat. But, I sent two fleecy, warm outfits (in different sizes), mittens, a hat, and several pairs of thick socks to help her stay warm. None of it is anything I’m madly in love with, so I won’t be heartbroken if we never see it again.
Time-wise, this may be the only time we get to send a care package (plus it’s really expensive), so I wanted to get the most bang for my buck. I’ve heard it can’t be a very big box, or it won’t get through customs. I tried hard to balance sending what I wanted to send and cramming it in the smallest box it would fit in (maybe just larger than a regular shoe box). We are using Red Thread China for care package forwarding. Ann is translating a letter for us and is going to try to get updated measurements and pictures. Because I know I searched to find out what people ask, I will post our questions here. I used a document on a message board that I’m on to help me come up with these. Our agency told us that if we send too much, they probably won’t answer, so I tried to keep it brief. I learned in college about how Asian languages tend to communicate in a much more polite and round-about way than we do in America, so I tried to sweeten it up a bit. I have no idea if that is actually true, I just read it in a book at some point in college. As my husband said last night, you catch more flies with honey. (Worth a try?)
Here’s our letter:
Thank you for caring for [name]! Please tell her that we love her and can’t wait to be her Mommy and Daddy! We are so thankful for your time in reading this letter and opening the care package.
We would like to ask a few questions:
-Does she use a bottle?
-Does she drink formula? (If so, what kind?)
-What are her favorite foods?
-What is her eating schedule?
-Does she sleep in a crib or a bed?
-What are her favorite toys?
-What songs does she like?
-Is she especially close to any caregiver? Can we please get a picture of her with that person?
-Is she especially close with any other children? Can we please get pictures of her with her close friends?
If anyone would like to communicate with us, we can be reached at [email address]. Thank you, again, for your dedicated care of [name] and the other children.
We did also send specific questions about her life prior to being in the orphanage and about her special needs. I almost forgot to include those things in the letter, so I’m making a note here that I did include them, but did not want to share them on the blog. You can email me if you want more information.
Have any of you sent a care package? What did you send? What did I forget to ask?