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 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:
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?