This here internet thing is truly wonderful! I belong to a few groups of mamas who are waiting to bring children home from Korea. Another adoptive mama that I met on Facebook announced she was finally heading to Korea to bring her daughter home (yay!!). I quickly asked if she'd carry a care package for us and she agreed!
The MPS (Mama Postal Service) comes to the rescue once again. Some agencies allow waiting families to ship packages to Korea, but ours does not. They also do not carry packages, so the only way for us to get something to Dongsaeng is to send it with another traveling family.
We needed to get things together quickly and be thoughtful about what we were going to include. Because someone else is carrying this in their luggage and then has to lug it over to the agency in Korea, it needs to be small and compact. Somehow the gallon ziplock bag rule came to be a MPS standard (I think it was a requirement from another agency).
But our main goal was to send him some things that would help him get to know us, let him know we love him, and that will help him make the transition. You know...pretty much stuff the world into that tiny plastic bag.
After much laboring and debating and shopping, here's what we decided to send:
(Bottom left, clockwise)
- B. Hellophone: My good friend M. gave Little Man one of these phones shortly after he came home and he loved it! It has plenty of buttons to press and you can record a short message. LM decided to say Annyonghasayo (hello in Korean) to his new brother!
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar Soft Book: One of LM's favorite bedtime reads in a soft, chewable edition.
- A very special flannel blanket made with love by Grandma!
- A new outfit from Gymboree. Couldn't resist the cheesy Little Brother onesie!
- Sophie The Giraffe Teething Ring: Little Brother is cutting teeth, so this tiny-sized Sophie was just right.
- Knuffle Bunny: A tiny plushie From the Elephant and Piggie book series.
- Sassy Look Book: A photo album. Personally, I think this tiny look book is a bit on the small side, but space was getting tight! It has 8 pages so there are photos of us and our home here for Little Brother to look at. We'll be sending more photos of us in our next care package.
- Disposable Cameras: Of course I had to send something to take photos, but really, most Koreans are way ahead of Americans in terms of technology so this is sort of like sending a stone tablet to write on. However, it's an easy way to send the message that we cherish and value photos. We did the same with LM and his foster mother used the disposables, but she also shot a ton of photos with her great camera and had them printed and put into a giant photo album. Hope Little Brother is as lucky!
- Thumb drive: We included a thumb drive (see the tiny white thing?) that has videos of us on it. We were hoping that they will have a way to play this for Little Brother so he'll be able to get to know us a bit better.
- Foster family gifts: Oh yeah, and when that ziplock was filled to the gills, I also included a package of Starbucks VIA and two giant gourmet chocolate bars. And a thank-you letter (which we had translated) thanking them for caring for our son, and introducing our family.
I couldn't help smiling as I packed that special package. Thank goodness I got my super packing skills from my Mom! Every square inch of that bag was stuffed.
And while I packed it, I started to get very excited. Dongsaeng would be holding something we had actually picked for him! Our journey to him has been filled with stops and starts and anxious worries. He just seems so far away and I haven't really felt connected to him yet.
Shopping together for the care package and talking about what Little Brother would like made me feel like this is actually going to happen!! It started to seem tangible and real. And finally, there is finally a connection between us than just paperwork. I just feel so happy thinking about him snuggling with his new blankie, or hearing Little Man's voice on the telephone.
Little Man gave the bag one last hug before we shipped it out to the traveling mom, and on Oct. 10, she hand delivered our package to SWS in Korea!
Hooray for the MPS!!
And in the Something To Look Forward To category...another good friend who is waiting to bring her daughter home from Korea will be traveling soon. Starting to gear up for care package #2! Any ideas???