You see, my brain has gone missing.
Suddenly, with travel just a few days away, I can’t even think straight.
I’ve got visions of Poppy dancing in my head.
And beyond *thinking* about travel, I haven’t done anything.
My feet seem to be made of clay.
This is where you come in…
What do I need to NOT forget?
Any travel tips?
Any tips on China stuff?
Any and all advice would be reallly appreciated.
The Absent-Minded Mama
Camera….toilet paper….great walking shoes….I have only been to China 2 times, but always found what I had forgotten. You will do fine, you are a pro/veteran at this. Just go with faith that you DO know what you are doing. Can’t wait to see Miss Poppy in your arms and then home to her wonderfully big family.
Oh my……if YOU are asking for advice for China travel, you really must be at a lost. You’re a pro at this! 🙂
My 2 cents…..
Pics of the whole family for her to see and get used to…..
Some good chocolate……the stuff there is just not the same.
Portable DVD player for the plane…..with little girl videos for the flight home
A deck of Cards for you and Zach…..
A Yuan/Dollar conversion card…..
A blanket or pillowcase that smells like home for her to get used to…..
A baby washcloth // baby shampoo // baby lotion // diaper rash creme…
Some cute hair bows.
And if it were up to me…..and there was any way possible to travel with it…….I’d be packing 2 weeks worth of Diet Coke. 😀
I like to separate my packing into three categories. Essential, Non-Essential and Luxury.
Essential items: Passport, ID, money (both USD and RMB/HKD), passport belt, medication, paper work, basic items that will keep Poppy happy (toys, soothers etc.), camera, phone.
Non-essential (meaning if you forget, you can always buy them in HK or China): toothpaste+brush, whatever face stuff you use, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, clothes (for both you and baby), tissue and toilet paper, hair products…(etc)
Luxury: ipod/mp3, DVD player, more items for Poppy, laptop + adapter + converter…
You’ll be fine Stephanie, I think it’s just the pre-travel jitters you’re getting right? =)
Can’t wait until you get to meet and hold her. Wishing you, Zach and Poppy safe travels!
I’ve only been to China once but the one thing I learned was if I ever go again I will pack light, light, light….and I would purchase a stroller there for use in the airports.
you’re the pro!!!!!!
hmmm. snacks for you, poppy and growing boy?
swim suits– you could just swim in the humidity (gotta love GZ in the summer!)
and since you’ll be in GZ– is that where she’s from– guangdong? just a few clothes– laundry is blessedly cheap there
cipro for you the and the boy:)
nail clippers– my amy had toenails so long- they curled over her toes!
my kiddos LOVE the usborne “That’s not my….” books– touchy feely and small and cute!
small beach ball
small purse/bag for her stuff
leapfrog has some great small toys that make sounds- numbers– the phone is small..
movies for the dude and you to watch
ziploc bags for dirty diapers
bibs, small spoons
ahhh- miss traveling to china…. brings back memories!!!! can’t wait to follow your journey there!
Jeunesse Nageotte says
Can’t wait to follow your trip…we should be going by December Lord willing! I know this time we are packing much lighter, definitely taking a GOOD backpack with lots of compartments for the necessities, camera of course and one of those mei tai carriers even though our girl will be 2 1/2 by then…I know what you mean about your feet being like clay and you have something really important to do but all you can do is think about her. She IS PRECIOUS so that is expected but you’ll pull into gear real quick. Will be praying…
Grab a toothbrush and go, girl! 🙂 I can’t wait to see the pictures of Poppy in your arms!
So….I’ve never been to China but we’ll be going *hopefully* late next spring so I’ve got nadda in the advice dept. but I just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you and your family! I can’t wait to follow your journey to sweet Poppy! I’ll be praying that she transitions well, that attachment is a breeze, travel is bumpless ;), everything flows smoothly. Have so much fun, savor the moments and love on that girl with all you got! 🙂 Much love from KS! OH! And I’m totally writing down all the advice and putting it in my trusty file folder for CHINA TRAVEL! 🙂
but maybe you should re-read your own post. it might help clear your mind and remember the times past 🙂
Is it naughty of me that I am giggling that YOU are asking for travel advice?! Girl! You posted all about travel advice, I think it was on your trip with your sister! We all took notes! Can you find that post?!!?
Just a few reminders:
#1 paperwork. Don’t forget your paperwork (said in the voice of that old lady from Monsters Inc) esp. your power of attny for hubby!
#2 meds. whatever you’ve got for sleep and possible ailments…don’t forget those!
#3 sunscreen/bug spray. it is hawwt in GZ this time of year and BUGGY! for you and Poppy and Zach!
#4 I totally must have saline nasal spray on the plane. the air is sooo dry. I didn’t take any the first trip and was miserable.
#5 totally NOT a must but a good idea…take a package of deflated balloons. You can inflate one at a time and they provided a TON of play for Elaina and even for Tony and I….don’t judge we were BORED and had a child that needed to go out of the room as little as possible, so we laid on our little twin beds and had a contest to see who could keep the balloon up in the air longer…with our FEET in the air. WE also played balloon volleyball. We just MIGHT have been putting on a show for a certain grieving 2 year old who did stop crying to watch her new crazy parents act like fools. Hey. Whatever works 🙂
Visine, chapstick, moisturizing lotion, throat lozenges.
Crossword puzzles, inflatable toys, building blocks.
(If you are so inclined) snack food, instant breakfast food, water bottle.
Valerie A. says
I too have no advice having never been to China. Although I do find it fun that you still ask for other’s advice even though you ARE a pro … but every child, every trip, every blessing is a new adventure isn’t it? I will be praying for you and hope that you will be able to post and that there will be smooth transition for you both. I am so very struck by her lack of smile–oh my–I cannot wait for you to unlock it and soak it in! I will write down some of these suggestions and put them in my “HOPE file”–just in case ya know … maybe someday I could be in your shoes? 😉 –I Love the idea of taking a pkg. of balloons btw! My little non-adopted guy loves a travel brush from Target that folds up–it’s a great tactile thing for them to play with … okay, I guess I did have a suggestion. Oh yes, and M&Ms. She looks like a chocolate lovin’ girl.
Nicole A. says
I cannot yet unfortunately speak from experience, but I have a few ideas …
Camera, camera card, batteries! (A quick photo tutorial from you for Zach on the plane would pass some time and help him take some great first photos of you and Poppy!)
Pictures of the family for Poppy ~ laminated or in a little book for her.
And remember that the child you meet that day is not always fully indicative of the child you have actually been blessed with! (Remember Vivi’s stoicism and distance, for example.) Just love on her and praise God that she is finally in your arms, and I know she will eventually open up and be her true wonderful little self in no time! I know you can’t wait to see her smile!
Good luck! Your trip is SO soon! We will be praying for you!
All the best,
Nicole A., now in LA
Plenty of rest so Poppy can feel your love.
My mother (from Guangzhou) is always talking about the HEAT during the summer. And as I type this, I remember you’re a southern belle. So heat shouldn’t be too much of a problem! But really, it gets HOT, especially right now. Hot, humid, muggy. If you can, bring mosquito spray (my brother went around this time last year, came back with monstrous mosquito bites all over his body) or calamine lotion.
And (if any of you are going to be drinking milk. And you probably know this already but) the milk in China is a bit sweeter than it is here in America, so my mom bought some of the instant milk packets to take with her (it was also as a precaution to make sure that there weren’t any germs, etc. that my brother wasn’t used to.)
I am so excited for you!! I keep checking your blog to see where you are in the process 🙂 Good luck!! Are you setting up a travel site this time?
Bubbles and lots of Dum-dum lollipops (they were such a lifesaver on Gotcha Day). I took the Nuby sippy cup that had three interchangeable tops-one was a nipple, one was a kind of straw, and one was a regular sippy cup.
Heather Bednar says
Another family that traveled along side my family took bubbles. It was a great ice breaker! (wish i had thought of that)
You got the LOVE and that is ultimately ALL she has been waiting for. Go get her! 🙂
so funny (and humble) you are! i was just reading YOUR travel tips last night wondering if you were going to post your packing list!
YAY!!!!!! I am so so excited for you:
OK. Here is what I couldn’t live without.
noise canceling headphones (handy on the plane, as well as in the hotel when all I can hear is my kids breathing, and moving and I couldn’t sleep.)
big ziploc bags
under eye concealer
crystal light (when you are tired of water)
a little scented candle
anti nausea meds (our doc gave us syringes of cream that you rub on your wrists- awesome)
snuggie or blanket, and a travel pillow.
janet, kevin, ted, philip, and elijah says
Oh Stefanie – I wish I could give you advice, but we are now in the same hot mess! 🙂
We just got our TA today and will leave August 10th, and even though this is our third time, my mind is suddenly mush! Can relate to what you are feeling!
Really cool thing about us going soon, right after you, both of our other adoptions, Journey to Philip and Journey to Eli were very close to you all going – just a little bite afterwards just like this one!
So happy for you and so happy for us
janet and gang
I don’t have any tips for you but I just wanted to pop in and say I’ll be praying for you.
katie jo says
iphone with great apps, power bars, sippy cup (we couldn’t find one anywhere), hand held fans with water that sprays (target or walmart, about the size of your palm), packing as light as possible. maybe it is better for you to not be ready, there’s a walmart there!
Jennie Nation says
First let me say I feel really funny giving advice to a pro but the mind of mush I can relate to. I am not sure what they are called but they look like a bandana. You wet them and put them around your neck. They are wonderful. Not sure where to get them there but maybe sports stores would have them. They are sold at Mast General here. Jennie
Girl!!! YOU are the pro!! lol! I’m sure you got it covered, but one thing I wholeheartedly agree with & have never seen written on a list before is Rebecca’s comment above: “Plenty of rest so Poppy can feel your love!” GREAT advice!!!
(A completely jet lagged momma talkin’ right now after vacation! I need to take this advice myself! lol)
I have to laugh I read your blog for travel tips and China journey stuff-heheheh! Duct tape, zip lock bags, little snacks for you and baby. Bubbles, blow up plastic ball, nail polish hummmm Thats my input! Have fun!
Funny…..we ALL rely on you for advice.
Just a bunch of love, hugs, smiles, and FUN!!!!
I LOVED being in China, and can’t wait to go back.
We are all SOOO ready to see Poppy’s smile:)
I don’t have any tips for you. I’m sorry. I just wanted to post a comment to let you know that I have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck and safe travels.
Oh, my friend, you’ve got this, brain or no! Only one tip for you ~ DON’T FORGET TO POST….OFTEN!!!!! 🙂
laura jones says
if it will be your time of the month bring what you are used to using.
i could not find anything in China.
praying for you and oh so excited for you.
you are just too cute and sweet…i love how honest you are!
i’ve been to china a bunch of times, but this is our first adoption and we leave for nanchang on saturday. i’ve been in a total time warp this week! it’s as if i can’t think of anything! so i can relate to mushy brains 🙂
we decided to carry on our baggage instead of checking it through (say what??? crazy.) so it’s made me go wayyy light on packing. it’s like that show hoarders where they clean everything out and put back only the essentials. that was me tonight 🙂 and i gotta say…it’s refreshing!
Dusty Drosche says
Not sure how much help I can provide other than just remember to enjoy it! Oh, and take pictures! Y’all remain in our thoughts and prayers throughout your travels. We are so excited for y’all!
OK – You need:
-Camera, Charger, Extra Card, USB Cord, Laptop
-“So Loved Tee” Shirt for you and for her!
-Backpack of fun stuff for Poppy.. Mirror, brush, balloons to play with in the hotel, pretend phone, stacking cups,
small pack of crayons, paper, stickers
-Cute hat for her.. It’s going to be stinkin-HOT!!!! Just how you Southern Girls like it!
-Some serious hair spray for humidity and powder for the sweating that is sure to happen
-Some drugs for Poppy – Benadryl, Pediatric Immodium…
-Bottle or Sippy Cup (Or you can get there!)
-DVD player if you have room? Or, your laptop for movies for her on the plane
Seriously.. If you have your camera and your girl, what else do you need that you can’t buy there!!!!! 🙂 So excited for you!!!!!! (Ok and for me too!!! :))
Love and hugs for safe travels, and an AWESOME trip!!!!!
My daughter is at the same orphanage as Poppy! Are you going to visit the orphanage? I am totally pumped about y’alls trip and will be praying and looking forward to living vicariously 😉 What an adventure to share with Zach! Yea God!
OK – here we go – and you can put your other half on a lot of this!
Cipro for you and zach – UNMIXED broad spectrum anti-biotic for Poppy – you can mix it if / when needed. You doc will be happy to prescribe this but tell the pharmacy unmixed on Poppy’s stuff or it will go bad too fast.
Copies of your passports, travel plans, and hotel names and phone numbers in each suitcase – you’d be surprised how often something get’s lost – but this way it can be ‘caught up’ to you.
Spare battery and recording device for any camera you have – leave them unopened if you want and you can return them to the store when you get back if you don’t use them – but drop one of your batterys or hose a card and you won’t be able to be sure of the quality of whatever you buy in country.
US passports are a high theft target right now (the want that RFID tag). We copied and then laminated back to back the demographic page and China visa page of our passports and used them as ID while we were in country leaving the original passports locked in the safe at the hotel.
Some kind of gotcha day treat for Poppy – I’m thinking dumdums, M&M’s, gummy bears, something like that for bribes – and yeah I said bribes!!
If you can lay your hands on it – a couple thousand in 100’s for Zach to carry while traveling ‘just in case’ – but completely seperate from yours – and left undisclosed.
NOTIFY YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANIES THAT YOU WILL BE USING THE CARDS OUT OF THE USA!! If they were to stop one of your cards because of a possible fraud wouldn’t that just suck?
A complete copy of your dossier – we always took two – but I’m strange like that!
If I think of anything else I’ll let you know – but those are the biggies!!
PS – run by an office store and get a spare power converter / adapter as well – like the battery and camera card – if you don’t need it you can return in once you are home – but it you need it – you’ll be glad you’ve got it!
hugs – aus and co.
LOL!!! I think thats sooooo funny!!!! I studied your packing list for years, before travelling for our little one!!!!
😉 I second all the advice above – and agree with the “sippy cup” comment – our baby girl wouldn’t drink out of a bottle – luckily our travel companions had a spare sippy cup! I’d pack coloxal too (not sure what you call it in USA – its a constipation mecidine), we didn’t need it, but travel friends did. If your camera has a lithium battery – don’t forget the charger! Visine & Chapstick a must for the purse… specially on the airplane!
I have no doubt you’ll be absolutely fine… all because you’ll finally have Poppy in your arms!
stacey milchman says
You are a pro so I know you will have everything you need!
One essential item I will mention is individually packaged wet ones antibacterial wipes- kills germs and wipes away dirt. The most popular item I brought last time was the gerber graduate fruit puffs- all of the kids loved them! And I would recommend bringing a couple of different sizes of baby clothing as you never know what will fit Poppy. Most people in our travel group had brought clothes that were too big and we let people borrow some of ours. Have a wonderful trip and don’t forget your camera!
Diapers, hand wipes, baby carrier, goldfish crackers, mints (for your stomach if it gets queasy), special book or toy for Poppy and the inevitable pack of tissues to wipe the tears when she’s finally in your arms.
Toys and a lovie for Poppy, extra baby snacks if you don’t trust chinese snacks, a couple of small outfits. Ready to wear outfits / dresses that will wash and dry quickly. All your paperwork. Adoption funds. Camera. baby pack. Stong resolve, ability not to cry in the face of a baby’s terror and distress. Knowledge that it gets better and that she doesn’t have options in china, so this is necessary.
All I can say is HOW could you think straight with a face like that looking back at you. She’s a doll. Have fun. We’ll be following your journey.
My only piece of advice…when the girl who doesn’t speak your language indicates she has to go potty on the plane, take her…even if the fasten seat belt sign is lit. Under no circumstances should you wait until the plane lands and you are taxiing on the runway, evidently there are some regulations against that (FTC, FCC, STD, or some other initials). Evidently it is safer to walk around in a plane that is going 600mph in the air than in one that is going 4mph on the runway. It’s a lonnnng story, with a tearful, happy ending @ Customs in Jersey but not one I’d like to repeat . You will be fine! So excited for you!
She is such a beauty, I’m so happy for you and your entire family. Just found out today that my best friend will be bringing home her second child, a girl from Korea, later this year or early next. Your previously posted travel list seems so complete, I think if you follow it you’ll be more than prepared physically for the trip!
After MUCH travel around Asia, my advice is always pack as light as possible. 🙂 In reality, we need much less stuff than we think we do. I always go through at least two “elimination” rounds after the first round of packing. And really, these days you can get so much in China. Any of the cities you’ll be in will likely have Carrefour/Walmart/Watsons. Watsons is great for your typical drugstore finds. My advice…buy things like shampoo/conditioner/body wash/TP/wipes in China; cuts down on your luggage weight and is easily available. Contact solution is also widely available if you know where to look–just stop in any glasses store and they’ll sell various sizes of bottles, including the American brand Renu Multiplus. Things you DO want to bring that sometimes are hard to find would be spray on sunscreen, bug spray, and ziplocs. Just my two cents. 🙂 Wish I could be there with you guys!
A VPN really helped when I was in China in the spring. Courtney K suggested to download two just in case. Have fun and enjoy the breakfast bars:).
Kristi D. says
Poppy is so beautiful!! 🙂
Amy Meeker says
Well, everyone seems to have it covered. When I went to Korea I enjoyed eating the chocolate candy that I brought as gifts for others 😉 CHOCOLATE!!!!
Savour it! Enjoy every moment. Not your first time over there but your first time with your poppygirl 🙂
I don’t have much advice for the pro except on our second adoption to China we had installed VPN on our lap top – so we could use FB and Blog.
I just realized you leave on the 22nd – we left on July 22nd last year to bring Lily home – so excited for you :).
No one does it more gracefully than YOU!
Wishing we were still in Hong Kong to offer local help!
Simply cannot wait to see Poppy in your arms!
What a blessing to follow along as God grows your family and uses YOU to inspire us all!
Love & Blessings,
Deodorant and supplies if you still get your monthly “friend”. Deodorant is nearly impossible to find and those particular supplies are almost diaper like in China. A handful of ziplock bags was extremely useful as well – the uses are endless. I also packed dry cereal in baggies and empty sippy cups for easy snacks. Tylenol and immodium are your friends and cannot readily be found.
Girl! You wrote the book on China travel tips…I read your China tip blog entries over and over before we left in Feb. LOL! But if I had to travel again to China, I would take less…we had far too much luggage and at times it was a stress. So Less is More should be a theme…lol Blessing to you on your trip..If you happen to have Rebecca or Meeko as travel guides while you re in Guangzhou tell them the Berrys say Hey. (she might remember us as having the daughter who snacked all the time while there…) LOL
Leigh T. says
detergent for clothes
Have a wonderful trip and know we will be praying! Can’t wait to see Poppy with her Mama!
-diapers/pull ups specifically for night time….
– one of those giant sticker books with like hundreds of stickers, perfect for plane rides.
– if you dont know poppys clothing size, bring lots of dresses, those can never really be to big/small
– if you still want to bring some pants, make sure they have ajustable waists…
-got to remember some dum dum suckers:)
Cant wait to see pictures of you and poppy together!
You better not forget to take whatever you need to take to keep us all updated up here! Or at least get your hubby to update, or something. You would have some mad folks to deal with. 🙂 Yep. It’s all about US! 🙂