Now that we have our pre-approval we are allowed to send Emma a care package with goodies! We finally got everything I wanted today for the package. Here is a picture of everything in neat little baggies!
Items for orphanage staff / foster family from Cherry Republic - Dried Cherries, Cherry Jam & Crackers, & Chocolate Covered Cherries. My girlfriend's father who has been to China several times suggested the cherries. My girlfriend quickly agreed and actually said when she was in China she met an insane number of people named "cherry" (that was their chosen American name). Anyway, since cherries are a local item to Northern Michigan, we decided to go with it! :-)
Items for Emma -
- We made her a little book of flashcards (laminated pictures) of our family. The project was a bit more labor intensive than I had anticipated. Frankly, my non Martha Stewart ways showed their colors today to my hubby. I also used babblefish to translate the words on the flashcards to Mandarian so it may or may not be accurate. All in all, the project ended up being a little ghetto to be honest (I was using packaging tape instead of double sided tape and I went a little crazy with the scissors when "trimming" the laminate). Oh Well, it is definitely creative!! Check out the crazy flashcards here...
- We also are sending her a little pink outfit with a hat, a super soft small monkey blanket from a local boutique baby store, & colored pictures from her cousins, Jayden and Devin. The picture from Jayden is awesome - it is map with a compass, a drawing of china, an airplane and him waving to her as she is coming home. ADORABLE! The dress is actually one that Lexie wore but you can hardly tell. Emma is still under 17 pounds so we needed something 3-6 mos and it was the best thing we had from Lexie's box!
Cameras! - I went a little camera crazy. I got two disposables and a digital camera (5 MB brand new for 29.99 - you can't beat it!!). This is the key to the entire package, we REALLY want the orphanage staff to like the gifts we sent them (aka the cherries) so that they will take pictures of Emma for us. These pictures are priceless -- the only real documentation we will have to share with Emma on her first year of life. Unfortunately, I have heard Emma's orphanage doesn't take a lot of pictures and often doesn't actually even send the camera's to the foster families (they are very protective not to allow the adoptive parents to reach out to the foster family or vice versa). I have heard people get the camera's back with pictures of the orphanage itself, but not a lot of the child. So its a slim shot but I had to try.
Items for orphanage - just a few item of donation for the orphanage. Baby Clothes, Crayons, Glue Sticks, etc.
$43, a stop at USPS, & it should be in Beijing in 6-10 days (the package actually has to go through our agency before going to the orphanage). It will then be in Kunming about a week after that! Luckily, we crammed everything all into one of those neat medium flat rate boxes. However, the 10 mins of rearranging things and convincing Matt that it WILL fit in the damn box is not something I really want to remember. It is alright though - we will be sure to tell Emma that we were loving placing each of her special items in the box safely (and not swearing at each other about how to make it all fit).
A lot of you have been asking about "what comes next". I am too tired right now to do that process justice but I will reserve a future post for the explanation. Suffice it to say, we would LOVE to have our baby home by Christmas (its looking pretty slim right now though that will happen). So we could use all of your prayers that our paperwork falls to the top of someone's pile in Beijing. Pray that tomorrow morning a CCCWA employee gets a yummy iced coffee on a hot August morning on his way to work and that all the caffeine leads him to be ultra productive and that he processes a ton of Letter of Approvals that day (including ours!). :-)