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knoelani
05-06-2008, 07:51 PM
Hi all, this is my first post here although I've been reading the boards. My husband and I are persuing domestic newborn adoption. This will be our first child. We've been working with an agency for over a year on the paperwork and homestudy and just learned yesterday that we're active! We're really excited to be at this point and now need to figure out what to do next to prepare. We've started on painting the nursery, haven't purchased any furniture yet. We figured we'd wait until we had a match and then order the furniture. We have some blankets and gender netrual clothes, but that's it. I'm reading through the book and starting to make notes on what we like or want- I guess that's a good start. What else should we be doing?

Also, one thing I can't decide on- since we'll be most likely traveling out of state, what do we bring for the baby to sleep in? My husbands scared to have the baby sleep in the bed with us and we need something portable and packable. Any suggestions? Any ideas would be appreciated.

joyful mommy
05-06-2008, 11:14 PM
First: CONGRATULATIONS! How exciting. :)

Sounds like you've made a good start.

I might recommend you narrow your furniture (crib at least) options down to a couple and then check on the estimated wait to receive it. When we were looking, if you didn't manage to get something in stock (often that meant floor model), you could wait 10 weeks or more. While that sounds like no big deal if you get matched early on in a birth mom's pregnancy (and the baby can sleep in your room for awhile too), be aware that many matches aren't made until 7-9 months along in the pregnancy. Sometimes you can get a good deal on floor models too though -- if the timing is right. Consider too, a very comfortable glider and ottoman. Don't underestimate how wonderful these can be right from the start! Changing table, dresser, etc. could probably wait a bit if you want.

As for additional items to gather: A well sized and designed diaper bag. (I began with both a large one and a small one. I've used each of these a lot. Over time, I've used the small one much more -- but was glad for the larger one too. I'd also recommend a few burp cloths. If you like to sew/embroidery, these can be fun to make (and easy!) or just pick a pack up at any baby store. Perhaps a few nice baby wash cloths too. Think about a baby travel kit (i.e., dop kit). It might include: infant thermometer, cotton balls, vaseline, alcohol. Eventually, you'll add baby nail clippers, embry boards, Tylenol, Feverall, one of those little gum brushes that fit on your finger, etc.

Include too: A small notepad/book to keep notes on your match. You may include info/comments you receive from social worker, nurse, birth family, etc. We even took this to the hospital where we noted (after delivery, etc.) special moments, comments and thoughts. We have been so glad that we did this -- some of these are very special to review. :)

Don't forget: CAMERA! Bring charger, extra battery and memory card too to record that incredible moment when you'll meet your new baby.

For sleeping: Check out the SnuggleNest (or something similar) to see if it would pack well in your luggage.

Don't forget to review other threads in this folder and the sticky the Fields have at the top. Even though most posts are older in there, the thread still includes a lot of helpful comments/suggestions.

Best Wishes to you both! We have 2 adopted DCs and could not be happier!!! :)

P.S. Think about where you want the baby to sleep for the first few months. Many begin in a co-sleeper, cradle or bassinet next the the parents' bed. We used our travel bassinet then a cradle. I really enjoyed making the bedding for this while we waited. I also enjoyed decorating the nursery and making things for that room too.

icunurse
05-07-2008, 04:07 PM
Congrats!! I agree with everything the PP stated, especially about the furniture. A lot of stuff can take several weeks to arrive, so you and your DH need to decide how you want to proceed. For us, we wanted everything in place for an arrival. So, we placed furniture on layway and then had it delivered when we were matched. That placement did not work out, but, to us, seeing the furniture gave us some sense of hope and a realization that, yes, it was going to happen, we just need to hang in there. Besides, if we were having a bad day, we just kept the door closed. But it was nice when we brought DS home to have everything in place and "perfect" instead of having to run around and buy stuff. :)

Will you be having a baby shower before or after placement? We didn't want one until after placement, so we did purchase essentials - carseat, bathtub, sheets, neutral clothing, bottles, etc. - things to get you through the first few weeks. That was also a good way to spend some time, as I made bargain-hunting a way to distract from the wait.

Things to take with you - keep it to a minimum and find out the closest Walgreens, Target, Walmart to your hotel and buy stuff there. The nurses at the hospital will give you plenty of formula and diapers to start with and why drag out what you can pick up there? As for sleeping, I know several people who just took some nice soft blankets and used the drawer from the hotel dresser for the baby to sleep in. It's big enough, they baby isn't going to realy move anywhere, and, again, a lot less to drag with you. Others take a pack 'n' play. Besides, you know the baby is mostly going to sleep in someone's arms anyone ;)

Definitely don't forget your camera, extra batteries, tons of film, camcorder, snacks for your and hubby, meds for you guys (aspirin, Pepto, etc), cell phone and charger (because you will be calling everyone you know!).

Good luck!

sadie427
05-07-2008, 09:24 PM
Haven't adopted yet (have a biological DS and a homestudy pending for #2) but traveling with a pack-and-play for sleep is a reasonable option if you don't want the baby in your bed and don't want them to sleep in a drawer.

DS slept in his pack and play in our room for about the first 8 weeks before he moved to his room, and we did travel with it a few times, it is heavy and needs to be checked but even the basic ones usually have a simple case. We got a simple one with a bassinet option (handy for a newborn because they are closer to you, although the weight limit is pretty low,) no other bells and whistles like mobile, changing table or cover. They are easy to buy, so if you decide to just use a drawer or co-sleep and change your mind you can pick one up at Target.

I don't know about the snuggle nest or other similar things, but a pack and play is something you'll likely need anyway later on so you may not need to buy a separate travel sleeping apparatus that you won't be able to use for very long.

knoelani
05-11-2008, 04:35 PM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and replies. This definately feels more real now than it ever has. We've been on vacation for a few days and came home to a mail box full of packets from our agency.

joyful mommy- We have a crib picked out, I guess I need to find out how long delivery normally takes for the furniture. As for the glider, our nursery is really small and I don't know if we have room. My husband really wants an old style rocking chair with cushions- I'm worried that's not going to be comfortable enough. Do you have any suggestions on back pack style diaper bags? Since we'll be traveling I figured that would be easier and want a sturdy one.

icunurse- we're not planning on having a baby shower, I wasn't even sure if we should register for anything. I'm too nervous to do one before we come home with the baby and then figured we could do a "meet the baby" party once we were home.

sadie- our wonderful neighbor is giving us her pack and play she used for her kids, I don't think it has the bag still with it though. We actually thought about buying one too since we have a two story house and having one on both floors. I guess a crib, bassinet (or something like that for our bedroom), and two pack and plays might be a bit of overkill huh?!

Thanks again ladies and happy mother's day!

joyful mommy
05-11-2008, 07:23 PM
Hi again,

Happy Mother's Day to you too -- you're almost there! Consider this your time of preparation like so many others have during pregnancy.

So, go ahead and make your lists:
-- things (specifics) you'd like to register for (even if you don't post the registry until after the baby comes);
-- packing list for travel to meet/bring the baby home;
-- things friends can do to help while you're gone or when you return (if you don't accept help easily, now's the time to be gracious and learn).

Learn about local resources too, such as:
-- preferred pediatrician,
-- closest hospital with Pediatric ER (hopefully you'll never need this, but best to know about in advance),
-- MOMS Club in your area,
-- playgroup options (adoptive or otherwise),
-- your agency's post adoption support offerings (yahoo group of adoptive parents?),
-- public library programs for infants,
-- daycare resources if you'll need this, etc....

You might want to begin a diary of the wait, match, birth, first meeting, ....

Please excuse my long prelude -- I'm always excited for new families beginning their journey! Now, to your questions:

I understand that small nurseries can limit room for glider/ottoman. This combination was truly wonderful for us (DH and grandmas included) and for friends of ours who adopted too. We snuggled with (and sung to and read to) our babes for hours in these. ;) Have you considered whether or not you have room in your room or the family/living room instead?

Our big diaper backpack is from Lands End (LE). It is bigger than I usually need these days, but very nice for travelling or all day type trips. When we bought ours, it was a toss up between LE and Eddie Bauer online. I think that Eddie Bauer in BRUs isn't always as good as the ones sold exclusively at Eddie Bauer. A plus, it's very generic (ours is even black) and DH doesn't mind carrying it anywhere as it doesn't look like a diaper bag. Could be a good choice for you to start with -- particularly if you'll be travelling by plane. If you'd prefer it to look more stylish or like a diaper bag, there are other choices (check the diaper bag folder).

Lately, I've reverted to using a smaller diaper backpack that came from the hospital nursery (formula makers give away various diaper bags filled with samples to go home with the babies all the time). It's also black. I didn't think much of it at the time, but now am glad I didn't get rid of it. It's smaller and great for 1/2 day or less at our stage.

As for the PNP option for travel. We weren't out of state that long after the babies were born. PNP was more than we really would've needed for the trip. A travel bassinet, moses basket, stroller with bassinet (like a carriage) option that folds/packs easily and will be useful while your away and when you return (if you plan on using something like this later anyway) might be options to consider. Remember, you and DH will be holding your new baby much of the time in those first few days away. :)

icunurse
05-12-2008, 10:11 PM
Sounds like you already have some good plans in place! :)

Yes, we had more of a "Meet the Baby" party, with all family and friends invited (not just women). I also did have a shower thrown for me by my co-workers, who were with me through it all. I was very lucky. I know it is easy for me to say, but do allow yourself a little time to dream and hope. It WILL happen. Sure, there might be a wait or some bumps in the road, but it WILL happen. Register, paint, read all the books, buy small, necessary things. You deserve some time to "nest", too.

We have the LE diaper bag - it's huge! So, you might want to either buy to register for a bag that's a little smaller. I love the Skip Hop Dash, personally. Perfect size for a day out to the grandparents or the mall.

joyful mommy
05-13-2008, 12:36 PM
Agreeing with PP, the LE Diaper Backpack is really big. For us, it's really more for travelling or an all day out with both of our DCs. It will hold their diapers, change of clothes, snacks, lunch, bottle bag, etc. It would even hold a sling, extra blanket and important adoption/medical related paperwork for the flight home. Not really an every day bag around town. I suggested it only since it sounded as though you might be flying. I know that the Skip Hop is very popular too and it may be a better size for you now. You will definately want a smaller one for everyday use!

We've flown a few times with DC1, not yet with both of them. When we've flown, we've carried a big diaper bag (especially for cross country trips) and a back pack would be ideal for this I think. Particularly since you'll be packing extra formula, diapers, etc. since baby items are rarely available at airports, and when they are, they can be very expensive. Delays are often unexpected and can leave you hanging....

Although both of our DCs were born several states away, we chose both times to drive. It gave us a lot of flexibility and the baby was really cocooned with us and our voices/rythms, etc. We could stop when/where we wanted/needed to and have privacy and whatever we needed at our fingertips. Be aware if you choose this option though, that you will need to stop to feed very frequently and the trip will take hours longer than without a newborn. Also, I always sat right next to the baby all the way back home. I did have a limit as to how far I felt was reasonable to drive and would have flown if either of them had been born more than half way across the country. ;)

We too had meet the baby type showers. They were wonderful!

sadie427
05-13-2008, 09:44 PM
We used a regular wooden rocking chair rather than a glider/ottoman, and it worked fine for us, with cushions.

knoelani
05-21-2008, 01:46 PM
Thanks again everyone!

Did everyone register? When did you register?

joyful mommey~ That's a great idea about the packing list. Do you know if there's anywhere on these forums or online that has suggestions / examples? We do have a large rocker / recliner in our living room, we just know we'll really be crowding the nursery if we have one in there too. As for the diaper bag, I broke down and bought the jujube be right back backpack diaper bag. Not exactly a bargain and I couldn't find any near me to look at in person so I hope it works and is worth it. If not, I guess I can always return it. I am looking for a travel bassinet, I've looked at a few online- haven't made up my mind yet. That's also a great idea about packing extra supplies for the airport! I hadn't thought of that yet but you're right, I don't think I've ever been in an airport that has infant supplies. How far did you drive? We've talked about driving, but we're not sure. It would take a full day just to get out of our state.

icunurse~ Thanks for your comments too. I'm trying to temper my dreaming with reality- it's not easy. We have no idea how long we'll be waiting or what bumps in the road we may have, but I want to have some fun with this and be prepared too!

sadie~ Thanks for your comments on the rocking chair. I think that's what we're going to do.

joyful mommy
05-21-2008, 09:28 PM
Registries:
We registered before DC1 was adopted and updated as appropriate until the showers/welcome parties. Go ahead and enjoy that part of the wait. :)

Packing List:
I created my own list and continued to hone it down as we waited. First time around I packed far too much -- even shipped some unneeded stuff home during ICPC period. Second time I knew more what I'd really need and also had to allow room for all three of us plus new baby and gear.

I began by brainstorming, then moving things into categories (Transport, Feeding, Sleep, Health/Hygiene, Layette, Miscellaneous). I'll try to get a generic list together that you might use as a starting point if you'd like. Weather, location (rural/urban), age of child at placement, your own personal style/preferences will all affect your final list. Others here could certainly offer recommendations from different experiences and preferences.

Also, talk to other new moms (adoptive and bio) to see what they really needed in the first week or two. (Or at whatever age you will be adopting your baby -- birth, a few days, a few weeks, toddler -- you may not know this yet.)

Rocker/Recliner/Glider:
What really matters is not where in the house (or how) you cuddle, feed, sing to and read to your new bundle of joy, but just that you do ... and cherish that bonding time! :)

Distance:
We traveled about 1K miles. It's a trip we've made often as we have family in the vicinity and also enroute, so we generally stop and visit along the way. Additionally, there are no direct flights between here and there -- meaning transferring planes with newborn and all necessities.

Check your flight options out ASAP once you have a match and be sure to tell the airlines that this is an adoption flight; both for possible discounted fares and to be sure you have confirmation from them (in writing if possible) of what paperwork you'll need to have in hand to take the baby on the flight with you (especially if only one of you is going to be flying home with the baby -- there are rules re: air travel with a minor).

Our drive took much longer than usual with extra stops to feed, burp and change, but we did not mind at all! We are convenient to airports and have flown with and without kids many times. We just wanted to spend this time focused on our new baby and to have our new DC focused on us and not all the commotion of busy terminals, flights, etc. Also, I was leary of air travel during cold/flu season and had concerns about a newborn's ears with pressure changes. By several months of age, our first DC flew cross-country with us with no problems at all. He loved it. We have friends who flew home with their newborn without incident.

"Bumps" in the Journey:
We too had two major disappointments prior to our two adoptions. They were painful, but I am glad that, in the end, each of the birth mothers made the decision that was right for them -- and everyone involved!

Have you begun your portfolio/life-book for the agency to show birth families yet? I found it very hard to get started but once I did, really enjoyed it and am glad I have copies to share with our DCs as they grow!

Feel free to PM me if you like. :)