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Lions and Tigers and Babies in Airports, Oh My!
Saturday, July 08, 2006
We attended a class on traveling with children today. Our home-study agency offers various classes with topics from Basic Child Care to Parenting Strategies (and just about everything in between). You can go to as many of these classes as you like and it's all paid for as part of the agency fees (so it works out as a pretty good deal). Anyway, today's class was called Babies in Hotels but was more of the whole traveling with the child on that first trip (the return trip from their birth country).

It was really pretty interesting and although most of it we've heard before, I did still take some notes. Their classes are really good because they invite adopting parents (in this case recently returned parents from Guatemala and Ethiopia). And it was really great to hear their stories and not just get a quick two paragraph post on some forum,

The concept that you pack as little as you can (which we hear about by everyone) was once again stated loud and clear. The other thing that they confirmed was that the hotels seem to be pretty well prepared (and experienced) in helping out these "new" parents (it doesn't seem to matter which country you're talking about since all placement agencies seem to use the same hotels in whatever country or region so there are numerous adopting parents who have and are heading thru them).

One of the interesting tidbits that both families seem to stress was the need to really be in good physical shape. And this was also one of the main reasons they both validated that packing light was important. Since you're going to be having to carry a child who could be in the 20 lbs. range, it's important to make sure you can both carry the child and your luggage (while navigating an airport no less). So it's important to either be in good shape or try to get into shape (or at least build up those back and arm muscles you haven't been using to carry around a kid before).

Of course for adopting parents who already have a child or two, this is just another bit of information they already know. But for new parents it's just one more thing to learn. And for us, where the child will most likely be over a year old by the time the adoption is finalized, we better start getting use to carrying a sizable load around.
posted by Steveg @ 10:05 PM  
  • At 8:39 AM, Blogger Cristina W. said…

    Hey Steve -

    I lost 8 lbs while in Russia - Todd lost 10 I think, not from the exercise so much as the change in diet. :)

    I highly highly recommend the Marriott Grand in Moscow. They are one of the "baby hotels" and they were very accomodating. Also, it was fun to unite with all the other parents that were there adopting their children. I got lots of good tips from talking with another family. It also made you feel less alone. The best day ever was arriving at the Marriott. You'll understand why if you spend almost 3 weeks in Magnitogorsk in an apartment.

    Anyway, the hotel is 5 star and they have strollers they let the parents use for free. Cribs are available (though Christian refused to sleep in it - he wanted to sleep with us). Also, close to major shopping areas as well as Red Square (you can walk to it).

    PACK LIGHT! I packed very light and was thankful. Make most of your room for baby food and paper products (soft toilet paper is a luxury). Pack zip lock bags. Pack lots and lots of diapers and wipes. We had one suitcase just for Christian and I found myself running low on baby food. And, pack a good Toddler Parent's Book (Christian had tummy problems at first and this helped me greatly).

    Well, I have plenty more advice when you need it.

  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger Jim said…

    DEFINITELY bulk up a little. Buy a 20 pound sack of flour (or rice, or whatever) lean it into your chest, support it with one or two arms underneath, and practice walking around with it. Once you can carry it around like that for twenty minutes, you're doing great! And if you can't carry it that long, at least you'll appreciate what you're up against!

    That's the single biggest thing I wish I had done before we brough our little one home. :(

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Our Story:

I'm Steve and this is my wife Stefanie. This is our story, mostly seen through my eyes, of the journey to create our family by adopting a child from Russia.

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