Custody Trip: What I Packed for Eli

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Eli’s suitcase was the first one done but also the most difficult to pack.  I used to think it was weird when people made comparisons between being pregnant and “paper pregnant”… but it’s true.  Packing his bag felt a lot like packing my hospital bag.  Will my baby need this?  What size clothes will they wear?  Even with an ultrasound days before delivery, I still wasn’t prepared for my monster 10lb 8oz babies that were born needing size 1 diapers and 3 month clothes.

Sure, I’ve converted his height and weight from the well baby checks and I know his age, but I don’t really know what size he needs.  (Or shoe size?)  Eli will be two in April and measures small for height and weight (like, 3rd percentile) but I know that Koreans are used to wearing layers so they like the clothes a size up or so.  I decided to go with 24 months clothes for him with the idea that too big is better than too small.

Most people will have an easier time packing for their child after they have their first trip but, because we are staying for one long trip, I will need to guesstimate and buy in country if needed.  (Korea requires you make two trips- 1st for court + to meet your child and the 2nd for custody.  The trips are each about 7-10 days in length and about 4-6 weeks apart.  We will be staying for one long trip.)

Here’s what I packed:

  • 4 pairs of thin cotton long sleeve + pants jammies
  • one pair of jeans
  • one thick sweater
  • one pair of khaki cargo pants
  • two pairs of thick sweat pants
  • two short sleeve shirts
  • one thermal long sleeve
  • one sweatshirt
  • one coat
  • socks
  • two pairs of shoes

We hope to have family pictures taken in Seoul after custody so the jeans and grey sweater are for that.  (Ian has the same matching sweater.)  Most all the rest are hand-me-downs from Ian, but I have started buying all.the.matching outfits for the boys lately.

Toys to play with in country + for the plane ride home:

  • a backpack
  • two board books
  • an o-ball car + o-ball
  • Play-doh
  • water wonder doodle pads
  • small cars
  • bubbles
  • a stuffed animal
  • pouches & puffs

I also packed two reusable shopping bags to carry home (from the office to our Airbnb) anything that the foster family sends home with him.  From what I’ve heard it can go either way- the child is sent with only the clothes on their back or they come home with everything you’ve ever sent and then some.  We’re prepared for either scenario and plan to use the suitcase we used to bring food with us.

How about that KonMarie packing job, eh?

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