Now that we have been matched with our son and returned all of the required acceptance paperwork, we can officially send him care packages!
Eli will have a monthly well baby check each month until 18mo of age (and then every other month after) and we will receive updated information about his health, growth, and development. (And new pictures every 3mo or so!) We can send small packages (must be under $100) that will be given to the foster family during these monthly visits to the clinic/ office.
I’m super excited to send our very first package this month because it was Eli’s birthday a few weeks ago. Typically the kiddos come into the office around the same day each month, so we will be cutting it close for our box to arrive before his “estimated” visit! Fingers crossed.
When James got home from shift Saturday morning, he all but pushed me out the door to go shop for Eli. He knew that I was dying to get everything ready to be at the post office first thing Monday morning. (Did I mention he took the kids to the store while I was gone and had dinner waiting for me when I got home, too?)
This month’s box was all about saying “Hello!” Here’s what we sent:
- Two long sleeve and pants outfits (one with matching hat and socks); It was legit 81 degrees yesterday and 38 deg today here in Texas… so I wasn’t sure what the temperatures are like in Korea. Also, they really like to bundle those babies up in layers, so I wanted to send a few options. (Both outfits are from Carter’s on clearance.)
- Three short sleeve onesies and a pair of shorts; that little onesie that says “Hi”… all the heart eyes. (The onesies are from Carter’s, part of a 5 pack on sale, and the shorts are Cat and Jack from Target.)
- Shoes; these were a difficult decision! I have no clue what his current shoe size is, yet most everything I’ve read online recommended sending shoes. He is a year old, but on the small side, so I ended up going with a size 5. I feel like they will be too big, but maybe they will fit by fall. (Cat and Jack from Target.)
- Two pairs of socks; these were part of a 12 pack so I could send a pair or two each month. (Target)
- Tom’s fluoride-free toothpaste and a toddler toothbrush (Target)
- Toddler spoon, fork, and sippy cup (silverware part of a 4 pack, cups part of a 2 pack, Target)
- Happy Baby Puffs and Rice Cakes; right now his reports state that he is only drinking formula and eating rice cereal. I’m not sure when Koreans typically start introducing solid foods, but Ian loved these in the early days of learning to feed himself. (Target)
- Burt’s Bees Baby Diaper Rash Ointment; I would have sent Young Living but I didn’t have time to order any and I wanted to get the box out ASAP. I’ve heard that Burt’s Bees is a nice brand to send to Korea because it is recognizable but expensive there. (Target)
- My First ABCD Book; crinkle pages with tabs and textures, has the whole alphabet with cute illustrations. (TJ Maxx)
- Police Car pull and go toy that lights up and makes noises (TJ Maxx, set of two- though Ian totally confiscated the other vehicle (a construction digger) haha. Sibling rivalry has already begun.)
- Baby Einstein recordable photo album; we can insert 4×6 pictures and add a 15 second recording. (TJ Maxx)
- For the foster parents: Burt’s Bees beeswax lip balm, two small bags of Archer Farms cashews, and a package of Lorissa’s Kitchen beef jerky (Korean BBQ flavored). These items were based on recommendations I’ve seen online. (Target)
- Reusable shopping bag; for the Foster Mom (or Dad) to tote all of the items back home. Typically the foster families use public transit to travel to the offices, so it’s recommended to send a bag for them to carry all of the goodies home easily. (TJ Maxx)
I was able to pick up most everything at Target and was just about to head back home when James texted and reminded me to pick up some new sheets. I decided to pop in TJ Maxx because I knew they would be cheaper and, of course, quickly perused the kids’ section before checking out. As I was standing there in the mass casualty situation of a toy aisle, I went over my list of things I wanted to send Eli. I had found everything except the one thing I really wanted- a soft photo book or recordable story book.
And then, there it was. As if God put it directly in my hands himself- a RECORDABLE PHOTO BOOK. Not going to lie, I cried right there in the aisle. In the sea of disorganized toys was exactly what I was looking for. Every option I had looked at online was sold out; I had all but given up hope on finding one, let alone finding one in time to send this first box.
The box ended up being about 4lbs total and cost $65 to ship! I had no idea what to expect as far as shipping fees and at first they told me it was going to be $85… so, I guess I was relieved when it was only $65- ha!
I packaged it all up and took it to our small town post office. I was hoping our familiar mail lady would be there- the one who said she would be praying for us and couldn’t wait to see a picture when I was mailing some adoption paperwork previously. I hadn’t been in since and hadn’t had a chance yet to tell her we had been matched!
After about 10 minutes of trying to enter in the information, she finally conceded that the system would not allow her to ship the box to Korea. She suggested I drive to one of the nearby (larger) USPS locations to have them try.
Y’all. Two things.
- If you think the devil is not trying to stop you from doing kingdom work, you are sorely mistaken. Do I think it was a coincidence that all of the sudden the system would not let her ship the box that I prayed over and lovingly packed? Absolutely not.
- A year ago, I would have been pissed. Not just frustrated, not just put out, I would have been scorched Earth mad. I would have (internally) stormed out of there and then stewed about it the entire drive to the next town until I successfully got it in the mail. It wouldn’t have stopped there, I would have re-told the story over and over about how ridiculous it was that the system failed and how I had to fix their problems.
Not today, satan. I didn’t not get angry today because I suddenly realized on my own that I’m a fool to think I have that much control over anything and it does absolutely no good to get that angry. I didn’t get scorched Earth angry because God is that good. In fact, every time something like that happens and my first reaction ISN’T anger, it blows me away. Every time. It’s 100% God and 0% me. (Because “me” would have been striking matches and watching the flames, even if it meant getting burned in the process.)
Had I gotten angry, engulfed in the fire the entire drive to the next town over, I would have missed out on so much joy. Ian and I were having such a great morning; he was being the best little helper. No doubt my attitude would have changed and I probably would have become less patient and short with him. If we hadn’t had to drive to the next town, we wouldn’t have seen the train go by… which is seriously the highlight of his day. (Scorched earth Emily would have been too busy seething at yet another literal roadblock.) If we hadn’t had to go to another USPS, I wouldn’t have had the extra time to pray over that box headed half way around the world.
Thank you, Jesus, for reminding me over and over again that Eli isn’t the only child being pursued throughout this adoption.