In adoption today, parents waiting to adopt often cannot predict when they will get “the call” to go meet the baby they long to add to their family. Babies are born at all hours and it’s important to be ready to GO when the opportunity to adopt comes calling. This moment is full of mixed emotions, from sheer joy to the jitters.
Remember, most hospitals are located within a short drive to a local mega-mart or drug store, so don’t panic if you pack light and stock up on what you need once you travel. There are some things for adoption travel that you can prepare now, so you have less to pack, and less to remember when the time comes to meet your baby. Consider your hospital packing list ahead of time. Here’s what we suggest getting ready:
Pack two receiving blankets and two swaddling blankets. If it’s cold in the state where the birth mother lives, also pack a fluffy, warm blanket.
2. A Car Seat
Make sure to read up on how to safely install the car seat you’ve purchased, or plan to purchase once you arrive, so you don’t have to be frustrated over it later. Check around in your area for a car seat safety class or inspection to make sure you’re doing it correctly. If you already purchased a car seat, practice installing it in your car, or ask a friend with children if you can practice with their car seat.
3. Diaper Bag
Pack bottles, diaper wipes for sensitive skin, a few diapers, a couple of outfits. It’s smart to pack newborn size and size-one diapers; if your baby is larger at birth, they may be too big for newborn diapers already! The hospital will help you figure out formula that is right for your baby, so there’s no need to stock up before you know what your baby needs.
4. Overnight Bag
You can save money by packing necessities into your carry-on luggage and avoid checked bag fees. Pack comfy clothes (for sitting around your hotel room) and presentable clothes (for photos and going to dinner, the hospital, and any site seeing). Packing lightly is smart because once you head home, every square inch of your luggage or car could well be packed with baby items!
5. Gift for Your Child’s Birth Mom*
Although no gift could completely convey to her how thankful you are, it’s good to show her how important she is to you. Thoughtful gift ideas include a keepsake box with pampering items, birthstone jewelry or an adoption bracelet with a heartfelt letter. You will have a better idea of what would touch your child’s birth mother’s heart as you get to know her.
*Check with your adoption professional to learn if gifts to a birth mother are legally allowable in your situation.
For your camera, cell phone, laptop, and other electronic equipment like, hands-free ear buds, iPods, or e-readers. Remember the car charger for your phone as well! You’ll want to make sure you can stay in communication with your adoption professionals, the birth mother, and your loved ones, AND be ready to record all those first memories with your baby.
So that you can document this momentous experience. You can write down your thoughts and feelings and share them with your child later.
We hope that this list helps you plan ahead for adoption travel and at the hospital. What would you add to the list? Comment below with ideas, tips, or questions you have about packing for adoption travel.
This post was originally published on our blog on April 8, 2016
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.