Posted by: Kristin W | July 6, 2010

Still To Do

While there hasn’t been much going on in the adoption world lately, it’s not exactly because there isn’t anything left to do.  We have two lists going: those things we can do before our referral, and those things we need to know the age/sex/size of our new kids before we can accomplish.  Here’s a sample:

Before Referral:

  • Find a new pediatrician.  Long story, but bottom line is that our current pediatrician is barely cutting it with two healthy kids, so there’s no way we’re going to bring two malnourished, parasitic kids in that practice.
  • Decide on a preschool.  If the kids are over age two, they will go to the same school our other kids went to (LOVE Ann’s!), however if one is younger, then we need to find an alternate.  I’ve narrowed it down to two, and Andrew has visited one.  He’s going to see the other one this week, so hopefully we can make a decision.
  • Update my life insurance.  I am currently under-insured, and on top of that, the state, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to cut life insurance for all state employees.  Joy.  At least I’m totally healthy, so won’t have to pay for any unnecessary premiums or smokers’ fees.
  • Figure out the dental plan.  Our dental insurance sucks – no other way to say it.  It takes forever to navigate.  I’m pretty sure this will have to wait until after we have the kids, but I’m going to try to get them on the list at our dentist as soon as possible.  From the stories I’ve heard, we could be looking at some pretty serious dental issues by the time they get here.
  • Start buying donations for the orphanage.  We will take some staples (children’s medication and supplies) that are recommended by our adoption agency.  I have asked our caseworker for their suggested list, and we are going to start buying a little something every now and then so it won’t be a huge expense later.
  • Take our typhoid fever medicine.  This is a tricky one because it has to be taken one hour before a meal or two hours after a meal, meaning there’s not a good time to do it while our children are awake.  We’re thinking we’ll just eat early then they can take it before bed, as it sometimes causes upset stomach.
  • Check on the expirations dates of all our paperwork and put together a calendar of when we need to start re-doing the things that will expire (home study, USCIS approval, fingerprints, etc.)
  • Create our photo album.  I think I’ve mentioned this on here before, but we need to prepare a “This is Your Family” album for the kids to get us know us before we go.
  • Prepare to travel.  We need new luggage.  The kids need new, sturdier backpacks to carry through the airports.  We need activities for the kids to do on the loooooooong plane ride (as we will quickly wear through the batteries in our DVD player, iPhones, and DS, I bet).

Once we fine out who our kids are:

  • Sort out outgrown clothes and see what they can wear.  Buy the rest.
  • Get carseats that are the right size for the kids (convertibles, boosters, etc.)  We’ve probably got at least one of everything that isn’t expired, it’s just a matter of determining what goes where.
  • Order injera from online.  We’re planning to put some in the freezer so we’ll have at least something they are guaranteed to eat when we return.
  • Get out all the “stuff.”  Highchair?  Booster seat?  Infant seat?  Exersaucer?  Age-appropriate toys?  Bottles?  Sippy cups?  Diapers?
  • Organize the kids rooms.  Once we know the ages/genders, we can decide who will be in what room and then we can put the appropriate beds where they need to go.

So, there’s a lot to be done, I just usually forget to be motivated since it seems like we have a lot longer to wait.  We’ve now been “officially waiting” since January 27, so we’re at a little over five months.  With published wait times of 2-12 months, we’re kind of in the middle of that range, so you never know.

And, to update you on the broken wrist, S is doing well.  He has taken up croquet until he can get back to baseball.



  1. Hi there, this is Meg (waiting for sibs with WHFC) from This post nearly sent me into a panic attack!! I have got to get it together and start planning/preparing. Like you guys we don’t know the ages of our kids so we have done basically nothing in preparation for our referral…! Ok, i have a lot of work to do!

    • I know! We have been sitting around doing nothing for months, then I’m sure I’ll kick myself later for not getting more done when we had “nothing to do!”

  2. THIS is why I started, but again I am in a limbo mode right now because they are telling me a year for siblings up to 6 years of age. The good thing is I can pretty much bank on them being over three (eliminating a ton of prep for babies and infants). However, I have some very similar lists.. Lists make me feel in control. 🙂

    Two things I noticed. Injera. I did not realize you can freeze this. It makes sense, but did anyone ever do that? I would love to be able to do that. I had planned to order some the very second I hit US soil with two day delivery. IF I thought it could be frozen, it would be so much better!

    The dentist. I kind of assumed from calling adoptive parents and talking to others, the kids really, really need a pediatric dentist. There is one in my neighborhood. I have a dental appointment with a regular dentist next month (I go maybe once every couple of years at the recommendation of my dentist– in case I ever get a cavity or plaque starts forming on my teeth.. I have weird teeth), and I plan to check with her. I love her, and I would prefer she look at my children’s teeth, but everyone says go with a pediatric dentist because they are better at finding things in kids’ teeth. Hmmmm

    On another note, you are very lucky to be able to “test” your pediatrician. I doubt mine has seen any internationall adopted kids.. again she has an office in my neighborhood.. so it is going to be flying by the seat of my pants unless the international clinic recommends someone really good (after the first trip there).

    Could you bring your two kids over to my house, so I can test my English Bulldog around them? I have seen similar concerns with others stating nobody wants to sacrifice their toddlers for the dog to try out. I did see a toddler at the vet, and the dog ignored him, but it could be the setting. I just really, really worry with her exuberance and enthusiasm, she will plow over the kids. Even my friends said the EB is going to terrify them. ugh. Maybe she will slow down in another hope. Not mean.. just too powerful.

    Thanks for giving me hope. Watching you prepare .. makes me think I might want to start again sometime in the future.

    I did have a discussion regarding insurance last week with someone in HR. They insisted I couldn’t change the plan, but after finally talking to someone at the state level, they realized they were incorrect. Glad I had the discussion now and not in the 30 day window of adoption. I am definitely upping my dental.

    • Yes, you can freeze injera. I am lucky to have another adoptive mom (sibling girls from Ethiopia) who lives in our town and she recommended it. She says she still gets it for her girls every once in a while. As for the dental, with my insurance, they will have to be seen by our regular dentist and get a referral to the pediatric dentist before it will be covered. My biological kids have been going to a pediatric dentist and we’ve just been paying out of pocket, but I have a feeling we’re not going to want to do that with more severe problems. Sorry I can’t sacrifice my kids to your dog (I’ve gotten pretty attached to them!) We have a Mastiff mix (about 115 pounds), so I’m sure the kids from Ethiopia will be in utter shock. He’s great with kids, though. Only downside is that he’s about 8-9 years old, so is about at the life expectancy for a giant breed dog. I hate to think that they might get here and then experience another loss, but I can’t really control that.

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