Monday, September 22, 2008

Day "18" Stunk

In the spirit of honesty, today stunk. It started out stinking, got worse and ended up pretty funky too. So, I'm thinking I'll get up on the other side of the bed tomorrow and see if 17 is a better number for me.

Joshua couldn't get moving this morning. He lolly-gagged around like he had all day to get to school. Then, as we were already 15 minutes late, he remembers he doesn't have gym clothes. Kevin pulls the entire bag out of the dirty clothes basket. Great. I managed to get another set together and we left, with breakfast in hand because he also couldn't seem to eat either. As soon as we backed out of the drive, he spilled his milk all over the car. Contrary to the popular saying, you can cry over spilled milk. Back to the house to get something to dry it up before it sours and we are on the road again.

Prior to all of that Kevin and I had discussions about all the stuff that still needs to be done before I go. There's apparently too much and too little of us. Of course, I knew it would be that way. Whatever. I was just in a bad mood. Poor Kevin.

I volunteered at the school today; that wasn't bad at all and I got to visit my mom who gave us a new cordless phone set that she couldn't use at her house. That definitely wasn't bad. So, I'm thinking things are looking up, right? Another good news item is that I get to baby-sit Caleb for his mom Michelle this week while she volunteers at Carah's school (at least I think she said it was Carah's school). It will be some great "hands-on" experience. And Caleb is so stinking cute!!!! Check out her blog for pictures of him. He's going to help me try out my Maya wrap. Poor boy has no clue what he's in for.

So, I digress -- back to the story. I pick Josh up at school and we go home to charge my phone and get the paper so I could pick up the package I have at the post office. I stopped to read my email. Mistake.

Apparently, according to an email from our agency, we are supposed to bring gifts for people in Kyrgyzstan. Now, I assumed there would be some and I assumed they would be for people like our coordinator, translator, drivers and the orphanage director. I had already planned and budgeted to give a small monetary donation to the caregivers because they make so very little money. My understanding is that it's about $30 a month. What I was not aware of was the fact that we needed to bring twelve gifts -- for the judge, inspector, passport officials, orphanage director . . . on and on goes the list. These gifts should be in the $25-$30 each price range. NOW... let me say, I like to give presents as well as anyone else. I'm fond of getting presents. SO, I'm not anti-present. However, some of the reasons I have trouble with this specific request is that I have, now, 17 days to get these gifts for people I don't KNOW. I have to determine what to get, where to get it, how much it costs, how large/small I can fit in my suitcase. Which brings me to this: I don't have room to pack them in my suitcase!!! And finally, in all honesty, it's more money to spend that I was just not prepared for. I have been diligent in managing the expenses for trip 2 and I knew exactly how much I needed for what. Now . . . surprise. So many more thoughts have run through my head about all this, but I should just leave it at this.

I'm still concerned about my luggage limits. Elizabeth indicated her agency had said something about giving her a letter for the airlines indicating she was taking humanitarian aid which would often allow them to waive the additional luggage fee. I've sent a letter to our agency asking if they will do this. If they agree, I'll call the airline and ask if we can take one additional suitcase of items for the orphanage. This will allow me to be able to take some of the things that other adoptive parents have offered to send.

I continue to wonder how Ellie is doing -- if she is well and how she will adjust. She turns six months old one week from today. She has no idea how her life is about to change. I can't wait to kiss those sweet little lips again. At that point, all the troubles, heartache, problems and "stinky" days will be worth it, I know!!

I'm off to bed so that 18 can be finished and we can move along to 17.


Julie said...

Boy it seems so wrong to have to give people like the judge a gift. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. What about something like a visa giftcard? Or can you buy some kind of giftcards once your are there so you don't need to waste valuable luggage space?? I would imagine these people would not care if the gift was not hand picked and personal!! Plus I prefer giftcards than take a chance on what's in box number 1!!!

Jeanne said...

That is rough about the gifts, and would aggravate me, too! I do have some experience with int'l. travel and gift giving, so email me if you want to chat about ideas.

Mala said...

That's very odd. You won't even see the judge, inspector, passport person, ect. How would you know the gifs really go to them? I guess we were lucky, we were just told we had to bring 3 cakes (which disappeared mysteriously as soon as we arrived). I guess their tastes have grown more expensive in the past year.

Mom to 2 Angels said...

We never saw any of those other officials either. We only took a nice gift to our coordinator and then made about ten little gift bags for the caregivers, but they were really simple (Avon lotions, soaps, handtowels). Our travelmates took cakes like Mala and they liked that WAY more than my little hand-picked gifts. If I were you, I would not stress the gifts, get a couple for the people you will actually meet and stop and get food for the orphanage workers.

Mom to 2 Angels said...

Oh, and Josh sounds like C every morning, completely in slow motion. So, it doesn't get better as they get older???