Sunday, May 14, 2006
Preparing For Our Russian Adoption- To Do List
Here are my TO DO lists for the first part of the adoption. If you think I should be doing something that I am not thinking about, please let me know so I can add it or if you think there is something on here that is unnecessary- let me know. If you would like to copy it for yourself, please do. Thanks…

Things to do while waiting:
Check all dates to make sure nothing has expired, or will be in a month or two.
Homestudy (expires one year)
Fingerprints (expires 15 months)
BCIS approval (expires 18 months)
Passports (must be valid 6 months from court date?)
Copy 4 Visa applications, print in Block letters, leave off 8, 10-13, 15, 16, 39 for later, sign
Take passport photos, print and sign the back of each photo
Staple 2 photos to corner of application
4 applications (2 each person)
Come up with a list of tentative names for child, decide on one
Start collecting needed items to pack
Collect orphanage donations and caregiver gifts
Check out the CDC website:
Get immunized for travel

Ask agency if all requirements have been made for this child to be adopted, i.e, relatives notified and seen by Russian families, the child has been on the database for the required time, the termination of parental rights document signed

Call IA doc to review medical record

Notarize and sign documents to accept child

Check travel health at

Email or call Embassy in Moscow to confirm the INS (BCIS 797-C) cable has arrived 011-7-095-956-4231, Tel: +7 (495) 728-5000 (Moscow is 8 hours ahead of Washington) Emergency after hours: 728-5025 (bring confirm email)

Complete any extra paperwork

Gather visa application with passport, cover letter, photos (check date of passport- has to be valid 6 months after visa expire date) Visa- one extra day cushion before coming back. Fill out #8, 10-13, 15, 16, 39.

Call various travel agencies for best fares. Ask for adoption fare. Lisa highly recommended Red Star Travel in Seattle- they take care of the visa (Flights that arrive in Russia in morning have shorter lines at customs, etc.)
(Find out if we need single entry, double entry, and what processing speed- processing speed does not include days needed for submission and delivery)Single entry is most probable unless really short wait between trips. When receive visa check if it is completely correct- return if wrong dates, etc. put with passport to pack. Make sure don’t stop over in places needing visa, Confirm travel dates with program coordinator before buying tickets
(consider refundable tickets)

Contact parents and family members

Get work days off as soon as we know travel dates

Call bank and tell them we need brand new bills yr 2000 or newer: mostly $100 bills, with a small amount in $20s and even less in $10s, $5s and $1s (Ask agency for recommended amount) Divide money between 2 money belts- put money in envelopes for specific purposes, keep dollars handy out of money belt

Pack for first trip:
Carry on: I.D.,medical insurance cards, prepaid calling card/access # or rent a cell phone, notebook with papers (see list below), snacks for pockets, Medicine: “No jet lag" pills, melatonin, vitamins, aspirins, allergy pills, money, book, camera, battery chargers, antibiotics, Imodium, hand lotion, sanitizer, kleenex, notebook and pens, towelettes, Tylenol, Motrin, Pepto bismol, Dramamine, sunglasses, video camera, airplane pillow, warm socks, clean change of socks, underwear and a clean t-shirt, toothbrush and toothpaste

Luggage: Baby wipes refill, Disposable camera to leave at orphanage (labeled), Portable Alarm, 220 Converter, Orphanage Donations: baby lotion, diaper rash ointment, developmental toys, toothbrushes, towels, bibs, blankets, new clothing, shoes, A bunch of lollipops, goldfish, balloons to blow up, one toy to leave with child, casual clothes (2-3 outfits each- layers), one nicer outfit each, electric fan, sunscreen, insect repellent, garbage bags for dirty clothes, small personal fan, , small regular pillow, sheet, small febreeze spray, small portable voice recorder, umbrella, pajamas, under clothing, shaving gear, soap, deodorant, small flashlight/ radio

Lisa's tip: Don't take one of those rolling suitcases that supposedly fits in the overhead bin. The bins fill up too fast and you end up having to planeside check it anyway. Take a backpack (Eddie Bauer) or bag with a long strap that can go across your chest (hands free).

Keep paperwork in organized booklet in carry on, include; phone numbers of contacts (facilitator, agency in States, agency in country, US Embassy, phone number, email address of Congress rep- copy for each person), itinerary and instructions from agency, plane tickets/airline or travel agent phone #, calling card/access number, passports & copies/visas & copies/custom forms, extra passport photos,, I-171-H & US Embassy confirmation, Questions to ask at children’s home & copy of medical record, map of Moscow and region and tourist sites, notebook paper, foreign currency exchange chart & chart that converts centimeters and kilograms. Phone number/email of pediatrician or IA doc, name and address of hotel, chart with normal child development milestones (normal delay is one month for every 3 months in orphanage, Have a metric conversion table handy: Multiply 2.2: 2.8kg X 2.2 lb./ = 6.16 lb or 2800 gm = 2.8 kg, Length 30 cm = 11.81 inches, 35 cm = 13.7, 40 cm = 15.7 in, 50 cm = 19.7, 70 cm = 27.5 in (45 cm = 45 X .3937 = 17.7 in), page with simple Russian words and phrases with English translation that might come in handy (to practice on the plane), card with money for driver, Other phone numbers: US Embassy 7-095-728-5000, American Citizens 7-095-728-5577, emergency 7-095-728-5577 or after 6PM 7-095-728-5990, 01 fire, 02 police, 03 ambulance

Check weather in region for when traveling

Check travel advisory,

Recharge camera batteries

Power of attorney form- incase one parent has to leave early for emergency

Call credit card company to let them know the amount of money will be spending in Russia and when will be there (if using credit card to pay for hotel)

Check if Russian holidays over days traveling

Weigh and measure luggage if wanted- check guidelines

Stop mail; newspaper

Confirm flights with airport

Write kid’s schedules for while we are gone/ information, kid’s medical cards, power of attorney for medical emergency, leave a copy of our passports and visas with babysitters


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Blogger Glo said...
You remind me of me. Write it all down right now while I am thinking clealry, ya know before the rush is on. The good thing about your BLOG is lots of people will be helping you to check your list and be sure you have thought of everything. OH and of course some will find it very helpful as they pack their own stuff etc. Ihope you get to use your list very very soon.

Wow Jen - that is a lotta stuff! I have to say I admire you guys so much - I don't think I could bear putting up with all that red tape..but in the end it would be so worth it....

Sorry I've been away - trying to catch up!

Blogger Margaret said...
I love lists. You and I are similar creatures.

Blogger Tricia said...
Thanks for writing all of this down. I am going to steal it someday.

For a couple of my overseas trips I have taken melatonin tablets(available in health food stores). Apparently melatonin is a natural chemical which causes sleepiness. I take it the first few nights of a trip - 30 minutes before I want to go to bed. And then a few days when I get back. It has really helped me with jet lag and getting my sleep routine on schedule.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Great list.

May I suggest, I would not wait until referral to go to the CDC website and get your immunizations. I'd do them now. The CDC recommends immunizations six months prior to travel as some of them have to have boosters over a period of time for the entire immunity (Hep A and B for instance).

Thats what I did anyway.

Blogger jeneflower said...
Thanks for pointing that out about the immunizations. I will change that on my list.

Anonymous Betsy said...
I love your lists! Although, it's a little scary when you see it all written down in one place like that, isn't it?

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