Sunday, June 10, 2007

Packing list

If you're not a prospective adoptive parent, you really won't care about this post. However, for those of you that might be travelling in the near (or even distant) future (congrats to Tricia, Jessica and Erin!), I thought it might be helpful to post my packing list. So, here it is, take it or leave it. I've put a "-" next to the things we didn't use, and a "+" next to the less intuitive items I'm very glad we brought. Note that most of the "didn't use" items are medications, which is just a reflection of the fact that, by God's grace, none of us got really sick. They don't take up much room, and I think I still would bring most of them again. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions! (

-Tylenol infant drops
-Motrin infant drops
-Benadryl (Children's)
-Baby Orajel
-Cradle Cap shampoo/medicine
Robitussin infant drops
-Children’s saline spray
-Children’s gas relief drops
-Advil PM
Anti-fungal cream
+Pepto Bismol chew tablets
-Cough drops
+Rx malaria meds
+Rx Xanax for plane and adjusting to time change

-Peanut butter (we saw this in a grocery store)
+Balance bars (fabulous meal replacements in Ninh Thuan where our stomachs were a little "off")
-Nature Valley bars (available in Vietnam)
+Dried apricots
+Candy (to eat and to give)

Toiletries (all full size)
Shampoo & Conditioner
hair gel
ponytail holders
small bag of make-up
face wash
nail scissors/file
contact solution
contact cases
extra contacts
Feminine products
-Baby powder
Haircutting scissors... I was just dying to get my hands on Reagan's long strays

Chapstick with SPF

Pillowcase (for the plane)
Washcloths in ziplocks (to freshen up on the plane)
Money pouch (one each)
Tide individual laundry packets
-Travel size Oust
+bug spray & wipes (we didn't use it often, but were glad to have it on a few occcasions)
+tissues - travel size (for squatty potties)
+hand sanitizer
+Ziplock storage baggies (all sizes)
+Lap top
+Skype (purchase minutes in the US)
+Skype headset
+Cell phone (to call family in airport when we got home)
Adapter (necessary in Hanoi but not elsewhere)
Camera, extra batteries, extra memory, USB cord, battery charger (I wish I would have brought blank CDs to back up my photos, though it's quite cheap to do it in HCMC)

Web cam
Video camera, extra tapes, charger
-Calculator (the exchange is pretty easy to do in your head: 100,000 dong = $6.25)
-Dryer sheets
-Tide to Go pen
+Earplugs (came in very handy on the plane seated next to a snorer!)

(ALL CARRY-ON! Plus copy for checked luggage)
Original, notarized home study
Copy of dossier
Copies of Reagan’s legal papers
I-864 & I-600
W2’s & 1040’s from past 3 years
Phone#, Fax# & Email to all agency/contacts/travel agents, etc
Copies of credit/debit cards & non-800 customer service numbers (call ahead to alert them you'll be using them in Vietnam)
Email, phone #’s of family & friends

We actually didn't need any of these documents, but it was still good to have them.

Clothes: Laura
1 dress
2 pair pants
10 t-shirts/tanks
3 skirts (these were very comfortable in the heat)
2 pair of pj's
-1 light jacket
3 pairs flip flops
+2 pair crocs (the BEST shoes for walking, especially in the rain when flip-flops were slippery)
-swimsuit (we didn't swim: jellyfish in the ocean, algae in the pool)
underwear/bras/socks (as many as I could fit)

Clothes: Dan
2 pairs shorts
2 pair cargo pants
3 t-shirts
3 button-down shirts/polos
-1 light jacket
+1 pair Crocs
-1 pair sneakers
2 pair pajama pants
undershirts/underwear/socks (as many as I could fit)

Baby stuff
2 Bottles
Bottle brush (wish I would have brought a little dishwashing soap)
100 bottle drop-in liners (only used about 50)
Baby carrier and sling (Baby Bjorn was great!)
Plastic backed bibs
Baby wipes (lots!)
-20 American-strength diapers (unnecessary because you can even get Huggies in Vietnam)
-5 Swim diapers
-2 Pacifiers (Reagan prefers her hands and a silky blanket I brought)
Poly-V-Sol vitamin drops (Reagan didn't appear to be anemic or otherwise malnourished)
-Baby toothbrush/toothpaste (Reagan has no teeth)
Lact-aid (I am trying to breastfeed)
4 cloth diapers/burp clothes
-3 lap pads
+2 Blankets
+Small toys/books
5 Onesies
7 Pajamas
7 Outfits/dresses
6 Socks
Baby lotion
Baby shampoo
Changing pad
Formula dispenser
Baby photo album of home/family

$240 in twenties
$60 in ones
$700 in hundreds (total $1000 cash, we came home with $350)
-2 ATM cards (we didn't use them, but might have if we were in Vietnam longer)
+2 Major credit cards (accepted almost everywhere)


Orphanage Donations:
All age clothing
Toys without batteries
Stuffed animals
Children’s gummy vitamins
+Candy (it was really fun to have little candies to pass out at the orphanage, as well as just about everywhere else we stopped and interacted with the local people. Even adults approached us to ask for a lolipop!)

Orphanage Caretakers gifts:
Framed picture of Reagan
Jewelry (women)
Watches (men)
+Gift bags, tissue and ribbon
I wish I would have brought one special gift for the nanny responsible for Reagan.

Dillon Staff:
Thomas: family board game
Minh: Size M short-sleeved dress shirt
Phuong: watch
Thinh: watch

All of this fit into 3 rolling duffel bags (one each for Dan and I, one just for orphanage donations and gifts), and 2 carry-ons. We didn't feel like we had too much luggage, nor did we feel like we did without anything. We did laundry once ($8 for a suitcase-full at a local laundromat in HCMC) and would have had to do it once more if we stayed another week. Coming home, all of our souviners fit into the orphanage donation bag.


Kathy said...

THanks Laura! This will be very helpful! Sounds like Reagan is doing wonderfully! You have a beautiful family

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that. We are putting our packing list together and you are a good cross reference for us.

Tricia and Kirk said...

Thanks for the post. I'm copying it so that I'm sure not to miss anything.

Cindy, Chuck, and Rhett said...

Wow! That is a thorough and helpful list! I'm making a copy too. Thanks for taking the time to pull that together!

R&H said...

Thank you for posting this, we've never traveled out of the country and never traveled with a baby before so we don't even know where to begin. This will be a wonderful help to us!

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