Adoption Advocacy: What Would You Do for Your Best Friend?
All Adoption Stories
One Mom's Story of Parenting Kids with HIV
That means it’s best to be prepared. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to focus on what is truly important – working your way towards having a family – instead of dealing with the stress of navigating the ins and outs of international travel.
1) Create A Packing List – And do it well ahead of time. Being prepared for a week to two weeks of travel is difficult enough if you’re only vacationing. When it’s for something of lifelong importance such as this, it’s even more vital to not forget anything. Create a list of what you will need to pack a few weeks ahead of time. Check items off as you pack them. Review the list prior to packing to ensure you’re not forgetting something important. And ensure any relevant documents you’ll need are on the list!
2) Make A To-Do List – We’re a big fan of lists. They are extremely helpful for organizing and staying focused. Because you’ll be traveling for important reasons, creating a to-do list is a good idea. You’re going overseas for business, not to relax, so it’s best to make sure you take care of everything that needs to be taken care of when you’re gone.
3) Prepare Your Contact Information – You’ll want to have the contact information for any guides, contacts, and other locals you may need (your hotel manager, for instance) readily available. Don’t trust it all to your smartphone, either. Have a printed backup ready, just in case.
4) Buy A Language Guide – If you’re traveling to a country that primarily speaks a language you don’t speak, it’s not a bad idea to have a small language guide (and to study it beforehand). In some cases you may be working with a guide, who will assist you during your stay, but it never hurts to have a little help in your pocket when you have to ask basic questions such as, “Where is the bathroom?”
5) Learn Local Customs – The small things matter. The customs you may be used to in the United States – how to greet people, whether or not to leave a tip, and so on – may be seen in a different light elsewhere. Such customs differ from country to country. Brush up on these seemingly minor (but actually important) social details to leave a good impression and to make it easier for you to navigate another country.
6) Brush Up On Currency – One of the more difficult adjustments you may have to make is something we take for granted in our daily lives: currency. Having a rough understanding of how the dollar translates overseas will make your trip much easier. And we don’t merely mean the exchange rate. Rather, we mean general knowledge of how much things cost in the local currency. Meals, food, gifts, and so on. The more familiar with this you are, the more comfortable you will be (and the less likely you’ll find yourself scammed by a local who can spot a mark a mile away).
7) Create A Daily Budget – Traveling overseas can be costly, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Do your research beforehand and plan out a daily budget to ensure you can make your money last. Remember to factor in meals, transportation, sundries, and obviously the cost of lodging. Allow yourself a little wiggle room for “fun” extra stuff (though understand that you’re not going to have time for a load of sightseeing).
8) Plan For Communication (Wi-Fi, etc.) – You’re going to want to remain in touch with the world, but that might take some planning. Do your research beforehand to ensure you’ll have available wi-fi spots and Internet communication where you’ll be staying. Also remember to have the proper adapters for your phone and other devices, since electrical outlets differ overseas!
There is more to that child than the special needs glaring at you from the page
It is important that you find a professional who has specific training, continuing education and experience in the areas of childhood trauma and attachment
In an advocate's words
Lessons learned through a personal journey to grow his family through adoption
Only two US adoption agencies are accredited to provide adoption services in South Africa
Family dynamics shift when a new family member is added