Besides making sure we remember our toothbrushes and wheelchairs (or more accurately the flight crew remembers to load/unload those!), our most important preparations center on making sure that we’ve planned all that we can for Hannah while we are away.
In my anxious state, I’ve created a “Hannah Handbook” and shared it with the crew of family that will care for Hannah while we’re in China. I thought I’d share the headings for other adoptive families who might be preparing their little ones for an adventure of their own while their parents are in China.
Here’s what we’ve covered:
General Rules: For us, this includes the basics. Be Kind. Climbing and jumping off high objects if for gymnastics. Be a good listener and follow directions. Hannah recently informed my mom that I allow her to look under bathroom stalls “to see who’s under there” so I thought it would be helpful to clarify that we do, in fact, have a few basic rules!
Consequences: This covers how our family handles discipline. We primarily use 1, 2, 3 Magic with an emphasis on Hannah learning self-control. She’s encouraged to go to her room to calm down if needed and we don’t negotiate with whining terrorists.
Routines: This section covers our approach to morning and bedtime routines. I’m hoping little details (like the fact we read 3 books before bed) will help bring some stability and normality to Hannah’s little world while we are gone. There’s also the necessity to use her “magic” hair brush for tangles (or apparently it’s equivalent to cruel and unusual punishment).
Weekly Schedule: The bulk of the document involves a detailed planned schedule for the event. I included addresses, directions, phone numbers, and a couple of pictures for landmarks.
Favorite Outings: I’ve listed our top 3 playgrounds with addresses and their differences along with our library.
In case of illness/emergency: Here I’ve listed our pediatrician’s information along with where our medication/thermometer is located in the house. I’ve also listed vet information for our dog and our neighbor’s contact should their be a local
And last but not least, we’ve created and hung our Summer Fun list. I intentionally added a few activities that I know Hannah can check off during our time in China. She’ll have sleepovers with cousins, a trip to the dentist (she’s unaware this isn’t on everyone else’s summer fun list!), and she’ll make art with her Birdie (aka her grandma). And there’s the MOST exciting event-WELCOME ELI HOME!
Now that this item (Hannah’s Handbook) is checked off my gigantic to do list, we’re on to packing this weekend!