Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What I Am Glad I Packed for Colombia

I have talked to a couple of other mom's that are about to journey with their families to Colombia. When I was getting ready to go, I also had a couple of mom's share helpful information with me. I thought I would try to post a some travel tips.

Before you go, when you first get your referral & you are putting together your child's care package, SEND A DISPOSABLE CAMERA. I am taking ours to be developed today...can't wait to see the shots the sweet caregivers took of GG.

Now, on to packing for your trip. Souvenirs & food are reasonably priced in Colombia, but baby stuff is not. I paid about $15.00 for 6 baby spoons! We also needed a dark shirt for GG's visa picture & had to pay about $12.00 for 1, yes just 1, plan (ugly) onesie. This was not from a designer store, either. It was a department store much like walmart. So, all that being said, take as much of you baby/child's stuff as you can. The orphanage will tell you what formula your baby is eating, and it is priced about the same as in the US. Our orphanage only bottle feeds the babies, until they are 6 months, so GG was not eating baby foods. I did see baby food jars, but mostly fruit. Not vegetables. If your baby is older & may be eating baby foods, you might want to bring some. Here is a list of what I brought.

Stuff I would for sure buy in the US & bring:

  • Baby bottles (you will buy formula in Colombia)
  • There are really not as many bottles here, as it looks. There is a mirror behind them :) I brought 2 different kind, not knowing what kind she'd be used to. Chiquitines uses the older type, like the ones on the right in these pictures. GG doesn't like the fancy NUK kind at all.
  • Baby Spoons
  • Diapers/wipes--these are only a little more expensive in Colombia, so if you are running out of room, you could wait & get them there.
  • Clothes (I had about 10 warm weather outfits & 4 cooler/fall outfits for Bogota)
  • Don't forget your dark shirt for your Visa picture
  • Burp clothes/bibs
  • Light weight blankets
  • nail clippers
  • infant carrier- we used a "hip hammock" You can bring a stroller, but the streets are not as stroller friendly & the carrier lets you bond with your baby even more.
  • a few small toys
  • I brought GG some shoes, but none of them fit her.
I also packed a little "medicine cabinet:"
For the baby:
  • saline nasal spray
  • infant tylenol
  • infant motrin
  • diaper cream
  • orajel
  • vicks vapor rub
For Us/older kids:
  • tylenol
  • motrin
  • cold meds
  • allergy meds
  • bug spray
  • beandryl/itch cream
  • bandaids
  • neosporin
We also brought our laptop computer & a magic jack w/a telephone. We used skype to video chat computer to computer with grandparents & friends. Skype is free to sign up & use computer to computer. We also purchased the magic jack @ Walgreens, before we went to Colombia. It was $39.95, and is good for a year. The magic jack plugs into a USB port in your computer, and allows you to call anywhere in the US for free. It's like you are making a call from home, but you are calling from Colombia. You must have a decent internet connection to use either of these. Both of our hotels (Cali & Bogota) had good internet service. The trip would not have been the same, if we couldn't have talked to family & friends back home so freely.


Anonymous said...

SOOOO helpful. Thank you! I'm curious if GG's shoes were too big or small. Was she the size you expected from the referral information?

Kelly said...

Too small. She's a petite chunky girl :)

Emily and Justin said...

Thank you so much for sharing! We're in the process of submitting the dossier through Gladney, so it is always great to hear from someone that has been in the same boat! I was wondering about only being in Colombia 3 weeks. We were told 7-8. Is there something you guys did to allow the stay to be shorter!

Excited and happy for you.

Kelly said...

Emily & Justin,
When we started our process w/Gladney we were also told it could take up to 8 weeks. It completely depends on what region your child/children are in. GG was in Cali, which is smaller & has a "less busy" court system than Bogota. If your kid(s) are in Bogota--expect to be there the whole time. I met people in Bogota that had already been there 5 weeks & had not been given a court date. Medellin is also known to be quicker than Bogota. Once we were given our referral in Cali, we expected to be there 4 weeks. We were blessed w/a fast court & a fast lawyer. Both are randomly assigned @ Chiquitines (our orphanage). So, all that being said---pray your child/children are in Cali, or Medellin :)

Emily and Justin said...

Thanks so much for answering our post! We are thankful to have found your blog to read more about the process. Every little piece of information seems to make the time go faster!

Thanks again!