Bibi is so lucky to have HaRav Ovadia Yosef make riculous comments. U.S.: Rabbi’s ‘offensive’ remarks harm peace efforts – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.
Now Netanyahu gets to look the moderate, peacemaker. Yeah, peace is right around the corner. Those direct talks are looking better and better.
People seem to like lists a lot. I also remember my panic, even with extensive international travel under my belt, when forced to pack for a trip of unknown duration where I could have found myself stuck in a remote village for more than a month.
Keep in mind that you may find yourself spending lots of time with nothing to do. You need to stay busy and stay connected since your friends and family provide a lifeline to sanity when you are going through an international adoption.
So here’s my top ten list:
- Books – we were unable to find English reading material anywhere, even in major cities. Pick long books, at least 3 of them. Some recommendations: Shantaram ~ Gregory David Roberts; The Source ~ James A. Michener; World Without End or The Pillars of the Earth ~ Ken Follett; Shogun or Noble House ~ James Clavelle; An Instance of the Fingerpost ~ Iain Pears. Please feel free to list your own recommendations in the comments section. You may also want to bring along a book about adoption. I brought Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents~Deborah D. Gray. Links featured below.
- Portable DVD player – we took this with us primarily for Karen, but it was nice to have when we rented an apartment with no DVD and no TV in English.
- DVDs – you will not find anything in English. All non-Russian movies are dubbed.
- Laptop computer – yes it’s a hassle, but we found we were able to get Internet in most rented apartments, after a lot of hassles. But it was our lifeline. Since even most TV cable companies offer nothing in English, we found that the only way we could keep up with news and stay in contact with our support network at home was via the laptop. We Skyped on a daily basis and kept up on news, email, blog. the laptop also served up games for Karen and DH to play.
- iPad, if available. You should even be able to use this to buy ebooks to read in iPad’s great reader options. Note however that buying items online from Ukraine may be difficult, especially if you did not notify your bank of your travel plans ahead of time.
- Quality toys – Fisher-Price, bring from home. Cheap Chinese electronic toys are readily available at local shops. Bring at least one toy as a primary gift to your new child. We found bringing a pack of balloons kept toddlers happy and playful.
- A full course of antibiotics for each person travelling with you. Consult your doctor to determine what will work best for the type of problems you are most likely to encounter. We took amoxicillin for Karen and Axetil for us adults. Luckily we did not use any of it.
- Ensure you have enough money on your Skype account to call freely. You may not be able to add money later on since credit card transactions originating in Ukraine may be blocked as suspicious.
- Xanax and 2 months of any prescription meds you take on a regular basis. You may find yourself in extremely stressful and emotional situations. Unless you are completely unflappable in the face of adversity, you will want Xanax as a backup.
- Extra gifts, mostly for women. Especially appreciated are known brands of perfume and cosmetics. My Dior gifts were very popular. Although you will already be packing gifts for the baby home director and your facilitator, always have extra gifts available for translators, or anyone else who may be involved in helping you. Boxes of chocolate can be purchased locally. These are good for the team of caretakers.
Ahhh, love coming home after “roughing it” with the kids for a week. We had a zimmer in a small village called Had Nes in the foothills of the Golan Heights. We drove there, via Tiberias. It was Karen’s first time seeing the Kinnereth (Sea of Galilee). I had my new iPad with me, and it would have been Eden had it not been quite so hot, 43 C, about 109 F!!!!
We were there with another couple and their two, beautiful children. All four of our kids are adopted from Ukraine. They have become good friends of ours through our four adoptions, and were our biggest cheering pit while we were in Ukraine to adopt Matan. It’s nice to have a close connection to another adoptive family and it’s good for our children who get along like siblings, playing and fighting, but loving every minute of it.
We were very aware of the border tension as fighter jets practiced over our heads during the day. Each village is enclosed and gated at night, but otherwise life seemed very calm and slow paced, exactly as a vaction village should feel.
We’ve been up in the Golan Heights all week. I promise to have photos up soon. “Soon” being a relative term since I’ve got full time mommy-duty until September 1.
Compassion allows us to use our own pain and the pain of others as a vehicle for connection. This is a delicate and profound path.
via “WEEKLYWORDS OF WISDOM on the World Wide Web chosen by Lama Surya Das. For more info see the Dzogchen Center
It finally happened. The fateful question, once released, will be forever lodged in my memory.
Today a woman saw me with Matan and asked, “Are you the mother or the grandmother?”. I was too shocked to think of a creative reply.
Last year a girlfriend (45+)with a 4 year old daughter told me she often felt uncomfortable when playground parents would ask her the same question. At the time, I was shocked that anyone would ask.
Although it’s normal for Israelis to ask personal question even when they barely know you, she looks so young that I was surprised that anyone would think her a grandmother. True, when I was born my grandmother was only 45, but somehow people tend look younger, longer these days.
When people ask other awkward questions, I usually have a ready reply. The most common question I get when people find out my kids are adopted is, “What do you know about his/her real mother?”. The answer is “I AM THE REAL MOTHER!”. Sorry for yelling.
I should probably expect to be asked “mother or grandmother?” more often now that I have a new toddler, and time continues its assault. I will happily accept suggestions for snarky replies to use next time this happens.I’ve tried thinking of a snappy answer, but nothing comes to mind.
No thumbnail this time for what should be obvious reasons.
Thursday will once again be hotter…..Friday will be hotter still, with no change for Saturday. Highs of 95F / 35C across the board with 80% humidity. Better than Eilat in the south where it will be about 108F / 42C.
I’m almost missing our winter in Ukraine.