As I continue to get ready for this trip, I keep thinking about what might be helpful. I know that when we adopted TM, I wished that we could have had some way to explain what the order of events was. There was about a week where we were convinced that TM thought we lived at the hotel we were staying at, and I believe it was confusing that nothing looked like what we said in the photo book we sent. I know that H. is older, but if she is anything like my current 8 and 9 year olds, knowing what order things happen in is very important. With TM, I'll be able to tell him that today we stay at the hotel, but tomorrow we will take an airplane. That won't really be useful for H. So I decided to make a picture calendar for her so she could visualize a basic outline of the order of events.
I numbered the cards (I'm pretty sure I have seen English numerals on the board of her classroom) and glued pictures showing what was going to happen. And then I laminated them. Because I could. Here's the ring. Day 1 is March 12 when she comes into our care.
I found a picture of a waiting room and piles of paper to represent all the paperwork that will need to be completed. I also added pictures of the hotels we'll be staying in. (Sorry for the horrible photos. I didn't realize they were quite so bad until I loaded them onto the blog. You can get the idea, though.)
On days where we fly to a different city, I put an airplane and the new hotel.
I even put in sight seeing trips to the best of my knowledge. For instance, there is a wildlife park in Guangzhou which I really want to try to get to. They have pandas. I love pandas. Living in the center of the US makes it difficult to get to the US zoos which have pandas. Did I mention I love pandas?
The last care is a picture of our home.
I hope these will be helpful for H. They have actually already proved helpful to TM as he begins his endless series of questions about what is going to happen when. He may end up looking at them more than H. does.