Friday, October 08, 2004

Shopping for the Baby

A trip to TARGET was in the stars today. Smartmom picked OSFO up at PS 321 a shocking ten minutes late -- guess who wasn't wearing her watch? OSFO was furious saying that it felt like she was waiting 100 years in the lobby, where all the kids whose parents are late are coralled. It's a sad place to be. And Smartmom felt so guilty, she bought OSFO ices from the ices lady. And then in a moment of total guilt-induced depravity, she let OSFO buy cottom candy from the evil man who sells evil cotton candy in front of PS 321.

But the trip to TARGET, or TARGE as some are wont to call it, was planned well in advance of the small maternal infraction. Groovy Aunt, whose been working in commercial-land of late, had the day off and was able to join them. The three idled down Fifth Avenue, stopping in BROOKLYN INDUSTRIES to check out the latest in Brooklyn gear. OSFO, still smarting from her ten minutes in hell, and whacked out by inordinate amounts of pure sugar, pitched a fit and demanded that they take the rarely seen Fifth Avenue bus. "I'm tired," she whined on Union Street.

Smartmom's TARGET shopping list included socks, boxers and size 16 dungarees for Teen Spirit. OSFO was up for whatever her heart desired. But Groovy Aunt had bigger fish to fry. She had brought along the long shopping list of things that she needs to bring to Russia when she goes to the orphanage to pick up her baby.

The list, which was sent to Groovy Aunt by the folks at the adoption agency, is many pages long. It includes gifts of gratitude for the caregivers at the orphanage; clothing and educational items for the children at the orphanage; and all the things she needs for the baby while she is in Russia. It is also the final step in a process that has included many months of everything from getting finger-printed, seeing 8 doctors to certify that she and the Bro-in-Law are healthy, filling out dozens of forms, letter writing, home visits, and immigration stuff. It was a long, tortuous process. And in a way, it was the pregnancy part of the adoption. Or should I say the morning sickness.

Through it all, the ever-efficient Groovy Aunt and Bro-in-Law were up for the task in spades and now all their papers have passed through U.S. immigration and are in Russia. The parents-to-be are eagerly awaiting a picture of their baby from the agency. Like Tom Petty wrote, "The waiting is the hardest part."

So the trip to TARGET felt like a productive thing to do. And Groovy Aunt, ace shopper that she is, revved up the big, red cart and began the shopping mission with a quick sweep of the first floor picking out make-up, watches, woolen hats and gloves for the caregivers. Selecting art supplies was a breeze with OSFO as their guide. "Get markers, crayons, sharpies, paper, get finger paint, get...hey who are we getting this for?" Much as OSFO is desperately looking forward to her new Russian cousin, she doesn't always love shopping for others...

Upstairs the dynamic trio found incredible prices on onesies, toddler clothing, receiving blankets, bottles, binkys, underwear, wipes, Desitin, baby shampoo and anything else you can imagine. When all was said and done, the shopping cart was filled to overflowing -- Smartmom and Groovy Aunt had to do a quick edit, weeding out the non-essentials. But most of the items were keepers, including the tube of Desitin, a mothering must-have since the dawn of man, or at least the 1950's.

There was something about the Desitin, that sticky, white diaper rash cream, that made the adoption seem very, very real. Suddenly, the adoption wasn't just an abstraction anymore. Smartmom and Groovy Aunt were actually buying something that would be smeared on the soft baby bottom of the soon-to-be-adored newest member of their family. Truth is, this child is already being adored, even if no-one has seen his or her picture yet.

At the checkout Smartmom tried to guess how much Groovy Aunt had spent. It was a whopping $375. but it seemed a small price to pay for the satisfaction it gave them. Groovy Aunt was stunned by the array of things she was going to have to figure out how to pack in her suitcases. But it was one more important step on the journey toward getting the baby she longs to lavish love on.


At 9:35 AM, Blogger mamainwaiting said...

Thank you for your fantastic summary of our shopping spree. I loved what you said, and tears came to my eyes as I was reading it. I feel like sending this off to Phyllis, the adoptiong "czar" and other adoptiong specialists. You captured so much of the experience. love, GA


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