Friday, May 8, 2009

Question About Gifts

Tina asks,

Some people bring gifts for people... judge, translator, teachers, etc... Is this expected? What kind of things should we bring? I have seen examples such as: spoons, coasters or perfumes. Any other ideas??
Depending on how your facilitator schedules your fees to him/her, the major gift fees to the orphanage and others may or may not be built in to the fees you pay for facilitation. Your facilitator may ask you to provide other fees as well. Every adoption is different and has different challenges, so you never know for sure before you go exactly what kind of gifting you will be doing. An experienced facilitator knows what is expected in each region and the people there.

We did not directly offer to gift a judge, and I have no idea if our facilitator provided one. If so, it came out of our fees. Ukraine is cracking down on corruption in the judiciary so it's best not to offer anything. If there was a witness to it, it could get someone in a lot of hot water. Let your facilitator handle that.

The economy in Ukraine is a shambles. If someone has been super helpful and you truly appreciate what they did or are doing for you, cash and a box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers are always appreciated. A Mt. Rushmore spoon that you think is cool might not be appreciated. Who knows! If you decide to give a gift other than money, you can get it there. No point in taking it over from America. By the way, many consider the chocolate in America inferior to the Ukrainian chocolate!

Ukrainians are people just like you and me. Don't be haughty or insulting.

We bought a bouquet of flowers for Sergey's orphanage director. Sergey carried them on the 1 mi. walk from the flower shop to the orphanage.


Michelle said...

someone i know who adopted from our hometown (D.C.) got postcards of the area to provide with their gifts - and they were appreciated. i bet you can find postcards for almost anywhere you live, and i've heard they're popular because they show the caretakers where the kids are going - plus they don't take up any room in your suitcase! postcards alone probably aren't sufficient for some of the "higher ups" but i know they've worked well for some people, especially to give the caretakers at the orphanages.

just a thought... :-)

- michelle

Jeri said...

I know the director who oversaw three orphanages and so he had to sign off on our son's adoption did not appreciate a "jigger" glass with the emblem of the state of Texas. He did seem much more fond of the paper goods that had denominations on them. Seems he was more into national souveniers with things like pyramids with eyes on them,especially those with pictures of dead presidents or kite flyers on them.

Flowers have to be in odd numbers and know that you can buy a much "bigger" gift there for a lot less money than here.