The following will be of most interest to those yet to pick up their little ones (although you're all welcome to read it!):
We were given a new tin of milk-based formula (which we just polished off in the wee hours of this morning - the kid's been mowing these last few feedings!). It happens to be manufactured in Australia. We are thrilled that he's not lactose intolerant! We also did a small test drive of the formula we brought and we think he did fine with that too, although it's tough to tell with so many other changes too.
We were given a bottle for formula and one for water as well as one of the famous Taiwanese pacifiers that you can't get at home. The pacifier even had a clippee thing on it so it has less of a chance of getting lost. Very thoughtful! We also did a test drive of the bottle we brought and he's doing fine with that too.
We were given the option of having him changed into the outfit we brought before we saw him but we opted to have them bring him in whatever he was wearing.
In addition to the formula they gave us, we've been feeding him yogurt, papaya, congee (rice porridge) and tiny bits of fish. We think he will be a good eater - Daddy certainly hopes so!
We were given a supply of the famous "surfboard crackers" which our little guy loves. We found them in the Taiwan supermarkets in the baby section. They are teething crackers. We considered buying a boatload and bringing them back to the states, but thought better of it since they would probably resemble surfboard bits more than surfboards by the time they made it to the US.
If you're coming to pick up your baby, don't bother bringing any toys. The video cameras, your iPhone, your shoes, jewelry, the slippers in the hotel, empty water bottles, and any other adult items you have should be more than enough to keep him or her entertained. (only partly kidding here!) Paper is also a real crowd pleaser - particularly court documents!
We sent two care packages during our wait and saw no signs of the clothes we sent, or the toys. However, we did receive both disposable film cameras back along with one of the soft toys we sent and his blanket. Both the soft toy we sent and the blanket have been embroidered with his name on the tags. Very nice!
Sadly, we tried to get the film developed in Taipei (since taking undeveloped film through airports is a pain) and we didn't get a single picture :-(. Although the cameras had flash, it seems that no one bothered to use it. *sigh* On the other hand, we were given a DVD with photos of our baby that they took along the way. With so many babies they can only send a few update photos each month, but they do apparently take more, so that was a nice surprise.
Oh, and we seem to have successfully decoded the way to get your photos hanging in your baby's crib (we didn't see any other cribs that had photos in them). I think many people send a soft photo book. We used a very thin poly photo sleeve (4x6) that had been cut from a sheet that is used in photo albums and threaded a soft wide ribbon through it. We cut the ribbon to just the right length to hang from the crib just out of baby's reach (unless he stood up, which we were hoping he would be too young to do before he came home). We trimmed any sharp corners off the plastic. We put 2 photos of us in it, back to back. They used the ribbon to hang it from the crib. Of course, baby liked to chew on it, but we hope he was getting familiar with us while he was doing so.
(p.s. I wrote most of this post while still in Taiwan, so the time frame for polishing off the formula is a little off, for example - we finished that while still in Taiwan in the wee hours of our last day there.)