The people who journey to China can be one of either parent, both parents, one parent and a grandparent, two parents and current children, or even both parents, children, in-laws, cousins and aunts. And a partridge in a pear tree.
That last group is strongly discouraged by our agency. It is encouraged that both parents go if at all possible. This allows the adopted child to immediately become a US citizen when they land on US soil.
We recently received a travel packet from our agency in which they outlined the pros and cons of taking people along for your adoption trip.
As for children, the pro is listed as "They get to be a part of the first days with their new brothers and experience the birth place of their sibling."
We have a few more pros:
- Our kids will experience a new country, becoming more open-minded to the world around them.
- What better schooling? Seeing The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, and meeting and interacting with the people of China for 3 solid weeks!
- We will probably have the opportunity to visit an orphanage. Invaluable.
- They will be with us for those 3 weeks. Being apart from them for that long would take a toll on everyone. They would be super needy when we got back to the US.
- They will be helpful with the boys and can provide some comfort to the boys.
Parenting is hard enough in our own country and in our own home. I know this will be tough. We've been preparing our kids for some of the feelings they might encounter. I read (or have them read) travel blogs from families who took their kids and blogged honestly about the joys and stresses. We talk about how they will certainly experience feelings of neglect for a while, regardless of if they traveled with us or not.
Our agency will do some planned activities for the kids while we are in China and we have support staff on 24-hour call to act as an advocate, nanny, guide, and shoulder to cry on.
Cost-wise, taking the kids will add about $7000, but in the scheme of an almost-month-long journey that will cost just over $40,000, that $7000 is worth every penny.
China or bust!