Friday, March 4, 2011

Adoption Trip Prep: Take Kids or Not?

From the beginning of our adoption journey, Ken and I have known that we wanted to take the 3 Brownies with us to China.
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.
The con our agency listed IS a big one to consider: "You will still be parenting while trying to get to know your new child(ren)."
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!

3 comments:

  1. I agree. All five kids will benefit from knowing each other from the start. The fact that you are preparing your children here for situations that might arise are good. I admire you and Ken for the depth of study you have put into making the transition from being a family of five to being a family of seven go as smoothly as us possible. God is blessing you now and will continue to do so.

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  2. It is amazing to watch God pouring His blessings on your family! The extra money is nothing when you look at the big picture. This experience will be priceless for all of you.

    This is so exciting ~ The boys will be in your arms before you know it!!!
    ~chris

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  3. What an amazing opportunity! Doesn't sound like much of a decision to me. :-) I'm so excited for you all! And you are doing a wonderful job of preparing your whole family for what is to come.

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