Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who Should Travel?

This Momma is getting so excited to go to China and get her girls!! I am so in love- be still my heart!

We are beginning to rethink who should travel and again I would love your opinion! We had planned for Katie and I to go to China and get the girls(Emma and Ellie). We still may do this but after leaving Sarah and Anna for 4 days while we went to Johnny's soccer tournament and coming home to challenges, we are rethinking the whole "who will travel thing".

I am starting to wonder if it would be better for Jim and I, Sarah and Anna to go to China. We are inviting Katie too if it works for her with her job. The boys are choosing not to come to China- we have asked them but we have also told them it is a working trip not a vacation. We really have no idea when we will go - the earliest would be the end of May and the latest would be the end of June. (nothing has been decided for sure just contemplating possibilities right now).

We had decided not to bring Sarah because she was having nightmares that we would leave her in China but at that point she had only been home 8 months. Now she has been home 16 months and is more secure. Plus it could be good for her to see that she can go to China and come back with her family- more proof we are her forever family! We also feel like Sarah and Anna will feel more like part of the adoption process of their new sibs instead of just having mom show up with 2 more sisters.

Sarah and Anna will have a chance to get to know their new siblings in China before returning home and getting back to the regular routine. They will have ownership of the process. They will also be ice breakers and show the two new girls that we are an okay family. Sarah may (or may not) be able to help us out with the language.

I will not have to be separated from them for 2 weeks and then have to go through the "re-bonding period" because I left them.

Now this does mean we will go coach and I am sorry because I am a wimp but please tell me it's not so bad and I can do it. (then please forgive me for being a wimp) Plus I better get used to it - I plan to go back there as soon as I can!!

What are your thoughts? What did you do or what are you planning to do in this situation?


Are These Kids All Yours? said...

I think the 4-5 of you should go. I agree they get to be a part of the process. Of course it isn't me...but I think it would make it more fun (and possibly more of a challenge???) Hmmmmm.....I just can't wait for you to go!!!

Lori said...

I REALLY think that you, Jim, Sarah, and Anna going is a great idea. It will give everyone a great chance to bond from the very beginning.

Just my two cents. :)

Emily said...

I DEFINITELY think all of you should go. As soon as I read your post about CA, I immediately thought that!

That is what we are doing. No way would I leave our little girls for that long. PLUS, I personally think it will be easier to have them all knowing about each other from the get go and to already begin the process of becoming brothers in sisters while still in China. :) Emily will be a HUGE help for us, as I know Katie will be for you.

So my vote is for EVERYONE!!!!!

Emily said...

That was Pam posting, I'm just logged in as Em, because I just posted to her blog. :)

Dawn said...

I think your idea of both you and your hubby going and the two little girls is much better. I do not blame you for not wanting to leave them and worry about bonding issues when you come back are surely significant...

Karen said...

We have traveled with a variety of combinations. We have always taken at least one of our children with us. For our last adoption we took all 5 of our kiddos to meet #6 (ages 11,9,6,4,4; new son was just shy of 4). It was by far my favorite experience. Our son seriously grieved, but having the other children there helped to "break the ice". When we were considering who to take we started of with who we couldn't leave behind for 2 weeks, and it snowballed from there:-) If we could swing it again I would definitely bring all of our kiddos again. The minimal added stress (for us) was nothing compared to the concern of "issues" for those we left behind. However the financial cost was huge for 8 tickets.

Oh and flying coach is not that bad. We have only flown coach for our international flights. Try for the middle section and an aisle seat. That way if you are sleeping there is another way for the people to get out to the bathroom. Hope you have peace with your decision. The deciding who to bring/not bring (and where to leave those not going) is seriously the worst part of the adoption process for me.

Serving the King said...

ooooo, I'm so glad you asked this! We are planning on taking our four boys with us so I am excited to read everyone's opinion that has been there, done that.

Sally- That Girl! said...

Not bringing any others with us to get Bryson was the right choice for us then, but now as you know with getting Gio we will be taking Bryson. First it was because of Bryson and his needs and now it has taken on another meaning that we think it will help with our new 6 1/2 yr old son bond with us.

I also have said I would NEVER take a newly adopted child to Hong Kong Disney and I am rethinking that right now too!!

I say take the girls and Jim and we will have a grand time in GZ together!!!

Motherbird said...


I think it is a great idea to travel with the four of you!

We flew coach about three years ago bringing Avery home and it wasn't so bad. Planning on doing it again for picking up Nathan real soon - darn budget! :)

We decided to leave Avery home but originally wanted to bring her. It is such a hard decision.

Praying for you as you decide.


Chris said...

Funny we were having that conversation at our house tonite. First time we left the boys home, we thought that would be our only adoption :^) and said we would never leaver our children that long again. adoption we took 4 kids to bring home #5 our oldest was 14 at the time.
NOW, finances are not exactly wonderful, but leaving the kids home is not any easier...we have the summer to fund-raise and I guess wait to see what happens.

Oh BTW coach is fine...though I never flew 1st class so I really can't compare :^)

Lynsay said...

I think it would be great if you can bring the girls!

And Coach...well I have nothing to compare it to and at least a million flights to China. I hate the flights, but that really has nothing to do with my seat! I say, if you fly coach, get a good airline, it will make a big difference! But, the kids won't mind, flying is flying to them, just choose an airline that has personal tvs!

From the Erben Gang..... said...

Could Katie go to? Then you would be able to bond with the new daughters and Anna and Sarah would feel secure with Katie? Plus you might be able to get a little break with Katie (No way around it--China is hard work) But whatever you decide is BEST!

Cari said...

Hey Jean,

We just returned 2-3 weeks ago and took all of our children ages 5, 9, 11, and 13. The only difficulty for us was our 9 yr old, because he gets bored really easily and then starts aggravating everyone else. It was a bit stressful at first dealing with the bonding issues of our two year old, but I am soooo glad that the kids were there to see it all first hand. They were already playing and laughing with her before we came back home.

I think Sarah and Anna should go this time that way all four girls are returning home together already with some bonding happening. Otherwise, leaving them at home might start some sibling rivalry if Sarah and Anna feel like these two girls have just barged in and taken over mom & dad's time and attention...does that make any sense?!

We flew Cathay Pacific coach which had individual screens with current movies, disney channel shows and other kid games...that was great for passing time. The multiple flights were not my favorite, but already a distant memory.

Laura L. said...

Oh I think that would be great if you could take Sarah and Anna along with Jim and yourself.
It would be so good for you not to be separated for 2 weeks from them and visa versa.
Coach really isn't bad, especially since the kids are older and well traveled. You can do it, and it would be well worth it to have S and A along.

David and Sarah said...


We took all of our kiddos along on our last trip to China. We also took dh's parents. They were a big help!

The whole trip was wonderful! I would definitely do it again if finances made it possible.


Sue said...

Jean, I think I comment on this the last time and said take the younger girls. I also was told that you should have one adult per child when you have young ones. I don't know how young is considered young...figuring Anna would be the young one. I agree with what others say about the bonding, I think it will help Emma and Ellie to have Sarah and Anna there, because they look like them. Having Katie there will help too, she can take Sarah and Anna out for a little fun time while you have some quiet time with the girls...I think that Sarah and you talk so much better now, that if you reassure her that she is going with to help bring her sisters home, she should hopefully feel secure.

Janet and Kevin said...

Jean -

As you know, we struggled whether to take Philip or not since he had only been home 18 months and had loved his China home so much. We did end up taking him, and it was the best decision ever! It so securely bonded him to us, and it helped him accept his brother so much more. Plus, he really, really was a big help in the airports and at other times. It would have been so difficult to leave him behind. He would have felt "left behind" and would have suffered.

It is a big decision, and there are worries either way, but we are so glad we took Philip with us. He was with us 24/7 even sleeping in bed with us. He felt so much a part of everything and thoroughly loved being in his China! He said the cutest thing upon flying out of Beijing. He said, "Good-bye my China. I miss you already!"

Janet and gang

kippi said...

Just want you to know that I am praying with you about this decision. The situation is so different for everyone that it is hard to give advice. Praying God will give you peace about what is right for your family at this time and I think you know that you will have a crowd praying you through the trip no matter what you do.

God Bless,

quilt-n-mama said...

This is a choice each family has to make but I can share with you what we have done each time. We have saved each time specifically planning for us to travel as a family. When we traveled to bring Abigayl home- Eli was 6 months old and Lenna was almost 3.It had it's moments traveling with a 3 under 3 but we were so glad we did it as a family. We made the choice to forgo some of the extra sightseeing and just enjoy our time together.

This time for Nate, we all traveled again- Nate was 2, Eli was 3, Abigayl was 4 and Lenna was 5. We again adjusted our schedule so- we stayed in more apartments (some with friends) but at the Oakwood in G for the consulate. We loved the Oakwood- we had a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment, furnished and in a gated community of mostly expats- it was about a 20 to 25 minute taxi ride to Shamien Island, not bad a t all. We bought groceries or ordered out for food and breakfast was provided. The space outside in the complex was great for walking, playing with the kids, etc.
Having said all this, our kids are used to traveling and we are used to traveling with them so it made it a little easier.
Again, we didn't schedule touring everyday, somedays we just walked to places near where we were staying, etc.
For us, it was the right choice and for both of our little ones we brought home, we felt like it was a huge help to them in the transition.
If we adopt again, I'm not sure we will be able to all travel and honestly I struggle a bit with that but I know GOd will do what His plan is when the time comes.

soontobemomof9 said...

I am so beyond excited that you are SO CLOSE to having them in your arms!!!! Praise GOD!

I think it would be wonderful if Sarah and Anna went! What a gift to them, and to their new sisters!

Not being in your shoes, though I do not know just what I would do. Flying home with all 4 kids? WOW! :) The thought just makes me tired. :)

I didnt' think Coach was so bad. We asked each flight to upgrade to the front row, which is the best... and on 2 flights they let us for free. :) Plus if there are 4-5 of you, you will get a whole row which will help not being smunched against someone you don't know.

mom said...

you have received great suggestions! my input lines up with the others post.. we have done three different things with travel ... first time- no kids; second time - all kids; last time just the boys. I would say that the time we brought all the kids was the most fun and relaxing- even though we had to have two rooms and trip was more expensive b/c of airlines, ect.
Also, we flew Continental (the triple 7) out of Newark. We flew this route twice now (out of the four time going to China;1 mission trip) and it has been the best flight ever. We are in STL- we just get to Newark and then go from there b/c of the great experience and b/c of the nonstop into Beijing. THen we fly from GZ to BJ back to Newark- it really is easy.
The flight has roomer seats, individual tvs in each seat with remotes to play games (great for kids/teens) and tons of movies (over 300) so you are not stuck watching ONE!
Not sure about other airlines but I will not fly anyone else to China with kids :O). (unless someone else tells me the airplane has those tvs in each seat! LOL)
Praying peace/wisdom/decisions for your family!