Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Who's Traveling . . . and who's not . . .

Our adoption of the boys is moving along nicely!

It is already time to be thinking about China travel.
we've been talking about this for quite awhile.

It seems that this time around we need to do things differently.

With 11 children at home and 3 only home since February 1st we are...
 maybe I should stay home with all the kids.

Sometimes I think that is a really good idea.
I would be able to keep things running smoothly at home.
The children would not be sad or confused.
We might be able to avoid meltdowns and feelings of being re abandoned.
I will not be jet lagged when the new boys arrive.
I can continue with school so we don't get behind.
We will save a ton of money cause we will not need a sitter 24/7 for 3 weeks.

And then other times I think-
I will be missing out on such an important bonding time.
We won't have all the photos and the memories (because I am the only one that takes the pics).
The boys may wonder why their new Mom isn't there?
Will it effect my bonding with them?
Or their bonding with me?
I love the experience as a whole and I will be missing out...

Then I think...
It is a long long hard hard challenging journey. 
I can stay home and have my sweet boys
delivered to me.
I can have my own gotcha day right here!
Once they get home I will feel good to go- medical appts, etc.
After being gone for so long I find I need to do some re bonding with a few of our challenging kiddos. 
If I stay home I can avoid the need to re bond- cause I will stay in sync with the challenging kiddos.
I will only have to bond with the new boys.
Less risk of food poisoning here at home!
We will avoid "whatever mishaps" may occur when the watch dog, I mean the Momma is away...

I have been on 6 adoption trips and hubby has been on 5.
For quite awhile Sarah would say
Why wasn't Dad in China when you met me?
However, she seems to be over it now.

One day I am at peace with staying home and the next day I don't want to miss out.

Most likely I will not have a choice and I will be home.

The plan is for Hubby and our older son Mark to go to China and get our two boys.
(Although we are getting Visas for Hubby, Mark, Me and Sarah- just in case)

At this point, Sarah stays home with me. 
She is a wonderful translator BUT I think the boys will do just fine without her.
Plus she is at an age where she may not want to play as much as she did when she was younger.
(She also can be a titch bossy to her Daddy when it is just the two of them. I do not know where she got that from and do not say "from me". Even if it's true, do not say it! Sometimes that quality can be okay BUT not for 2.5-3 weeks in China ;-)

I am interested in your thoughts?

Have you ever had just one parent go? How did it work out?


ourchinagirls said...


I have traveled the last three times by myself with one or two children in tow to get a child. My hubby has stayed home with the other kids. It has worked out great for us. First time I took our 5 year old to adopt our new 5 year old. They are four months apart in age and they bonded very well. It was a blessing for me to have our daughter with me. She is our ADHD child, so my hubby was thankful that I had her with me!!

Second time I took our 8 and 10 year old to get our new 6 year old. Our new daughter would NOT have ANYTHING to do with me the whole time in China so it was a super blessing to have our ADHD child (who is mini Mom!!) and our oldest daughter with me to take care of our new daughter. After we left Guangzhou and went to Hong Kong Disneyland our new daughter started calling me Mom and watched me like a hawk. She now says "I didn't know you in China!"

Last trip I took our ADHD child again!! It was a bad trip all around, our new daughter is mentally disabled...not expected and the trip was hard on me. I was glad our daughter was with me, but was hard on her too.

If we ever adopt again I will do the same...travel with at least one child to get a child. I love traveling and I want to get out and see as much as I can...can't imagine staying home!!

Karen Twombly said...

In Nicaragua you have to have a season of at least 3 months in country foster parenting the children you are adopting. My children's orphanage was closed suddenly and they wanted us down there but our dossier wasn't even complete. So my husband went alone for 6 weeks and then I and 2 of our teens joined him. It was a very hard 6 weeks for him but he did it.
The kids were anxious for me to come and not quite sure why it took me so long but it didn't seem to affect our bonding. This was July of last year. We all came home in January of this year.
It sounds like whether you go or stay there will be bonding issues to overcome, but it you stay at least you'll be more rested to be able to put your full attention on what needs to be done.
God is our healer for our sweet babies!
Karen T.

Lori said...

When my hubby traveled alone to get our two boys, the only thing NOT perfect about the whole thing was that he was all by himself, and that made it rather stressful at times for him. Since Mark is going with your hubby, I'll bet it will work out WONDERFULLY!

And you are SO RIGHT about the jet lag thing...when they arrive in your home, YOU will be fresh as a daisy, full of energy, and ready to take over so Jim can REST.

AND, your point about being home with the rest of the kiddos to keep relational & other things going without missing a beat is a GOOD ONE!

OH, and we skyped every morning and every night with Hubby and boys and it was SO GREAT! We all looked forward to it!

I think you will be really happy with doing it this way!

Lani Nimerfro said...


Scott went with me to Taiwan the first time to visit and then I went with my dad to bring Ruby home. It worked fine...I had more issues than Ruby did :) Is there a possibility you could go for part of the time? Maybe just the last week and fly home with the boys?

Miss you! Would love to get together!


Chris said...

I traveled with my niece and hubby stayed home with the kids, got them off to school etc. It was hard, but Skype was great...(I hear some of the other versions work better) With your brood at home, I think your plan is do-able...not fun,but do-able.

likeschocolate said...

I so feel for you! We are in the process of adopting and trying to figure out how to make it work because we do not have a sitter or a family member that can watch them for two weeks. I should stay at home because I can totally run the show, but we will not have any photos. Husband never takes any, plus he hates traveling and I am not sure how he would do with rejection if that happens. So We are thinking we will both go for the first week and I will stay the second week alone. I think your husband can do a good job and put Mark in charge of the photos. Not an easy decision.

Anne Krause said...

First China Trip in 2010, I went with my two daughters, then aged 19 and 17. Second trip in 2011, I went with the (then) 20 year old daughter and her good friend who was 24. Joshua wanted absolutely nothing to do with me on that trip so it was a blessing to have the two girls! When we were in Guangzhou in 2011, there was a dad and grandpa at our hotel, with the new son. Mom chose to stay home because of their daughter who had been adopted the year before. They looked like they were doing great and having a fun "man-time"! My advice to you is to STAY HOME! With two new boys added into the mix, you are going to be much more effective being well, rested, and having the house/kids all under control! Just make sure they take pictures! Best wishes!

csmith said...

I think having you stay home seems like a good, realistic idea. It will give you a few weeks with the other kids to spend a little time with each of them. You can explain that this time is for them and when the boys come home you will have to concentrate on them for a little while. I don't think it will affect your bonding with the new kids because you are going to be new to them no matter when you meet and this way they won't feel pushed aside when you come home and the other kids start clamoring for your attention. I think their homecoming will be much smoother and calmer.

Emily said...

I think that you staying home with the kids is a very wise realistic plan. Having DH go with Mark is a great idea. It will be some great "guy" time, and then when they get home, you will be ready to take over. Put Mark in charge of photos, and the boys will be able to see and hear you on skype every day. They will know exactly who you are! I think with a baby or toddler, it's important for mom to go for that crucial bonding. (although not all moms have been able to travel for their very young children, and things have worked out fine) But with the boys being a little older, it won't take them long at all to learn who mama is. With being so newly home with your THREE girls, I do think, especially, it's wise for you to stay home. I'm not sayin' it won't be hard, though! :)


April said...

We are just starting the process to adopt another little one reusing our dossier too. We came home early June with 2, very needy 3 year olds and we will be adopting another 3 year old who is not walking because of SB. I so badly want to go.. I can pout about it as I want to be there for that first meeting. i want to start the bonding without all the distractions of our children at home. However, like you said my children need me here and it will be much easier on the whole transition. My reasons are mostly selfish ones. I was worried that our new daughter will want nothing to do with me after being with daddy for 2 weeks and then being thrusted into my arms while I am surrounded by littles anyway. But dh came up with a plan I can live with. he is going take an extra week off, even if we lose pay when he gets home. After he spends a couple days getting over his jetlag, he will begin taking all the other children out every day and leaving me a quiet oasis to get to know our new little one without interruptions. That way, I will stay get a little time alone with her, like I would in China before he goes back to work and the chaos sets back in.
I did want to say, I so feel your pain though...The sacrifices us Mama's make.. The boys will fine and you will be well rested and your other children won't have as much issue.
hugs and congratulations

Randi said...

Oh Jean, I have no advice (struggling with this myself) but how I feel for you. We came home in May with six and seven year old girls. We pretty quickly began the process again (waiting on i800a approval now). The girls have had some anxious, struggling times and I just don't feel that I can leave them for two weeks.

Our current plan is for me to go for "Gotcha" day and adoption day then come home. Quite a trip for just a few days! If you come upon the perfect solution, let me know!

Yvette said...

All went for the first time. THen my 14 y/o came with me the next time - daddy stayed home and it actually worked great. Not sure about this time but having the confidence that one parent is with all kids really helped soe anxiety I felt

Joy said...

I went by myself the 2nd adoption trip and dad met us at GZ the last week. Worked great for us.

Shelia Jacoby said...

Hello Jean! I share your struggle in each line you wrote. We've adopted three times (12 months, 3 yrs 8 months and then my bravest, one month shy of age 14). The teen I went with my 8 year old, who was also from the same orphanage in Guangzhou (GWSI) & I wanted her to go back since she had not been since she left at age 3. My husband stayed behind with the other two, as it was between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so lots of test prep and tests going on during that time, and we really did not have anyone who could handle the school work. It wasn't ideal, but it worked out. I've sometimes wondered if my husband should have gone after the teen, but then again she would have had a stroke if a man had come after her. He on the other hand is probably more "fun" than me, so it may have gone better :-) If I had not gone, I don't think it would have negatively impacted our bonding at all. It is what it is, even though I did go. I think there is probably more positives in you staying home with the other children, although I know missing the process is going to be so hard. I think when the boys get home, they will see very quickly why you could not travel and I'm sure they will love having your husband and son during that time period. The fall out from leaving the other kids for three weeks, especially the more challenging ones, seems bigger than beginning your relationship with them after they get home. The short answer is, I would really want to go, just like you, but in the end I think staying home is probably a much more practical and reasonable decision. Any chance Katie can go and take pics for you :-)

The boys are adorable!


Jolene said...

Exactly one year ago my husband was in China...without me..getting our two children with his Father to help out. I was home with our 4 kiddos and VERY pregnant with another blessing. I gave birth just 5 days after he came home! If I had gone we likely would have had 3 Chinese born blessings!

I grieved what I missed out on for a long time and even now as we try to understand if God wants us to do this one last time, we have no idea what is the best for our kiddos with attachment issues. It broke my heart to not go but in the end it was clear I was needed at home. Lots of skyping and we made it through...

Judy Deaton said...

Can you have Katie meet them there to take all the photos? Just an Idea...one I'm sure you've considered.... We all love following and staring at all your darling little China peeps. But will be anxiously following even without the pics. God be with you and guide you. It will all work out:) The new boys are ADORABLE by the way:)

Janet said...

We've done 4 trips with the whole family. I did one trip alone, when we had 2 different adoptions going on with different agencies, travelled just 5 months apart. We have no family to help. It was very hard. What made it so hard, though, was that we were totally alone, on both ends. Even my travel group in China was only 1 other woman and child, and in a different hotel. The child was just 4, so I could not even get a shower until he was asleep each night, if we needed water or something from the store, no one else was there to run the errand, etc.
BUT-Mark will be there, to tag team for whatever. And you will have your regular sitter at home if you need help. THe boys are older, and I think it is a great plan. I can't imagine the weeks of recovery time with that many kids! As for the pics, I'm sure you'll be reminding them daily, and they will do fine.
And, shamefully, at our house, the pictures for the last three kids have not even been printed yet--ouch! Only our 1st of 6 adopted kids have completed picture books. My goal is to have a scrapbooking summer, when they all get old enough to make their own books with my oversight=).

Wright Family said...

I get it.....although I hate flying I love the trip, the meeting,the adventures, the special Times with the new kids and for us, a few days alone with my husband.....but this time it might not be practical....poo