Monday, August 25, 2008

Taking Young Children ... or Not, to Ethiopia!

(David and I have been both battling a cold and a flu. As soon as he got home, he has been down and out for the first several days. And now as of Friday, I've come down with the flu and am still very weak and nauseous. I hate feeling this bad, but time will get me better soon)

I had a comment from Stephanie of New York who ask me how we came to the decison not to take the boys with us to pick up Tigist and was it the right decision. This is always an individual and personal decision and I can only tell you why WE did not take them. We are very glad we didn't, we have no regrets. We bounced back and forth with taking them or not. Mostly we wavered on NOT taking them. The main question we always asked ourselves was, "What was best for Tigist." Our boys are 13 and 11 years old and still can battle between each other on small issues. Because they are so close in age, this has been a challenge. We were imagining how this would play out when we first had Tigist in our hands. We also wanted our meeting with her and our initial time with her to be the best that it could be. We were sure that although the boys love her deeply, we would be putting them in a position to make this precious time with her too stressful and challenging. What was best for Tigist was for her to meet her parents quietly, without additional stress. Also, this was a especially big moment for both David and I. A precious experience not to be taken lightly. Especially when we were wavering if they should come, we saw how they handled sensitive situations that we had prior to our departure... which confirmed the fact it was better for everybody, if they stayed back at home.

Other reasons came into play too;
- School started for both of them while we were gone.
- The cost. At $2200 a ticket, we needed to make sure it was beneficial for all. And we really were running out of funds at this point. It's been an expensive year even outside of the adoption.
- This trip could hold some very unexpected situations (and it did for sure) and adding 2 boys in the mix would make it so much more stressful for all of us.
- This trip and all that it involved turned out to be both incredible and very stressful. Stressful because we found certain situations pushed us to some limits that we had. The memory is fading at this point as to the details, but transitioning thru airports, chasing baggage around, David and I found our stress points pushed over our limits and we had to sometimes walk away from situations and take a breather ... and then David starting to get sick towards the end with a cold, he lost his voice ... as lovely as our boys are, they are not mature enough to comprehend some of the stress points that we encountered. So there were many times we said to each other, "It was wise not bring the boys".
- And David and I were celebrating our 20 year wedding anniversary, so this was a really nice way to have a week together alone before we embark on expanding our family with someone we've never even met before.
- The people with whom they stayed with (God bless 'em) took them for us and the boys had a really great time hanging out with their buddies for a week here and there.
- And lastly, we know we will travel to Ethiopia again for Tigist's sake, and that is when the whole family will go. I look forward to that immensely.

If you are contemplating taking kids, only you know how your kids act in stressful situations. You be the judge. Do you have the extra funds? Do you have the extra patience? Are you staying local or traveling outside of Addis? Are your kids old enough to help or do they still need your attention? It is a personal choice. And only you the parents will know which is right


Amber said...

We will be taking Savannah but she will be 13 and she is very mature. I totally understand your decision.

Lisa and David said...

That's fantastic. Thirteen is an excellent age and she will come home a changed young woman...honestly! Oh, I'm so excited for you. Has work gotten easier at this point? Are you feeling stressed or are things balancing out yet?