Steve and I have talked quite seriously lately about bringing the girls on our trip to Ethiopia. When we first started the process, we had not planned to bring them. We thought that if they didn't come, we could focus more on our new son.
We started to change our minds when our oldest, Lauren asked if she could come along. I never imagined any of the girls wanting to go with having to get shots and all.
Then, it dawned on me that they will have to get some of the same shots anyway even if they stay home. This was news that wasn't very well welcomed by the girls by the way. But we already have survived the first Hep A shot, so they will survive the rest as well.
We are thinking how neat it would be to have our whole family experience this part of the journey together. I want our girls to see where their brother was born, the sights and smells and flavors of his culture. Stepping foot in the birthplace of their brother's country is not the same as reading about it in a book or looking at pictures.
Also, I have read that including the entire family on the trip is good for attachment. If the girls don't come, there will be one extra attachment step to encounter when we return home.
I would like to bring the girls along regardless but it does depend on a couple things. For one, financially this would be a stretch for us. It would cost us up to $6,000 more in airline tickets alone. But then again, I can't think of any better time for my girls to go. So, regardless of the extra cost, we could just bite the bullet and make it work.
Secondly, I don't care to pull the girls out of school for 2 weeks. Our decision to bring them will be much easier if we are able to travel this summer. In order to travel before September however, we would have to receive our referral very soon.
Despite a few challenges, today we are leaning even more strongly towards bringing them after a phone conversation I had with a friend. After being out of town all weekend, I returned home with a phone message from a friend who is a missionary in China. She was visiting in our area for a short time. She is an amazing woman who has so many interesting experiences to share. I admire and trust her wisdom. Our conversation quickly went by and lasted for one hour!
Anyway, I told her about our thoughts of bringing the girls. She said, "if you can do it, bring them." And then she recalled a time talking to a girl from China who was adopted by Americans. This American family brought their entire family to China when they picked up their daughter. The little girl told my friend with a big smile on her face that "her whole family came to get her." My friend said, "how neat it would be if your son could say that and how much that would mean to him."
I told my friend that her story brought tears to my eyes and she said it brought tears to her eyes too.
I was convinced. Now, we need to pray for confirmation from God.