Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why We Travel


This is an excerpt from a response I sent to someone asking that eternal question: to travel or not to travel? For what it's worth...

You know, we're struggling with the same sort of situation in terms of leaving a little one at home. Every person's situation is so unique, I would hate to give general advice on something that big. I will say that the travel experience is priceless, not only for you, but for your son. Someday you'll be a able to look him in the eyes and say that you experienced the beauty of his birth country first hand, that you walked in his tiny footsteps, made the drive yourself from Hosanna (or insert other care center). There is something immensely invaluable in that personal experience, a priceless gift that you can give him until he is old enough to make that journey again himself. I can describe the smell of dust in the air, the sun rising over the hills, the sounds, the burned out shell of a bus on the side of the road with flowers placed in memory of loved ones lost, the end of the pavement as you enter Hosanna....well, I could go on, but I won't :). I guess my point is, maybe you'll journey back with him to Ethiopia when he is 5, or 10, or 20, or maybe he'll make the trip alone as an adult. But no matter what, time will have passed and that road will have changed with its passing. By experiencing it so soon after he did, you'll be his only connection to the realities of that trip as it existed for him. We will always be thankful that we can give our son that gift of memory.

4 comments:

Jess said...

Well said!

We did not travel the first time b/c we had little ones at home...I have regreted that for the past 4 years! I feel like I missed out on major part of Emma's life, and since we know so little about her life before us, that still stings.

We will most certainly travel this time! Do you know anyone who would like to watch 4 kids while we're gone?

Mark and Sarah said...

Ooooh, getting teary here. Well said, Christina. And if there is birth family, that adds a whole additional priceless layer on top. I think traveling is the most incredible gift we can give ourselves and our children when we adopt...if you're not inclined, maybe see it as part of the 'birthing' process that can be difficult, inconvenient, sometimes even painful, but necessary and oh so worth it!

TJRF said...

Not to mention getting to know new people that will be life long BONDED friends! :)

giftofyoutwo said...

Well said my friend. When details are very few, every detail, even those that seem silly or insignificant are gifts to our children. My almost three year old, who seems to be going on thirteen, has been asking many a question lately about the early days of her life. There are things that I can tell her that I only know because I traveled. Things that make her smile. Things that help her piece together a time before me. Big things. Little things. Silly things. But all things that really, truly matter to her. I can't imagine having to tell her that I don't know.