Here's what I've had on my mind a lot lately:
I'M GOING TO AFRICA THREE TIMES IN THE NEXT YEAR(ish)!
Yikes! What am I thinking???? Do you know just how far away Africa is? Okay, actually I have no idea how far away it is but I know it is FAR.
The first trip is not adoption-related at all. Unless you count the fact that I'm going to help children who have been orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Swaziland. We leave July 26th! Three months from now!!! Rob has been active with Heart for Africa for the past few years and I was thrilled at the chance to travel to Swaziland and join him in working there. That was before I knew I'd be going to Ethiopia twice. As of right now I am still planning to go to Swaziland but I'm praying a lot about it. It's just that leaving Riley & Allyn THREE times to go out of the country really freaks me out. I just spent my first night away from Allyn a few weeks ago and she was just across town!
To piggy back on that thought.... I'm also (kinda sorta) considering taking the kids with us to Ethiopia on the first trip. All the "touristy" things happen on the first trip - like the cultural dinner and going to see the Abyssinian Lions and stuff like that. We would only have scheduled visiting times with our newest child so I'm wondering if there's any way we could swing it with all the kids. I must add that anytime I've even hinted at this to my husband he looks at me as if I have four heads. Have I mentioned that he's much more rational than I am?
But then I remember what it was like to fly with Allyn to Cape Cod last summer. Ugh. We had to buy Riley his own seat since he was over 2 but we actually needed the seat for Allyn! My kids' personalities could not be more different. Riley is pretty chill. He's content to sit on your lap & look at books or watch a movie. Or not. Whatever. Allyn, on the other hand, is so unbelievably independent that her little self is not happy unless she is sitting in her OWN seat, holding the book BY HERSELF or being in charge of holding the movie ON HER OWN! I don't know that I have the heart to torture her (or the other passengers) for 18-20 hours of traveling.
So that leads me to my latest idea: maybe we just take Riley. He'll be somewhere around 4 1/2 when we go so he'll be old enough to know what's going on and would be excited to meet his new brother. I think he'll remember the trip (Allyn most certainly wouldn't.) And it might be nice for him to get some alone time with his parents before he has to share us with (yet another) baby! And then Allyn could get some special one-on-one time with whoever it is that is keeping her while we're gone. She rarely gets individual attention so that might be nice. Is that mean to leave just one behind? And (not to be morbid) but what if something happened to us while we were gone? If something happened to Rob & me at least the kids would still have each other but I wouldn't want Allyn to lose her parents AND her big brother. Nothing's going to happen, I know this. But I'm being honest on this blog and that is honestly what enters my mind!
I just don't know... and luckily I don't have to decide anytime soon. But if you have any ideas/advice/thoughts on the matter I would LOVE to hear them!