Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Who Gets To Go To China?

Someone asked my opinion on the issue of taking first child to China for adoption of second child. Let me just say that I haven't struggled with a parenting issue as hard as this one for a long time. It might be the one that has personally rocked me with self doubt like no other that I have encountered yet in my limited parenting experience. (Looking back, the whole operation baby sleeps alone was tough too though.) Most of the time main muffin man and I discuss issues that affect parenting, make a decision, and then rest with it comfortably. Let's just say I am still waffling on whether it is the right thing to do to take Ava with us or leave her in the capable and willing hands of Grandma and Grandpa when the time comes.

When I read the request to blog about this my first reaction was...ooh no, too personal, too hard. Then like any difficult issue for me I re-thought about the possibilty of writing as therapy. Certainly cheaper than a certified counselor!

Ok, I admit if Ava reads this in 20 years and is super pissed off at us for leaving her behind when she was 4 years old for 2 weeks to meet her sister at least she will know we did not come to the decision lightly.

The Pro's
  • This is her family and she deserves to be there when we experience this wonder of a new child, her sister.
  • She might experience her story on a new level with more understanding if she goes to China.
  • The baby might really appreciate being with another child on the trip.
  • Ava might infact help entertain baby while they play.
  • She would probably get as much peanut butter as she wanted for good behavior bribery, her pro not mine.

The Con's

  • This is not an easy trip. Flights are long, waits are long, you walk long distances, sometimes you don't get to do exactly what you want when you want, sometimes you don't get to eat what you want when you want. When FTIA (our agency) says be in the lobby at 7am for gov't office visit, you get your little buns down there. Grumpy children are not an excuse to skip out.
  • Dealing with sibling rivalry for the first time in a hotel room in China doesn't sound appealing.
  • A child who does not entertain herself for long periods of time here in America probably won't in China either.
  • A child that usually does not sleep all through the night here in America probably won't in China either, especially when jet lagged.
  • A somewhat severe Mama's girl will probably want Mama's complete attention in times of stress or uncertainty.
  • The baby might have slight medical needs, requiring lots of care and attention. Does this leave Ava out, rendering us unable to meet her needs?
  • Can Main Muffin Man and I do it all? A bizillion miles away from home.

Ok, these mounting con's are why we are leaning towards sending Ava to "pleasantville" for 2 weeks. It is not noble or sweet or glamorous, in a lot of ways it is selfish. I ache at the thought of her crying for mommy and daddy should she become temporarily disillusioned with her short term stay. I know it is an imposition for my parents. Decisions for each family facing this must own up to the reality that decisions have consequences. Some good, some hard.

Just like when we were working out the finer points of what a time out looks like in our house, we will work this one out too. She says with banal confidence....


Johnny said...

All good and valid points! We figure, in-for-a-penny, in-for-a-pound. Besides, neither grandma would be...uhh good candidates. You're lucky you have a grandma she's close to.

Colleen said...

I just found your blog today and I have to say, this is something we have debated ourselves. We're leaning toward taking our then 5 year old when we go but the fear will be there before we board the plane.

I'm glad to know that others have the same worries we do.