Seamus and I have been discussing which, if any, of our children to bring with us when we travel to China to pick up Emily Hope. It's a question that all international adoptive families are faced with. We have to spend 2 weeks in China and that is a very long time to be away from our little people. There has been a lot of contemplating and praying over this. The trip is completely safe for children and it would be great to not have to separate for that long but in the end, we decided we can't bring all 3 of our littles. The main reasons are the cost involved as well as the fact that we really need to focus on Emily while we're there and give her our attention as needed.
After the back and forth, talking to families who have done it, and praying diligently, we decided that Brady (our eight year old son) should come with us. We feel like this would be an amazing experience for him on so many levels. We knew from the beginning that Brady's plane ticket could not be paid for through fundraising. It just wouldn't be right. His coming with us is our personal decision, one that is very important to us but nonetheless, not a necessity. We recently decided that his trip would have to be funded from savings we have tucked away for the kids (college, etc.). This will truly be a once in a lifetime experience for him and we decided that this sacrifice would be worth it.
Since making these decisions, we have had a wonderful surprise enter the scene. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a close family friend generously offered to pay for me and Seamus' flights to China. So, what do you say when this same family later offers to fly your child to China with you as well? Well, that's exactly what they did! Be careful what you say around loved ones because apparently, our talk about possibly bringing Brady had an impact on them. They feel the same way we do about what an amazing experience this would be for him... so much so that they offered to fly him too!
So, what do you say? (big sigh...) Thank you... And PRAISE GOD! I mean really, there are no sufficient words. Thankfully, God knows our hearts. When this extra gift was extended to us, Seamus took the opportunity to pray with them. He thanked God for His faithfulness and for continuing to provide. Man, He is providing beyond our wildest dreams! The neatest thing about this family being so involved financially is that they give all the credit to Christ and recognize that it all comes from Him. They recognize what a privilege it is to be used by God in this way. We are so honored, not only to receive such a generous gift, but to experience God's mighty love through some amazing people.
We estimate one round trip flight to be around $1,500. Because only Seamus' and my flights were factored into the total estimated adoption expenses of $32,000, we are not reflecting Brady's $1,500 flight into our amount raised on the thermometer. Nonetheless, it was important for us to recognize this special donation here. We are overjoyed by knowing our little man will join us and that we don't have to stress over this extra expense. We are thrilled to share our joy with you!
Once again to our sweet friends... We love you to China and back... TIMES THREE! :-)