Tuesday's Answers: Adoption Travel Highlights

Thank you for your patience with my lack of blogging. We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving, with lots of special time with our children and good friends, which left little time for sitting at the computer. I have to admit, although I missed blogging and worried a little bit that I might slip into oblivion, I am glad I spent the time as I did. In addition to Thanksgiving festivities, we have been on the road to and from Seattle, which takes a full two or more days each week. The trips have been worth every minute spent, but they take a lot out of me.

Our Tuesday Topic this week was:

Apart from meeting your child, what was a highlight of your experience when you traveled to your child’s country of birth?

I loved reading your answers to this question and was especially pleased to see the many countries you represent: China, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and India. Here are excerpts of your answers, the full responses can be found in the comments of the original post, Tuesday Topic: Adoption Travel Highlights.

lorismusings said…
…We came away with a greater appreciation for the culture and history of India and a desire to learn more. We know that we want to take our Indian adopted kids back to India when they are older so that they can see and experience their roots.

We were also able to personally observe the socio-economic climate of India. There is a huge chasm between the very poor and those who are doing well. It was a shock to us as insulated Americans who had never been to a third world or developing nation to see poverty everywhere you looked.

We now have an intense desire to be involved in whatever ways we can in easing the suffering of the poor all over the world. When you see it face to face you are never the same…

christall said…

I was in Ethiopia for a month and aside from meeting/being with Ava the highlight of my trip was the time I spent at Mother Theresa’s orphanage working with the children and the time I spent out in Addis talking with, praying with, feeding the people I came into contact with. I am so thankful that my daughter was able to spend time with me in Addis really engaging in an activity that is very important to me. Buying and giving food to the beggars on the street and then praying for them – in our first few days of meeting, my daughter was able to see what is important to me – she got to see who I am… We worked at 5 different care centers – together, side-by-side and if you ask her today she will tell you that the time we spent doing that was the best part of our time in Ethiopia – and I agree 100%!

Jon and Jamie said…

I loved meeting people and seeing the gorgeous ethiopian countryside. The city is a study of contrasts, but I enjoyed all of the smells, sounds and sights, I absorbed the wonder of a country so steeped in history and rich culture. for me though the highlight truly was the people, they are so warm and generous, gentle and caring, a woman tried to give me her umbrella, the only item she had, for my little guy to keep the sun off. Everyone was so kind and helpful, and their love for children is so apparent, from the first hours in the country when my eldest did not feel well and little old ladies petted her back and offered her soda, to the grandmother who blessed Amelia and Gabe and admonished them to be good(I think that is what she was saying:) everyone loved my children as their own.
Also seeing AHOPE was a huge highlight…

Donna said…

I loved being able to visit historical landmarks around China and see (and touch) beautiful things that were many hundreds of years old! Nothing we have in the USA is that old! It really gave me goosebumps!

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Kimberly said…

This is an easy question! Meeting all the other families and watching them meet their daughters for the first time. I felt so honored and the bond between all of us is going strong two years later. We communicate via email and facebook and we had a reunion this summer. I expected to meet great people but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they became my family. These precious girls have so many adults who love them and it thrills me to know that as they grow up they will have each other to lean on too. We are all so incredibly blessed.

Shonah said…

The highlight of our trip to Ethiopia aside from finally getting our hands on our baby was visiting Lalibela. We visited Lalibela for the first 3 days our our trip to Ethiopia. We hired a guide that was awesome and saw the amazing churches within Lalibela and several outside of Lalibela. We were treated to a coffee ceremony and taken out to listen to traditional music and see traditional dancing.

We sat out on our balcony that over looked part of the town and had amazing views of the mountians. We watched life in Lalibela happen before our eyes; children herding animals, women weaving baskets, men using mules to carry stone. We listened to the sounds, breathed in deep the aroma and took in the beauty of this holy little city in Ethiopia…

triplehmoms said…

… I also think if you are able to meet the birthfamily of your child you should do so. It may be scary to you and a bit awkward, but if the family is able to communicate that they are ok with the child going, it could be an easier transition. In other words, the family could give the child “permission” to go with the adoptive family. If you are unable to meet the birthfamily or if the birthfamily has not played the role of a care taker for the child, having the care taker tell your child these things is important. Even though we can recognize that our family situation is “better,” the child’s current living situation is his life. I don’t know if I am making sense here or not. Lastly, I would suggest that you plan to return to your child’s country of birth. I know that when I return to Guatemala with my daughters, one of my daughters always tells me “I’m home now, Mommy.” Yes, she loves me and I love her. She, however, feels Guatemalan and will always be “at home” there.

Mamita J said…

…We met a native Guatemalan family (Edwin and Nely) through a friend here in town, before we had our referral. They happened to live near Antigua, which is a lovely vacation destination. The wife has a booth in the artisans market. (It’s one of my very favorite places in the world.) So on our first visit, we met up with them and they took us to their home in the nearby village. They were so warm and hospitable. It gave us such an appreciation of and respect for the people of Guatemala.

On our third trip, we met two young girls named Flor and Vincy. They absolutely grabbed our hearts. It was right before Christmas. We took them out to eat, and my mom gave them money for shoes for Christmas. We gave them the jackets off our backs. They were so grateful, they cried. So did we. šŸ™‚

When I got back home, I brought pictures to my friend. As we were looking at the pictures, her mouth dropped open. “That’s Flor!” She recognized our little friend! It turns out that Flor is Edwin’s niece! …

Ajay said…

When God first put adopting from Ethiopia on our heart, we started to sponsor a child in Ethiopia, three years later, while we were picking up our son we got spend a day going to visit the child we had been sponsoring! It turned out he lived just three miles from the guest house we stayed in! We’ve now signed up to sponsor two more girls from Ethiopia and when we travel to pick up our daughter, hopefully we’ll be able to visit them too! It just makes us feel more connected to our kids birth country by being able to be apart of other childrens lives! What a blessing all around!

Heidi Mehltretter said…

Our ultimate highlight was taking all three of my kids with me and spending a month in Ethiopia getting to know our ne
west son in HIS environment, then traveling home with four kids and managing to do almost all of it with frequent flyer miles! Best vacation of my life, with the exception of missing my husband and wishing he could share the experience with us.

Although Russ is a seasoned world traveler, I had not traveled much outside of the US prior to our adoptions. I didn’t know what to expect or how I would handle being so far outside of my normal life. I was happy to discover that I loved being in Ethiopia. There were discomforts, lack of water and jet lag were the two most difficult, but I am so thankful we have been able to experience our childrens’ home country. I have now been to Ethiopia twice and Russ has
been three times.

The highlight of each trip has been spending time with our children’s family members. Last August when we went to get Honeybee, we traveled to Soddo where our boys were born. While there we went on the adventure of a lifetime searching for Eby’s grandfather. I will never forget the kind people, beautiful scenery, precarious roads, hyenas, or the joy we all felt when we finally made our way to his round, mud tukul in the darkness of night. The memories of that trip will always be with us.

Next week’s Tuesday Topic will be up tomorrow! If you have a topic/question you would like to suggest, please email it to me at: thankfulmom[at]gmail[dot]com

Please put Tuesday Topic in the subject line.

I’m off to Seattle!


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRIĀ® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. darci
    December 3, 2009

    I loved reading these! Thanks for sharing them all. Our 'dream' would be to travel to Ethiopia as a family, with our three bio kids, WHEN WE GO (did I just yell that?;)
    . Mark was born there and has not been back since he was 2, so we would love to take the time to tour around and see where he lived, where our kids are from, etc. As it is, if I have to leave my three behind (which is most likely) it will be as quick as possible..


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