Anonymous and Allen,
I really, really appreciate your wise advice. When we found out that we couldn't travel in November, I was just kind of numb. Or sick. Or both. When the options of December 1 or 8 were given to us, I of course immediately pounced on the 1st. I mean, come on-- get my girls here ASAP, right? When Jeremy lovingly suggested we look at the 15th, I thought he had gone crazy! To put off getting our girlies just to make it more convenient for the family seemed just nuts. But the more I listened to his reasoning, the more I began to see his very valid points. Leaving on the 15th, or the 22nd for that matter, would have lots of pros. We would get to have Christmas recitals (the girls have been practicing for weeks), Christmas programs, basketball games, etc. We would not have to pull the kids out of school for so many days because part of the travel time would be over Christmas break. We could celebrate Christmas early without all the stress of coming home exhausted and adjusting to our new family. Jeremy wouldn't have to take quite as many days of unpaid leave. It would be easier on my parents to watch the kids at that time, and they would get to hang out with cousins. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made-- and I was beginning to even feel excited about it.
So we emailed CCAI and asked if leaving later was a possibility. They were completely supportive, but mentioned that travel is more expensive around the holidays. We began to price some flights, and even called an awesome travel agency to do the same, and compare them to the dates we had been given. As it turns out, not traveling at the first of December would cost us MEGA bucks. As in, thousands.
January isn't an option, because we have to complete the adoption before Dec 31 for tax purposes.
I think that's why I was feeling so down about the dates we were given-- there isn't an alternative that works!
Anyway... Anonymous, I think you have it right. I wouldn't have thought it earlier today, but after going through hours of thinking and discussing-- I think you're just super wise and correct that we have to consider everyone's needs and that our girlies would be fine either way. Unfortunately, our wallets aren't allowing us to do that!
So... I've decided to perk up and get EXCITED! Being as how there's nothing I can do to change the dates, I'm going to believe that there is a reason we're leaving when we are! Teri, your comment invigorated me! You are right-- this IS something to squeal about! We're going to China! (insert squeal) (: Our kids are amazing and adaptable, and they will be fine. We'll do our best with what we've been given and know that Heavenly Father is watching out for us. Sophi and Lexi, here we come!!!