Because of our children’s needs here, Ryan and I made the very difficult decision that he would not travel to China with me. This is not ideal. I hate that he will not be with me to experience these firsts with Cora, and that he won’t get to lay eyes on her birth country as these were such precious moments to experience together with Reid in Korea. So, he and my parents will be tag teaming taking care of our kids here in MO while I’m in China for two weeks. He’ll work during the day but be home at normal time in the evenings to eat dinner with them as a family and tuck them into their beds at night. We feel that this sense of normalcy will be very helpful in the difficult transition. He’s an amazing Dad and while we make a pretty awesome team, he’ll do great without me.

So, what about me? No, I’m not traveling alone… for most of the time. My dear friend who lives in Thailand offered months ago to pretty much do whatever she could from across the world. That offer even meant leaving her husband and 6 kids to meet me in China. So, while a pretty big surprise threw us for a bit of a loop, we’ve got the kinks worked out and she’ll be with me in China for almost my whole trip. I cannot express what this means to me. There are so many facets to this and her sacrifice means the world to me! 

Since I can’t have Ryan with me, having Mandy there is the next best thing.  She is not only my dear friend who I love like a sister, but she is my only friend who can truly grasp what all of this means.  She knows my fears, and she is able to handle the unknowns with me.  She’s walked the life of a heart mama for almost 8 years and knows the ins and outs.  Oh yeah, and she’s traveled more than anyone I know.  She’s a pro!  I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else… except Ryan.  🙂

Please be praying for our families as we make the final preparations for this trip. Pray for our combined 10 kids as we are away for 2 weeks, and pray for our husbands as they hold down the fort in our absence. Pray for travel safety for both of us, and pray for health for Mandy as she will be 23 weeks pregnant when we travel. She’s a trooper!!!  IMG_04102