(Alternative Titles: The Video Is Finally Frickin Done or Clearly I Am No Longer A Perfectionist)
Group Travel… the agency that we worked with to adopt Little Dude arranged for group travel for its adoptive parents.
I did not know this when I chose them. It didn’t seem as important as, say, their ethical record. Had I known, maybe I would have chosen a different agency. I mean, group travel? really? I am not a Girl Scout. I don’t want to be part of your troop.
In my mind group travel meant:
not getting the seat I want in the vehicle at all times (thereby risking car sickness)
not being able to eat what I want, when I want
not getting to be the single most important person to our guide (thereby not getting to ask all of my questions the second I have them and not being able to ask follow up questions until I am sure I understand all the information that I need at THAT moment.)
feeling weird asking to go to the bathroom
having to wait for others to go to the bathroom
having to be polite while efficiency goes out the window
efficiency people – EFFICIENCY. I may not be a total perfectionist, and I don’t think I am all that controlling. But honestly, just be efficient, your life will be better, my life will be better, we will have more time to relax together (if we want) or separate if we prefer – oh, but this is group travel – is separate an option?
Turns out group travel actually means:
having nine other families who will make meal recommendations and let you try their food
having nine other families who might have toilet paper when you need it
having nine other families asking important, smart questions that you never even thought of
having nine other families to help you keep memories
having nine other families to be with you in the moment, and to help you interpret the moment
having nine other families to share the crazy, joyful, devastating ride that is international adoption
Group travel means strangers becoming friends and friends becoming family.
Our travel group spanned the U.S. from the Bay Area in California, to Washington D.C. From as far south as AZ and Louisiana, to as far north as northern Iowa. Five of the ten families are concentrated in the midwest. And this year, 14 months after we traveled together in Ethiopia, we all prioritized coming together. For the sake of our children. For the sake of our sanity. To touch base. To laugh. To support the two families who are already back on the crazy I.A. roller-coaster. To put thousands of miles on minivans. To take pictures of beautiful children. To jump on trampolines. To see how other people live, not just across the world, but a state away. To eat injera. To stare at dairy cows.
I tried to make a video of some of the photos. Making the video took almost as many hours as preparing our dossier – and was equally painful and annoying.
I hope you enjoy it. It if isn’t the best video you have ever seen, you should lie to me about it.