I’ve traveled to India about 15 times since I’ve been a social worker at Dillon International, but I’ve never been as excited about a trip as I am about the birthland tour with my daughter this winter.
In the past, all my trips have been to visit our partner orphanages, attend conferences, and to receive Kylea, when her adoption was final in 2003.
But the Taj Mahal? Never seen it.
Mother Teresa’s tomb? Never been there.
The Victoria Memorial? Never been inside.
So you can imagine how excited I am not only to be leading the Dillon International Visit India tour over the Christmas and New Year holiday, but also to take my daughter back to see her native land.
She has asked so many times when she will get to go back with me, and that time has finally come. I know that some parts will be very difficult, such as seeing the extreme poverty in India. But I know there will be so much joy when she visits her former orphanage, is greeted by her former caregivers, and learns even more about her own history.
I’m just as excited to be with other families – some I’ve known for years and others I will have just met on the trip – as they retrace their adoption steps and learn more about their children’s early days in India.
I hope if you have a child, niece, nephew, grandchild or friend who was adopted from India that you’ll tell them about the tour. Even better, I hope you’ll volunteer to accompany them on this life-changing adventure. Dillon encourages every adoptee to go back to see their land of birth at least once.
People always ask me what age is right for children to go back. Honestly, it’s different for every child. Some children may be ready at 9 or 10. Others may need to wait until they’re 13 or 14. As for my daughter, she’ll be 14 by the time of the trip, and I know that she’s ready because this has been a trip she has been excited about for the last couple years.
Yes, a trip to the birthland requires courage. But I’ll be there with you every step of the way to provide a social worker’s feedback and a shoulder to cry on. There will be several adoptees that your children will quickly befriend. And there will be other parents and extended family members for you to socialize with.
We will all have a great time!
A lot of us may be receiving tax refunds in the next few weeks. So I hope that you’ll consider using yours toward a trip of a lifetime!
And finally, I will be able to see the Taj Mahal with you!
–By Jynger Roberts, MSW. Jynger is the director of the India and Vietnam adoption programs and will be leading the India tour, along with local guides.