Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"A boy? From China?"

Can you sense the sound of surprise in the title of this post?  I can't tell you how many people have asked us this after hearing that we are adopting a *boy* from *China*.  We have two awesome boys at home and are overjoyed to be welcoming another!  We fell in love with our youngest son as soon as we saw him and that was that!  However, people seem genuinely surprised to hear that we are adopting a boy and you can almost see the wheels turning in their head as soon as they hear "boy" and "China" in the same sentence.  

One of the founders of Love Without Boundaries, Amy Eldridge, has been writing a wonderful series to help people understand the changing face of China's orphans, including why there are many boys available for adoption. There is still an (outdated) impression that all children adopted from China are girls.  In fact, the shared list of children available for adoption from China is 2/3 boys!  There are many more boys available for adoption than girls, and many fewer families wanting to adopt a boy.  (This is generally true in international adoption, not just in China.)   As the mother of two very sweet boys, I find it extremely sad that a child could miss out on growing up in a loving family just. because. of. his. gender.  Having been involved in the Chinese adoption world for (I think) about 20 years, Amy Eldridge explains all of this much better than I ever could.  Read more here about adopting a boy.  You can also read about why international adoption is important.
Oh, and just in case you're wondering...and I know many of you are, **cough, cough** mom *cough, cough**, we might maybe one day consider going back to China to adopt a girl.  I'm just basing this on a conversation with Mr. Incredible, but that's a whole other post.   

Sunday, January 27, 2013

恭禧發財 Congratulations and Prosperity!

...Or, Happy Lunar New Year (two weeks early!) 
Notice the full moon rising in the lower left 

 I was just getting ready to tuck in Little Bear tonight when a *very* loud round of fireworks went off really close to our house.  Little Bear was already in my lap but he was scared and grabbed me around the neck.  As soon as I realized it was fireworks and told him so, he jumped up to the window and pulled the curtain aside.  Right there outside our window was an amazing fireworks display that went on for about half an hour!  The display was set off from a school two blocks away so we had front row seats without even leaving the house.

 The full moon was rising through some low clouds making for a wonderful effect.   Since we've been gathering decorations for Chinese New Year, the boys were convinced that these fireworks were for CNY.  (CNY actually starts on February 10th this year, so these fireworks were a little early, but hey, it was pretty awesome anyway.)  Through the whole display, both boys alternately shouted at the top of their lungs, "Thank you for the fireworks, G-d!",  "Gong Xi Fa Cai!" 

and "This is ahh-mayyy-zing!"  


             Not the greatest picture, but you can get a feel for how close we actually were!  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Feeling Pregnant

It's amazing to me how much this "paper pregnancy" has been so much like my previous pregnancies. At the beginning I lost a few pounds and now I've put that back on (plus some?) as if I were actually pregnant. We're about 15 weeks in and I'm ready for the calm of the second trimester!

I have a huge bundle of papers that I carry around and joke that it's my baby weight. It's so heavy and big now that it no longer fits neatly under my arm. I have to carry it with two hands out front, like a huge belly. I am terrified to leave it anywhere, like even in the car when I am running errands. Many of these documents are original documents that would be difficult to replace quickly. Or they've been notarized and partially or fully authenticated...Of course this bundle of papers has been growing since September and it is now ready to split out of the accordian folder that tries to contain it. One day I'll take a picture of it for you all. It truly is like my pregnancy belly. Of course I am the mama who had ten and nine pound babies!

I have anxiety and sleepless nights about whether we'll meet deadlines that have to be met. We have a certain amount of time to get our dossier to China...and no one seems to sense the urgency but me! It's a lot like the anxiety you might have when you're pregnant and wonder in the back of your mind about that glass of wine you drank before you even knew you were pregnant. Or you haven't felt the baby move in two hours- ohmygosh is everything okay? Maybe not the best comparison, but the emotions are the same. In spite of the anxiety, there's not much you can do but wait, hope and pray that everything is okay.

The thing is that I am normally a very even person- not a lot ruffles me. I'm good at keeping it together and not letting these feeling get out of control. But adoption is an exercise in patience, that's for sure. Having this experience is actually good for me; I'm not the most patient person in the world. The universe has handed me a teachable moment.

All the time I'm thinking of our new little one wondering what his personality will be like, what he might do when he "grows up", what his quirks might be. I'm so excited that we already know who he is! Of course we have hopes and dreams for all of our children and this child is the same. So many of the emotions I'm feeling are exactly the same as I had when I was pregnant with my older boys. The difference is that our new son is growing in my heart.

So, yes, I'm feeling pregnant... Fatigue- check. Weight loss/gain- check. Sleepless nights- check. Feeling emotional- check. Already in love with my new "baby"- check. Can't wait til it's over and I can meet my new "baby"- check!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Here's a picture of our son...I am guessing that he was about 18 months in this photo.  It's one of my favorite pictures because he just looks so sweet.  I'm hopeful that when we travel to bring him home that we will be given a photo album of his first few years.  Some orphanages keep one for each child and give it to the parents on Family Day.

The picture below was one that was included in our son's referral.  I like it because I think his expression is hilarious but also because I feel like it gives us a glimpse of his personality.  By all accounts he's "a little bit naughty".  We think he'll fit right in!