Thursday, July 22, 2010


No, not me. The bird. The bird that we thought was a male... until he laid an egg. And then another. Apparently Maltby is a girl, and a little mommy in the making at that. Of course, her little eggs aren't going to hatch and we'll have to wait several weeks for her to lose interest in them, but she's making a valiant effort at keeping them warm and safe. Lest you think I'm a bad pet owner, I have tried to make nest-making as easy as possible for our mate-less bird. I've provided little bowls, filler and special food, all upon the advice of the experts at our local bird store. But do you think she wants any of that? Nope. She seems quite content with her little spot on the floor next to her food dish, and has promptly pushed and plucked away any helps I've added to the cage. So there she'll sit, at least until her environment just too filthy to leave undisturbed a moment longer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


While my presence here has been negligible as of late, there is no need to worry that my laptop has been neglected. The paperchase is on, and I'd nearly forgotten just how time-consuming the process can be! If you've never before pursued adoption, your head would spin to know just how many sheets of officially sealed, notarized, stamped, signed, authenticated, translated, and logged-in paper are consumed in the process of bringing an orphan home. I'd list them here for you, but it would surely put you to sleep, or lead you to false conclusions about the praiseworthiness of this blogger. I have concrete proof in the form of a Little Miss asleep upstairs that every second, every cent, and every signature is repayed a thousandfold through the joy of parenting the child you know God meant to be a part of your family.
Fortunately (knock on wood), the process has gone relatively smoothly so far. Danny agreed to be a daddy again one month ago today, and both our homestudy (a social worker's report detailing why we're fit parents) and dossier (the collection of documents that will represent who were are to the Chinese government) are nearly complete. We still have to get approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before we can send our stuff overseas, but it took us about 10 months to get to that point with Reagan's adoption. The hard part this time is knowing that our son is alive somewhere and waiting for us. With Reagan we knew she probably hadn't been born when we started the process (indeed, she wasn't born until 14 months after our first application was sent in), so I didn't feel quite the fire underneath my feet. Now, every moment that our paperwork is delayed means another moment our little guy is living without a mama. I have to keep reminding myself that God is in control of even this. He knows what's best for all of us, and, incomprehensible as it is to me, His best right now means that part of our family is a half a world away. Please pray with us that God will be the Father our son needs right now, and that He'll speed our paperwork along to unite us at just the right moment. Thanks friends!

Monday, July 05, 2010

It's a boy!

We're on a paperchase for a little guy! I've explained a little bit about our journey to Danny's "yes" and a bit more about where we're going, but not much of anything about who this newest member of our family might be.
Though it seems a little strange to be able to "shop" for the characteristics you want in a child, adoption does afford that opportunity to some extent. The vast majority of the adoption process is completely outside of our control. So is our child's history and everything else that will influence his personality, health and development until we bring him home. We are given a little control however over the superficial characteristics we're willing to parent. We therefore, have carefully thought through our options, submitted our leanings to God's ultimate authority, and trusted Him to provide us with wisdom and counsel for making the decision that will most glorify Him.
All of that has led us to a preference for a little boy. From the most pragmatic of standpoints, it will even us up at two girls, two boys, and make the room-sharing thing a snap. When we told the kids our new child might be a boy Alyssa was initially a little disappointed. She contemplated it for a moment however, and then concluded, "Parker, I think this will be a great thing. Then I won't have to play swords with you anymore!" Parker indeed, could use a brother as he routinely laments his sisters' intense interest in dolls and ambivalence towards all weaponry.
We also were drawn towards requesting a male because more boys need homes. Generally speaking, more adoptive parents prefer girls. I'm not sure why, though we fell into this category with our first adoption. Our preference then was based on a desire to have a girl-boy-girl family, so that at least if Parker had to be the middle child he would have the distinction of the only boy. Who knew that God would have four in store for us?! We also pretty ignorant about all things adoption-related, and had no idea that so many little guys out there needed families. Now we'll have the opportunity to be blessed by two of each.
Many people then have found it strange that we're going to China. "Doesn't China only have little girls available?" is a question I've been asked more than once. The answer, generally, is yes if you want an infant. Which brings us to another characteristic we strangely get to shop for: age. We love having our kids close together. Alyssa and Parker are just 19 months apart, and Reagan was born 28 months after Parker. We initially thought we'd be bringing home a toddler from Vietnam and would have had #2 and #3 even closer together. I'd actually given away all of our baby stuff and was quite thoroughly shocked to have been referred an infant. Of course, in retrospect God knew exactly what He was doing and brought the child into our life that was and is perfect for our family. Reagan didn't even seem to mind sleeping in a pack 'n play and having her diaper changed on top of the washing machine!
Given the fact that Reagan will be four in October, we really didn't want to start over with another baby. I suppose it's no surprise that there's also a greater need for families willing to adopt older children. There were certainly be extra challenges involved in bringing home a preschooler vs. an infant, but we believe that the benefits to our child and to our family will far outweigh them. Our hope is that we will be matched with a boy about a year younger than Reagan, up to maybe an 18 month spread. That will mean that he'll probably be between three and three-and-a-half when he comes home.
Another distinctive of the China program (and many programs with older children) is that our little boy will have some special needs. China currently has a list of 1800 children waiting for families with needs ranging from blindness to a corrected cleft lip. We are open to a range of needs, but prefer something of the mild or correctable variety. That, again, is something we choose, and we'll work closely with our agency to select someone from that list that would be the best fit for our family. Even if our guy isn't on the list right now, children are added about once a month and we have no doubt that we'll quickly be able to identify the boy God has in store for us.
We're anxiously awaiting the opportunity to share with you even more details about who our little guy is. You'll know as soon as we do!