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On Adopting China and Loving Someone You Don’t Know

8 January 2018

I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks that China itself is starting to set roots in our hearts, along with the son I know it’s keeping for me.

Writing China into a 5-Year-Old’s Story

It probably started when I began to notice and appreciate how the Man Cub has been slowly recognizing “China” and adding it to our family identity.

I think the first time he made the connection for himself was at the Kung Fu Panda movie night last month. We were sitting on a rug together—sharing popcorn and trying to open little Chinese hard candies—when Po called Master Shifu, “the greatest kung fu master in all of China.”

My Man Cub stopped what he was doing, looked up with that expression of epiphany, pointed at the screen, and said, “Oh! This is China?!” So simple, but it was so sweet. Because he’s seen Kung Fu Panda before, but “China” never meant anything to him. Now it not only means something, it means us. It’s part of our family, and he recognizes it that way.

Last week we went to the library to play/work one afternoon, and he made a friend in another small boy who was there. When the kid’s little sister tried to play along, the boy made a comment about sisters and asked Man Cub if he has brothers or sisters. “Not yet. But I’m gettin’ one soon … from CHINA!” The kid mirrored his excitement, but in that awkward way that screams, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

And when our new, small set of unpaper towels came from Marley’s Monsters, my sweet boy pulled out the panda bear print that I’d specifically requested, and told me we needed to save that one for Brother. Because pandas.

He tells me all the time that he loves our family (and lately he’s been singing about it at random intervals as well). It’s amazing to, first, watch him internalize that part of our family is in China, and then to see those little 5-year-old expressions of love for a brother he hasn’t met yet. I love that he doesn’t need to meet the kid to decide, and he is in no way reserving judgment (because he’s five and he can’t). This kid is one of us, and we are awesome, so he is awesome, and we love him.

The Only Thing I Know About My Son

Imagine being in love with someone and only knowing one thing about him or her.  Read more…

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The Police Report that Doesn’t Exist: The Saga Continues

21 December 2017

So last week I mentioned the police report from hell …

I am sure that working in the administrative offices of a local police department is a difficult thing to do. Admin work is generally soul-sucking, and I’m sure it’s not the healthiest, most sunshiney environment. I get that.

But I am not a criminal. I am not standing at the desk window to complain, or to try to get out of something, or to vent. I am a sweet, smiling woman (because I make an extra effort to be when I have to ask someone for something) who is doing a good, nice thing, and who just needs a little help.

I am not the part of the job that you hate. I am the pleasant surprise in your day, so you can go home and tell a heartwarming story. Instead of just complaining about your boss and that guy trying to get out of a traffic ticket (non-fiction, he was in line in front of me), you can say,

“I met a young couple today who is adopting. Ya, from China. Isn’t that interesting? Well their government wants this report that we don’t really have, but this young lady was very organized and efficient—she had even coordinated her husband and a notary to arrive at the same time so we had all the IDs and everything necessary—and she had a letter that explained exactly what she needed. And she was really worried about it, but I make a few small adjustments and we got it put together just right!”

And then you can have dinner with your family and feel good that you had a good day because you did a good thing.

You were a Christmas miracle.

Or

Or you can stare at me from your desk that’s eight whole feet away from the window like I deliberately timed my visit for when I knew the person who sits at that desk by the window would be gone. And, just for good measure, you could roll your head a little bit and groan when you get up, just to make sure I’m aware of the Herculean effort you’re making on my behalf.  Read more…

Adoption Update: Waiting, Paperwork, and a Great Movie Night!

11 December 2017

There is so much hurry-up-and-wait.

For three months, we worked as fast and as much as we could to gather paperwork and complete online training and meet our social worker.

And now … we wait.

I finally got the last piece of paperwork required for the home study over the weekend, and scanned and sent it off to Meredith (our lovely social worker). So now we wait for the home study report. Everything else is waiting on the home study report.

  1. Next is the pile of paperwork that goes to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), which is just waiting on a copy of the home study.
  2. Then that pile goes in the dossier — the pile going to China — which also needs just a couple more things that will hopefully be finalized this week.

And the grant applications, of course, are also waiting on the home study.

So we’re waiting.

Home Study GIF Game

While we wait, I’m turning the home study into a fun game on Facebook. You get to answer some of the questions we had to answer, but — because I desperately wanted to do this, but couldn’t — you get to answer in GIFs (only).

Once question comin’ at ‘cha per week, which means we could keep this up for something like 57 years. Rough estimate. Follow the page and play along!  Read more…