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Our Impossible Adoption Story

If you're looking for the unbelievable account of how "impossible" became "done" in 5 business days, start here.

Why adoption is expensive and why that’s okay (and what you can actually do)

19 June 2019

Or, How my opinion on adoption costs completely flipped by the close of our adoption.

When we started our adoption process about a year and a half ago, I was outraged at the price tag. It wasn’t a surprise, of course. We reckoned ourselves to it before signing the first batch of paperwork, but that doesn’t make it go away.

I fumed at the injustice of the hurdle. How many more children would be in safe, loving families today if it didn’t cost a year’s salary to put them there? How many amazing parents get stuck at the starting line because of the scandalous price tag?

Normal, natural reactions from a family long-burdened for another child to love.

And lately I see the cost of an adoption held up against the cost of an abortion as a way to say, “This is why adoption is not a good option.” Which is just inaccurate.

It has also highlighted to me that my passion on the matter has completely reversed. I knew it was changing even before we brought our son home, but it’s been in my face lately.

So allow me to explain.

Why adoption is expensive

Short answer: Because we’re dealing with vulnerable, traumatized children.

Read more…

Six Months: Grieving, Growing, and Surgery

4 March 2019

I cannot believe that it’s been six months since we were in China. It feels like yesterday, but it also feels like we’ve been four forever.

How are we doing? What’s new? How is everyone … I’ve had requests for updates and I’m sorry it’s been two months since the last time. Here we go:

GROWTH: THEY DON’T STOP

Having been successfully fattened up, he’s now stretching. (Both of them are.) We have a few pictures from China on our bedroom wall and it struck me this past weekend that he went from being a toddler to a little boy in six months.

Which is 100% not fair.

China
Not quite 6 months later

(Also, he’s now a Ninja Turtle.)

He’s getting better at jumping, but it’s still not necessarily inspiring to watch. Cute and hilarious, though.

NEW: SWIM LESSONS!

We’ve also had a couple months of swim lessons now, and both the boys looove it. They started out in the same class, but at the end of the first session Niah “graduated” to level two … and Jude did not. (Which was a good call. He is not ready for level two.)

So Jude did level one again while Niah moved over to level two. They love it still.

Read more…

Four Months Home

2 January 2019

Four years old and four months home.

Sometimes I still can’t believe we’re already here. Sometimes I watch him sleep and I’m astounded. Did we really do that? Are we really one of those families? But I guess new identities take time to settle in.

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Not only are we one of those families, we have been for four months now. A friend recently posted one of those cute pics of her new baby with the monthly marker for how old the baby is. And I remembered doing chalkboards for my meatball. And I was bummed for my chubby dumpling at first, but then I thought, “Naw.”

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‘Cause I think his development and progress in healing and learning a new language and adapting to life on the other side of the world is just as impressive than a newborn growing into his environment.

GROWTH: SUCCESSFULLY FATTENED-UP

Husband and I look back at pictures and videos from China, and we cannot believe that we didn’t once notice or remark about how tiny and skinny he was. I mean, all of China is kind of a blur and most Chinese toddlers are smaller and Husband was very sick for at least a week and we were probably as close to “survival mode” as we ever have been. But still …

China:

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Now:

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Look at that belly profile. I love it.

We have fattened him up and I’m super proud of that. Especially because we don’t eat much fast food or sweets, so he is 98% healthy chubby. He was wearing 2T clothes when we got home, and he is now growing into 4T. That’s serious catch-up.  Read more…

The Adoption Trip Video

19 November 2018

Finally

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There is SO MUCH that I couldn’t squeeze into five minutes. I may have to throw together an outtake reel or something, but this is a snapshot of our 2.5 weeks in China this year!

How’s Everyone Adjusting?

3 October 2018

If you ask me this question in person I can’t say what kind of answer you will get.

I might smile and say something like, “We’re actually doing really well. Better than we had any right to expect.” And I would mean it, because we’re having a good day and I remember that things could very easily be much worse.

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I might sigh and say something about having good days and bad days, and then try to laugh it off and change the subject. Or laugh it off and enforce an awkward silence until you either change the subject or ask a more specific question because my brain is fried. And I would mean it, because we really are having good days—when the boys play together and I get work done and homeschooling is super cool and Timothy comes home after a good, full day of work and I know what dinner is going to be—and bad days—when one boy doesn’t want the other one to look at him and road construction messes up our entire neighborhood and a medical appointment goes badly so I get yet another referral to yet another pediatric specialist and nap time is tearful and I get punched in the eye and potty training is still very much in progress and homeschooling is purgatory and I get very little work done and don’t know what I’m doing for dinner. (That’s not a random list from the past three weeks; that was yesterday.)

I might just cry.

So here are some actual updates.

JUDE’S TRANSITION

He’s stellar. It really is a miracle.

We’ve been praying for him for over a year now, and God has heard.

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There is grieving and sorrow and loss. It happens mostly at bedtime, and sometimes at nap time. We hold him (and it’s a miracle that he lets us hold him) and kiss him and whisper promises and prayers until it passes. The truth is, he will always have some sorrow and he will always hold that loss somewhere in his heart. But it will not overpower him and it will not define him.

There are also some insecurities and some trauma we are discovering and dealing with, which we expected. Food insecurity is a big one, and that’s okay. It will take time for him to feel confident and secure in the fact that he does not need to fight for food, so we just plan for longer meal times and always bring snacks.

He adores his big brother, and he seems to like Ba and me as well, so it’s easy to think we can deal with the rest.

NIAH’S TRANSITION

All things considered—and I have to constantly remind myself to consider all the things—Niah is doing well too. It is hard to do what he is doing.  Read more…