Wednesday, November 27, 2013
On Friday, we "readopted" Christopher in our state. This is the third time we have been through this process -- first with Nicholas, then Ellie, and now for our newest little love.
Since John was not in China, we had to go through this process in order for John to be given full parental rights and responsibilities.
But, even for our last 2 adoptions, in which we both travelled to China, we decided to go through this process. This way, the kids get U.S. birth certificates, adoption certificates, and all the paperwork that could ever be useful in their future lives as Americans. It will just make life simpler for them when they need these forms one day.
Plus, it is also a special ritual that we like to do as a family.
It feels very official to go to the courthouse and have a judge tell you that you are stuck with each other for life.
But, we really didn't need anyone to tell us that.
It just happened to be the day before National Adoption Day so the courthouse was packed with adoptive families. It was so fun to see all of the love. The judge told us that this is one of his favorite days of the year. If you have to go to family court, I think this is the best reason to be there.
I am so thankful that we get to be your official family, Christopher!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
When we announced that we were adding Christopher to the family, I was asked (by someone I don't know very well, I might add) "aren't you afraid that you won't be able to give each child enough attention?" Of all the questions I receive about adoption and large family life, that is the one that made me think the most.
I was worried, too: how would I be able to give each child enough?
Enough time. Enough attention. Enough money.
One more means we will have to divide everything by 5 (and soon 6) instead of 4, right?
Well, now I know from experience that love has a different economy. I know I sound like a Pollyanna (or a Duggar) but I have found this to be so true.
Christopher has brought so much to our family, much more than could ever be taken away.
Where one son might need mommy to play with him on the jungle gym, now he has a curious little brother.
While one daughter might have wanted extra attention and cuddles from Dad, instead she has a baby to squeeze. And I don't think she minds at all, do you?
And Christopher? He needs a lot of attention himself -- learning to walk, learning to talk, and needing help with everything a baby can't do for himself. But there is always an older sibling there to help him.
They actually fight over who gets to help him!
And who gets to wash him that night in the bath. And hold his hand while he walks. Christopher's Occupational Therapist has asked that the older kids please stop doing so much for him so that he can learn on his own! (They aren't listening).
(I wish I had more pictures of Peter with him, because that is a very special relationship, too. Peter can make Christopher laugh like no other!)
I cannot convey adequately how much we LOVE this little boy. He has the best belly laugh, he is so cuddly, he is so curious and funny.
Christopher is completely adored, and we just cannot imagine how we got so lucky.
Our family life is not perfect. The kids are not always loving and helpful (and neither am !) Yes, they do fight. And, yes, all of them vying for my attention takes everything that I have on some days.
But, you know what? Amidst the chaos and amidst my very human inability to meet everyone's needs, I realize that we have enough love, enough time, and enough attention to make it all worthwhile.
(Now, as for enough money for college, we'll have to see..LOL).