Monday, October 30, 2006

The Name Game - HELP!!!

We are working on our dossier documents and the time has come to name our son-to-be. We are planning on keeping his birth name and adding an American name as well, and then we'll ultimately use whatever he wants us to use as his name. Ugh! This is so frustrating and much harder than the last couple of times. Somehow, it was easier to name an infant than it is to name a grown boy of 8 who already has a name that he identifies with, and that we also identify as being his already. As most people do, we are trying to find one that sort of flows well with his birth name, but that ain't happenin'!! His birth name is unusual and nothing sounds right with it. Plus we try out names while looking at his photo and we find ourselves saying "Well he doesn't look like a Steve...or a Mark or..." We've gotten a real kick out of coming up with the funniest ones, I mean, let's face it, a cute little 8 year old Asian boy doesn't exactly fit with a name like Jamal, or Humberto, or Allejandro!!

We were laughing ourselves silly the other night joking about coming home and having him get lost in the airport and having to ask security to help us find Dimitry La Joy who speaks Russian and is from Kyrgyzstan and is Asian and has an Italian last name with Kazakh brothers! Whew! I remember Matthew got lost at an amusement center in Denver, when he was about 5 and he had the common sense (which actually surprised me) to remember to tell the Security Staff through his tears "I don't look like my mom and dad, they are caucasian and I am asian". The woman who finally found us half laughed and said she was so glad Matthew had told her that or she would have been looking for a short asian couple!

Anyway, so we are considering various names and will make a decision before the end of the week. Anyone want to vote by leaving a comment? I am still not going to post his birth name yet, but what do you all think about Nicholas, Kristopher, Kenneth or Thomas??? All I know is he is DEFINITELY not going to be named Enrico!! hahahaha!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Blankie

You know sometimes, out of the blue, something unexpected can happen that touches your heart so deeply that you are left with your faith in mankind reaffirmed. Today at church, my dear friend Mary came up to me and handed me a small gift wrapped package. When I looked at her askance she said "It's for no reason at all, it's just because I wanted to". I had no idea what had prompted this, but of course being the Curious George that I am I just couldn't wait to get home and had to open it. As I carefully unwrapped it I found a children's book titled "The Red Blanket" by Eliza Thomas. I had never seen this book before and I began to flip through it, skimming it quickly...and then a bit more slowly, and then I couldn't help but read it word for word as I tried to hold back the tears. This was our story, one I had never seen really put so simply into print. It is about a mother adopting a daughter from China who has difficulty attaching at first, just like Josh. The vivid, simple and accurate portrayal of the lack of trust, the inability to make eye contact, the uneasiness between mother and child despite their desire to let go and love was so spot on that I felt like jumping up and down and shouting "See! It wasn't just us!".

In the story, the girl was comforted by a red blanket, and the parallel to Joshie's own blue blankie was uncanny. It became a rag, quite literally unrecognizable as a receiving blanket at all. It was so scrap-like that I had two other moms present me with gently worn replacements that we all hoped he would take to, but NO WAY was he going to accept a substitute! In what was one of those sad little milestones in our lives, Josh lost his blankie in a gas station somewhere between here and Denver this past summer. In some silly way it made me a bit sad to lose this particular precious piece of his childhood. I could so easily recall seeing him sob in his sleep after having woken up 7 or 8 times a night, but being able to be lulled back to sleep by having his blankie snuggled right next to his face, wrapped tightly around a fist. That blankie served as a sort of symbol of his relationship with me, what had started out new with so much hope attached to it had become torn, ragged around the edges and yet finally held tightly close to his heart...just like our love for one another. And an even greater expression of just how far our relationship had come was his reaction when he lost it, 2 1/2 years later. He easily transitioned to another blankie this time, all the while hugging me solidly around my neck. He was finally ready to let go, because he no longer needed an inanimate object to hold on to, he had Mom now to make him feel safe.

Mary's gift and expression of celebration of our adoption of "T", secretly named "TJ" between she and I, was more than just a little gift. It was like having someone silently and invisibly stand next to me with her arms around my shoulders the next time someone asks one of the inane and intrusive questions I mentioned in an earlier post. Someone understands where we are coming from in all of this, someone doesn't think we are stupid, irrational, or naive. It was one of those quiet ways that special women in each of our lives have of offering encouragement and support without a lot of fanfare. It meant the world to me. And as I curl up with Josh on my lap and we read this book together, we can identify with everything in it and know that we have met the challenge of letting go of fear and pain caused by others, and allowing love to enter our hearts when others thought it might prove impossible.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Links to Learn

Of course, I have been spending a lot of time "googling" (who would have ever thought that would eventually turn into a verb??) to learn more about Kyrgyzstan, and as I come across sites I find interesting I will post them on the blog for others to check out.

As an amateur photographer (with the emphasis on amateur!), I found the web site for Damien Wampler to be fascinating. He has many photos of Kyrgyzstan and his first exhibit in 2003 was titled "Children of the Celestial Mountains: Orphans of Kyrgyzstan". Seeing the faces of so many orphans staring back at you has a profound impact. To quote the web site "The exhibit, held at the Frunze Museum in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek, featured 74 portrait style photographs of orphans from around the country. I visited 9 different orphanages and shelters over the course of a two month period. The goals of the project were to raise awareness of the conditions of orphanages in Kyrgyzstan, which are greatly under funded, as well as to show the children who live there in a positive light." Check the portraits out at:

http://www.grahame.com/wamplerimage/galleries.html Click on the link and then the thumbnails appear on the left. Click on any photo for a larger version to appear mid-screen.

Another site I found was a blog written by a visitor to the Baby House in Bishkek and her impressions of what she saw there. Her writing touches a nerve, at least it did for me. Here's the link:

http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=2757

Another interesting perspective on Kyrgyz orphanages is blogged about by "The Bone Man", scroll about halfway down his blog page to read about his visit to a couple of orphanages and the kids' reactions. You can find it at:

http://bonefritter.blogspot.com/2006_04_01_bonefritter_archive.html

This last one will absolutely break your heart, and I want to say right up front that this is no longer the case, as photos we have show nothing of the sort. This CNN story is from 1997. However, this photo is from the same town where our son-to-be lives but I don't know if it is the same orphanage or not, as he is currently in a pre-school orphanage and it appears these children might be older. I hesitated to post this, as I don't want to be accused of sensationalizing anything...but I realized that this is what can happen when we...and by that I mean you and I...turn our backs on those in our world who are helpless and in need. I know it is half a world away. I know it is not happening to anyone you know. I know it is easier to say to yourself "There is nothing I can do." But I guess for me, it takes on a different significance. Our oldest son Matthew came home extremely malnourished, in the beginning stage of rickets and by the time we made it home he weighed only 14 lbs at 11 months old. While "T" is actually in very good shape, we compared his measurements with Matthew's and even though he is 8 months older he is 6" shorter and 22 lbs lighter.

For us, children going hungry isn't some infomercial on late night television asking for money for children in far off lands, it is seeing our own son stuff as much food as he possibly can into his mouth as quickly as he can, being unable to stop himself because he has never known what it feels like to have a full tummy. Check out the link that will make you think:

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9711/16/russia.orphanage/

Now, what can you do?



Friday, October 27, 2006

Defending Truth, Justice, the American Way, and our Decision to Adopt!

I was discussing our adoption a couple of days ago with an acquaintance and the subject turned from the adoption process itself to all of the things that must be considered when bringing "T" home. I found myself feeling a bit defensive, as if I had to explain our decision to bring this particular child into our family. It is odd to me that if I were pregnant, no one would feel they had the right to come up to me and ask the things we are asked now. I wouldn't be asked "Is he normal? How much is he going to cost? What do you know about his mom and dad? Isn't this going to be too much for you guys? Why don't you get a baby instead of an older kid? You haven't even met him and you are going to have the adoption final??" along with the ever present "I hope you've thought clearly about this...it will change your life forever!!" spoken in dire tones.

Now, don't get me wrong, I feel that certain people in our lives have every right to ask more personal questions, our family and close friends care about us and want to help us walk through this in our heads to make sure this is really the right thing for us. I also appreciate their care and concern, it is nice to know someone loves you enough to want the best for you. But casual acquaintances who don't have our best interests in mind but simply want to judge? Why does it even matter to them?

Imagine standing in the middle of City Market, perhaps at the frozen foods section, and being grilled about your children's birth history...and having the person doing the grilling feel that they have every right to ask about it. Or having someone toss out casually in front of your 3 year old "You know all those orphanage kids are screwed up, looks like you lucked out this time!". I sometimes wonder if they even see their questions as being as invasive as they are. What if I threw back at them "How much did your delivery cost at the hospital? How often did you have to try to make a baby? Do you REALLY know what you are getting yourself into? And let me ask you about your stretch marks..." Hahahaha!

It seems to happen more often with this adoption than with Matthew's or Joshua's. Is it because he is older? Is it because people think we are nuts to do this a third time, that they can't understand why we would spend the money to adopt again versus putting away money for college (let's not talk about retirement!), new cars, going to Europe on vacation or eating out every night?

Or is it fear of the unknown? Fear of disrupting the status quo? Fear of what others might think?

I find myself reiterating over and over that we know this won't be a walk in the park, that we have thought it through carefully and recognize the issues and challenges we might be facing. I don't even bother to touch the financial part of it with others, as I have yet to find the words to equate love with the cost of adoption without cheapening the whole process.

I was working on my autobiography yesterday that has to be submitted to the Kyrgyzstan government and had to answer the question "Why do you want to parent?". What a loaded question,how do you answer that? Those of you who may be moms reading this, how would you respond to that question? What is it that makes you actually want to parent? Are there words to describe what it feels like in your heart when you stand over your sleeping child and think that no where on earth is there a more beautiful creature? That holding their much smaller hand in yours makes you feel, for just a moment, like they view you...that you can fix anything, do anything and protect them from anything? How do you explain that exquisite joy that comes from hearing your child whisper in the dark "You are the bestest mommy in the whole world!" after telling them a bedtime story?

Why do I want to parent? Because I do, and if I have to explain it then you are too shallow to understand the explanation anyway. Why do I want to parent "T"? Because I do. Because there is love to be given and love to be accepted. Because we have room in our hearts and our home. Because as a family we laugh so much, play so often, love so deeply that it seems a shame not to share that with him, if we can at all possibly do so.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Building a History

Last night we met with Tami while we were in Denver. Tami had photos and stories to share about T. and her experiences in Kyrgyzstan. We also had the pleasure of meeting with Karen, our Kyrgyzstan program coordinator with Adoption Alliance as well as Tabi, Tami's daughter who was adopted from Kyrgyzstan. This is actually the first time we have been able to meet anyone with our placing agency face-to-face prior to adopting, as with our Kazakhstan adoptions our placement agencies were out of state and we weren't able to meet them. We sat down at the dinner table and opened up the laptop to view photos of T when he was a toddler.

Here I was, in the middle of a crowded restaurant, and seeing my son-to-be as he looked when he was the age Josh is right now. I saw him in various settings, dressed up for a Christmas party, bundled up outside in the cold, playing with Tami and other visitors to the orphanage. 8 years recorded in 15 or 20 photographs. 2920 days and these precious snapshots are what we have to begin to build a history with. It is far more than many adoptive parents have, and yet I can't help but think of the hundreds of photos I have of Matthew and Joshua, comparing all the moments I have captured of them versus the few moments captured of T's life. I am grateful to Tami for helping us piece together a history for him. I am even more grateful that his future will not remain largely unrecorded, that there will be many "firsts" we will share with him, photograph, and place next to Matt and Josh's in our family album.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

How do you say thanks?

It looks like we will be meeting with Tami on Monday night when we are in Denver on business. Tami is the adoptive mom I mentioned in an earlier post who had such a close relationship with our son-to-be. I am excited, nervous, curious and anxious about this meeting...a real jumble of emotions. I think that our experience with Josh and his attachment struggles enhances my sense of gratitude about Tami. How can I possibly thank this woman for all she has done for "T"? She has quite literally carried this boy in prayer for years. She nurtured him in person, loved him, helped provide for one of his surgeries. There is no doubt that it was the strength of her resolve and her pleas to God that led us straight to "T". Thanks to her he has known love and given love, he is far more likely to be able to bond and trust.

Strangely, I also wonder if I will "measure up" in her eyes as the woman who should be his mother. Will I remember to ask everything that has run through my mind the past few days? Will it be awkward between all of us or will we feel at ease with one another? What will it feel like to see so many photos of my son...will I feel a sense of loss of all that we have already missed, or simply anticipation for what is to come? Will we walk away from this encounter feeling as if we really know him better, that we have a sense of who he is from her descriptions?

And how in the world can I ever express my thanks to her for loving him when no one else was around to do it? It is as if "T" will have had 3 moms, his birth mom, his spiritual mom Tami, and soon I will have that honor.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Facts, Just the Facts

I have been asked several questions by many people about the process of adopting from Kyrgyzstan, so here are the facts for us as it stands today. From what I have learned thus far, some steps are different depending upon the agency you use. We will prepare a dossier and get INS (or whatever they choose to call themselves this week!) approval. It will take approximately 2 months after we submit the dossier for everything to be completed in Kyrgyzstan. We will not have to go to court, as we did in Kazakhstan but instead the adoption will be finalized prior to our arrival in the country. Our adoption travel will consist of one trip of about 2 1/2 weeks in length. We will still travel through Almaty to complete the process, but at this stage we don't know if we will fly into Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan or Almaty, Kazakhstan. We'd be happy with either one...or actually whichever is the least expensive! As with any international adoption, the only guarantee you have is that there are no guarantees! All of this could change prior to us traveling. Our child will have dual citizenship.

And that's the facts!

What is a photo?


I was emailing a friend today and sending her a new photo we had received of "T" and in the email I touched on something that is very different for me about this adoption. Here I am, searching this photo of our son-to-be, and I am suddenly brought up short by the fact that unlike my other sons, there will be so much I don't know about him in the way I know Matthew and Joshua, and I'll never know him in the same way. I know every inch of Matt and Josh's body. I know that they each have a lone freckle on a finger, Josh on his thumb and Matt on his pinkie. I know that the very faint light spot on Matthew's forhead is from him rubbing it raw and getting a rug burn. I know Josh has a scar in the shape of a half moon on his side from an odd rash he had as a baby. I was in their lives for every bump and bruise, every scraped knee. I know every inch of their body intimately from bathing and cuddling, lotioning and powdering. I've been peed on, pooped on and thrown up on by each of them.


But our new son will come to us as an 8 year old boy, one who already has scars from life, both internal and external, that I'll know nothing about. I'll never have the privilege of snuggling with him when he is still small enough to fit easily in my arms. As I looked at the photo which was such a gift to have, I found myself trying to look for those details, to fill in the blanks, so to speak. I looked carefully at his face, his knees, his ears. I'd close the digital photo, only to open it once again a couple of hours later to simply sit and stare at it. I tried to wrap my mind around all that he and I have missed together. As I explained to my dear friend, it is all a part of bonding with him long distance, of trying to feel connected in the only way I can at this stage. And even as I write this tonight, I also realize that for all we have missed together, there will be much more that will not be missed...falls off bicycles, soccer injuries, and no doubt a freckle or two waiting to be discovered.

Monday, October 16, 2006

WOW! God is at work again...

I just had a fantastic phone call. Our agency representative, Karen, has connected with a friend of hers who has adopted from Kyrgyzstan. From what I understand, Tabi was the first child adopted from Kyrgyzstan by an American and her story is incredible. You can read all about it at http://www.facethechallenge.org/real_stories.php?page=kyrgyz Warning though, the photos of Tabi's facial deformities might not be easy for some to see. This beautiful little girl and her adoptive mom have traveled down a really interesting road. Well, to the point, Tami, the adoptive mom, had terrific news...she actually knew our son-to-be when he was an infant and even has photos of him! She helped arrange for his second surgery (more new health news for us!). I don't know if I have already mentioned that "T" has a repaired cleft lip and palate. For those of you who have adopted, you can easily understand what a precious gift it will be to have photos of our son as an infant. For those of you who haven't had the experience of adopting from an orphanage overseas, obtaining any kind of information about your child-to-be, especially photos, is almost impossible. Sometimes you'll get lucky and someone else who has visited the orphanage will have old photos, as in this case, but the orphanages themselves are far too poor to have the luxury of film, cameras, and even time to do more than care for the kids and feed them. I can not tell you all how excited we are to learn of this wonderful surprise! We are going to have the pleasure of meeting Tami...and I hope Tabi too...next week when we are in Denver. So to reiterate the motto of our church...God Is Still Speaking...and don't you DARE tell me otherwise!!

Happy Birthday To You "T"!!!

Yesterday was "T"'s birthday, he turned 8. We celebrated by having a cake with our best friends and taking photos/video of us singing happy birthday to him. Silly? Yes....but someday it may be important to him to know that we made a serious committment to him long before he could come home and that we wanted to remember his special day even though he wasn't yet with us. So sweetly Joshua asked if we were going to mail T. his cake. Since I will be copying this blog for him I will use this space to write a message: Dear T, This will, with God's blessing, be the very last birthday you have that will go uncelebrated. You are a big 8 year old boy now and little do you know it now, but this year will be a year filled with huge changes for you. So much new is in store for you, so much love is waiting for you. You will have two new brothers who talk about you constantly already and are ready to embrace you with open arms. And you will have a mommy and daddy who will be a constant in your life, and will do our best to nuture you, understand you, and offer our all to you. I would give up a million bucks (if I had it!) just to have been able to give you a hug on your birthday and be there with you. Soon enough though, we will all be together, and then we will REALLY party with our Kazakh/Kyrgyz Kids!! Much love, Mommy

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It's a...Boy?!?!

We asked to see photos of what Kyrgyz kids looked like, as we were curious to see the differences between Kyrgyz and Kazakhs. We were not ready for a referral and were not expecting to select a child until we were much further along in the process. Our agency sent us photos of a few kids and it turned out the ones they sent us were children available for adoption. As expected they ran the gamut from Caucasian to Asian, and were all older as that is what we had expressed an interest in adopting. We felt that keeping Josh as the baby of our family was important, and we were now 40 and 42 (Dominick is OLDER! Hahaha!) and that we were now beyond the stage where we wanted another baby. We had already had the good fortune of experiencing most of the "baby stuff" and had no real strong craving for another infant. Additionally, each time we adopted we had attempted to adopt older children, much the opposite of most families, but somehow ended up bringing home 1 year olds. Dominick and I both felt very strongly there was an older child waiting for us out there somewhere. So here we were, looking at these photos of Kyrgyz kids just to get a sense of what our new addition might look like, and suddenly we saw a Kyrgyz boy whose smile lit up the screen. He was so handsome and his inner joy and softness shined through his eyes....for me it has always been the eyes that have captured me each time we have adopted. T. had a repaired cleft lip and palate and a grin that spread from ear to ear. And suddenly all thoughts of a daughter flew out the window. Matthew walked by and asked who I was looking at and after I explained he exclaimed "He looks just like me when I give you my crooked smile when you try to take my picture!!". Dominick took one look and I knew he was hooked when later that evening he was coming to me with weather reports for Bishkek and costs for airfare. I actually had to stupidly fight my initial reaction a bit. I was too busy listening to what other people thought was right for my life (i.e. If you don't have a daughter you will always regret it!) rather than listening to God's guidance for my life...and my own true secret desire that it be a boy rather than a girl. My mom and I have often laughed about the whole boy issue as she remembers me saying years and years ago, long before we knew infertility would ever be an issue, that if I had to have children of all one gender I would much rather have boys than girls. So, after a couple of weeks of internal warfare, I gave in and grinned, put aside other's desires for my life and recognized the simple fact that I had indeed found my new son. We have since learned a bit about his personality, and I doubt we ever could have found a better fit for our family...he is described as being calm, thoughtful and kind...a mellower boy than average which is definitely a good fit for our boys. It is so odd, and those who have adopted might understand, but it was as if he was always intended for our family, I have a peace about this that tells me regardless of the challenges I won't deny we will face by flying in the face of conventionality (adopting out of birth order, not having met him, having virtually no medical information, special needs with cleft issues), ultimately all will be ok. There is something reassuringly familiar about him, and when in my mind's eye I see a mental photograph of all 3 boys together it as as if this was always meant to be. I would love to post his photo here, but due to issues in the past with other countries and information posted on the internet prior to finalizing the adoption, I have decided to use some discretion and keep his real name and his photo off the blog until the adoption is final, which will be prior to us traveling to bring him home. Also, sorry about these run on paragraphs, I can't yet figure out how to have a line break in the blog! It isn't because I don't know where a new paragraph should be created :-)

Kyrgyzstan??? Where's That???


Our family slowly decided that we still had a hole in our collective heart and we needed one more child to close that hole. The boys were both excited about the prospect of adding another sibling and both preferred a brother. Mom on the other hand was thinking this was her last chance and maybe...just maybe...what everyone said was true and I might feel I missed out if I didn't have a daughter. We had hoped for a long time to adopt the two girls we sponsor through the Antares Foundation, but ultimately found out they were not legally free for adoption. We had thought all along that we would return to Kazakhstan, but as we began to get serious about this third adoption we realized that the costs were going to be beyond our reach. This threw us into a panic and we started looking into other countries but nothing felt right. We were beginning to question if we were indeed meant to adopt again. Perhaps our family was to remain just the 4 of us after all. Out of the blue, our homestudy agency, Adoption Alliance left a message for us asking if we would be interested in learning more about their newly established Kyrgyzstan program. We called and asked for more details and realized this might be a great option for us. As we evaluated it we liked that it was similar to Kazakhstan in many ways so culturally it wouldn't be too different for us to incorporate into our family, and that Asian children were still available. A huge plus for us was that we would still have to process through the US Embassy in Kazakhstan so we would set foot on Kazakhstan soil one last time. So...it looks like we are off to Kyrgyzstan!!

Kazakh Brothers



We have been so fortunate to have both our boys love each other dearly. They truly have a close bond with one another. Of course, we have the occasional normal sibling altercations but they are few and far between. Recently when they were apart for two weeks they were more interested in speaking with each other on the phone than they were talking with Mom or Dad! We live in rural Colorado where the Asian population is next to none. We felt it was important for both of them to be able to look across the dinner table and at least at home see someone who looked just like them. As they have grown older this has become more important as race and skin color have become topics of conversation between their friends. Surprisingly, for living in an area that lacks much diversity, 99% of the comments have been innocent and benign statements of curiosity.

Pictures of Joshua





Here are more photos of Joshua.

Joshua's Challenge



Joshua was healthy in every way, but had a huge struggle attaching to his new family. As you can see from the photo of his first meeting with mommy, he was not really a happy camper and wanted nothing to do with all of this hugging and bonding stuff. We had a very, very difficult first year and a half or so but we were certain this was the child God had planned for us to parent, and knowing that kept us quite committed to him. While there has been a lot published and studied about older child Reactive Attachment Disorder, we found there was much less information available about infant RAD but we plodded along and slowly we began to see the gradual changes in Josh. He went from being an extremely unhappy baby to a healthy, well-adjusted, compassionate, extraordinary pre-schooler. What a gift he has been! It took us a few mistarts to eventually find a therapist, Joan Mulleady, who understood we were keeping this child and were not looking for support to relinquish but instead needed ideas for helping him heal. If anyone reading this blog would like more information or needs support for infant/toddler RAD, please don't hesitate to email me...it can be a very lonely road to travel.

Joshua



We initially thought Matthew might be our only child, but it didn't take long for us to decide we weren't done yet! Parenthood was so awesome, we couldn't wait to do it all over again! Joshua was estimated to have been born on 12/26/02 in Uralsk, Kazakhstan. His adoption was finalized on 11/3/03. We found Joshua on our agency's web site. We had been reviewing videos of 8 children and couldn't explain why none of them were right. They were all healthy and beautiful and no doubt would have been a terrific addition to any family. Then on the day we were going to make the decision, not feeling all that confident, up pops his photo on the web site and I knew instantly that we had found our son. We adopted Josh with the help of our placement agency, Tree of Life Adoption Center, and we can't speak highly enough about them. We had an absolutely flawless process overseas and their staff is attentive and knowledgable. This was our first photo of Joshua.

Pictures of Matthew






Here are a few photos of Matthew taken over the years.

Matthew


Matthew was born on 6/12/99 in Aktobe, Kazakhstan, the day after we turned in our initial adoption application. We had been married 12 years before finally pushing forward with adoption. This was the first picture we have of him taken from the 2 minute referral video we received. He is 7 months old in this photo.
Matthew was placed in our arms for good on Mother's Day 2ooo. I remember thinking that it was all a bit surreal, that this child who was born halfway around the world had somehow found his way into our hearts and home. He bonded to us very easily, and in fact it was as if he had known us forever from the moment we first saw him. He is now 7 and is an incredible young man already. Matthew is a happy, intelligent, funny, tender little guy. There is so much I could say about him, so much I wish words could convey but they can't come close to expressing the joy he has brought us.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dominick and Cindy - In the beginning...

Our story is actually very boring...we have been married for 20 years, having started dating while still in high school. Dominick is originally from Chicago and moved to California in the beginning of his sophmore year. It was the age old story, boy meets girl (She was only 13!!), girl thinks boy is obnoxious, girl and boy get to know one another and time passes, boy continues to pursue girl, girl takes pity and goes out on one date with him, girl goes home and tells her mother she is marrying the boy. And 4 years later we married. It was the best move of my entire life.

First Blog Post!!


So here I am, blogging for the first time! I have no idea what this blog will morph into, but I received so many requests from my internet adoption friends to email them about our latest adoption adventure, that I thought a blog might be the best way to keep friends and family informed. I doubt this blog will have many visitors, but I thought it would be fun to try it out, and then even if no one finds my musings fascinating enough to read (Gee, imagine that!) then at the very least I will have a nice document to print out for our newest addition's lifebook. I will try and be as open and honest about our experience as I can possibly be, and will also try to share a little about our family and my own thoughts on various subjects, most likely relating to adoption. I will create a few posts with photos initially so that those who don't know us as well can get to know our family. I hope everyone enjoys it, and please feel free to comment, I'd love to hear from you!