I know I surprised many of you with our exciting news and you are anxious for details about our newest little guy.
Here's the scoop:
We've actually been working on this adoption for over seven months. We first saw his face on May 1st and the paperwork chase started immediately. Let me back up and say that Stu and I have always dreamed of four children. Yes, we have our hands full with our crew now, but we figure the more the merrier. I remember that within about 20 minutes after HD and I arrived home from Kyrgyzstan, Stu started talking about HD getting a little brother. After my long solo trip to bring HD home, another child was the last thing on my mind. But a few months after HD arrived, and we were back into our daily routine and our "new normal", I was ready to start the process all over again.
Initially we thought we would pursue a child younger than HD. She showed us quite quickly, however, that it would be in her best interest that she remain the "baby" of the family. So we agreed that a toddler boy sounded like a perfect fit for us.
Stu and I both knew that China was where our next child was. We felt that with our three young children, a country with one-trip was a necessity. We also knew that we wanted HD to have an Asian sibling (for reasons that I'll get into in another post). Lastly, we were very willing to adopt a waiting child and knew that China has a strong special needs program. Once those decisions were made, I started researching various agencies.
At around this same time, I received an email from an agency whom we had contacted about a Kyrgyzstan adoption (before the moratorium). The coordinator wanted to let me know that they had a big list of waiting children in China they were getting ready to release the next day. She said she knew we were open to toddler-age boys and there would be many on the list. So the next day rolls around and I checked out the list. There were so many adorable children but one little guy caught my attention right away, and we requested more information. We received his file as we were on our way to dinner to meet our good friends Rachel and Darren. Of course, that's all I could talk about over dinner. I'm sure Rachel thought I was a blubbering idiot! But as it turns out, our little guy's special need was a VSD and Rachel had just been through open-heart surgery with her daughter who had the same thing. I was able to pick her brain on many of the details associated with this need and felt so much better. We had our pediatrician and a pediatric cardiologist look over the file that weekend, and by early the next week they had both given us the thumbs-up on him! We immediately sent in our LOI (letter of intent) and the paperwork race was underway. I was amazed at how simple the Chinese dossier was to complete (after the monster dossier required for Russia); after a few bumps, we were DTC in early September and our LID was 9/27/09. We were prepared to wait until after Christmas to get our LOA (our official approval), but were thrilled when we received it on 11/25/09. Now we are waiting for our TA (travel approval). If all goes well, we are hoping to travel as early as the end of February! Not too much longer now. The boys are super-excited about the prospect of a little brother...we'll see how HD reacts. I think she will really enjoy having a sibling close in age to her (he's 6 1/2 months older than her), but it might take awhile for her to realize it:)
As for the nickname "Pudding", this one was Monkey's idea. Not long after we received his referral, we were eating super and Chipmunk looked really sad. I asked him what was wrong and he was upset that there are only four chairs (plus a highchair) at our table. He was so sad that there was no place for his new brother to sit. Without missing a beat, Monkey said "That's no problem. He's like pudding." I looked at him like he was crazy and asked what in the world he was talking about. He replied, "He's like pudding. There's always room for pudding." Smart kid.