Another three months since my last post, but I have a good reason this time. We have been keeping a big secret and I didn't want to spill the beans before we were ready. Well, now we are ready and I can shout it from the rooftop...we are adding another little one to our family!! I'm sure this may surprise some of you, but no one is more surprised than us.
After Thanksgiving, I began to feel a little tug that our family might not be complete. I couldn't let go of the idea of HotDog having a sister. She adores her brothers and has a lot of fun with them, but a sister relationship is so different. I threw the idea out to Stu, thinking he would immediately dismiss it. Imagine my surprise when, a few days later, he came home and said we should do it! I couldn't believe it. I've been a member of several groups that advocate for waiting/special needs children in China since Pudding's adoption so I immediately started to search. I inquired about one little girl who looked like she would be a perfect fit for our family. Unfortunately I was told she was on hold for another family. I continued to search and looked at a few other files but I couldn't get the first little girl out of my mind. I couldn't believe it when I saw her mentioned again on an advocacy blog. I contacted the agency coordinator (she was on an agency's individual list) who said the other family had declined and she sent us her file. I immediately sent the file to our pediatrician for review but knew in my heart we had found our girl. After getting thumbs-up from our pediatrician the next day, we sent in our LOI and received PA the very next day. Since then we've been busy updating our homestudy and meeting with our social worker. We are thrilled that we can take advantage of China's new rule, allowing us to reuse our old dossier since our last adoption was less than a year ago. It is saving us a little bit of money and a whole lot of hassle. We are now waiting (im)patiently for our I800 approval so we can send all of our paperwork to China and let the real wait for our little sweetie begin. Assuming the rest of our process proceeds smoothly, we are hoping to pick up her up in late summer (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for August).
While I know this sounds like a spontaneous and random decision, this is not something we decided without a lot of soul-searching. We discussed (a lot) whether we had the time and energy for another child, while at the same time making sure that it wouldn't have a negative impact on our four children at home. There were (and still are) moments of pure panic where I think to myself, "What in the world are we doing??!!?" Honestly, at this point our household operates in contained-chaos mode and we usually have extra children in and out of our house. Our house may be loud and messy, but it's fun and full of love.
I'll post another entry soon with updates on the Bigs and the Littles as well as a look back on Pudding's first-year with our family (can you believe it has almost been a year?!?!). But right now, I'd like to introduce you to our newest little girl...affectionately dubbed "Sprout" by her big brothers.