...she has so many children, she didn't know what to do.
So she decided to adopt another child. While we were initially hesitant to share this news with our family and friends, most of them were not the least bit surprised to hear that we would be adding to our family. Honestly, I think Stu and I were probably more shocked than everyone else. Even Sprout's adoption caught as by surprise, as much as is possible with adoption. So the idea that we would add a sixth child, so soon after Sprout's adoption, was utterly ridiculous. Our plates were full, our calendars were full, our energy pushed beyond its bounds, as was our patience. But one look at the sweet face of a special little boy changed that in an instant. To be honest, this all began prior to Sprout's adoption. While perusing a yahoo group for families adopting from Shanghai, I saw that someone was advocating for a little boy in Sprout's orphanage. Of course, I had to look and the picture completely took my breath away. I have no idea what it was about it but it felt so familiar, like I had known him forever. I pushed the thoughts aside, as we were knee-deep in Sprout's adoption and looking at any more children Needing families was more than my heart could bear. A few days later I was unable to get his face out of my mind and showed stu the picture. He agreed he was cute and there was something special about him. He was also quick to add that our family was full. I agreed and that was that. Unable to stop thinking about him, I asked an agency if they could get updated information about him so maybe I could advocate for him. We didn't hear anything but Stu and I kept bringing him up. It was completely the opposite of what our family needed: another boy, a mere 7 months older than Pudding, while another adoption was going on. Bit no matter what our heads thought, our hearts told us he was our son. We were thrown for a huge loop; we had always pursued an adoption because we wanted to add a child to our family. We had never felt pulled to adopt a specific child. But as much as we tried to fight it, the pull to this dimple-cheeked little boy was irresistible. One day while checking the shared list I found that he was gone. That could only mean one thing: that he had found a family. While I was thrilled for that little boy would have parents to love him, I was heartbroken that it wouldn't be us. A few nights later, Stu and I took the kids out to a baseball game. Stu asked about adopting another little boy and I told him that I had NO desire to adopt child unless it was that certain little boy. I had also finally started to feel at peace that our family would be complete when Sprout got home and we could begin to plan our future without worrying about adoption travel, etc. it was literally less than 20 minutes later when I checked my email and found a message from the agency with an update and new pictures of the little guy. I was flabbergasted. I asked about him being off of the shared list and found out that whatever family had pulled his file had returned it and he was still available. Tha was all we needed to hear. We contacted our social worker the next day to get a homestudy update and get the paperwork started. We also had to apply for a waiver from China to allow us to begin a new adoption before our current one was complete. Once we got that approval, we sent in our LOI (asking china to allow us to adopt him) and received PA (preapproval) on August 16, 2012. Around this time, things started to progress with Sprout's adoption. Things were absolute chaos for the rest of August and September as we prepared to travel for Sprout and put together out dossier for our little Kangaroo. As we began to get closer to travel for Sprout, I began to have serious questions about whether we were doing the right thing with adding two new children to our family, so close in age to our preschoolers at home. My doubts grew heavier and heavier until right before travel I had pretty much made up my mind that I didn't want to pursue the second adoption. I was completely overwhelmed by the very thought of it. Stu made me keep an open mind as we traveled to Shanghai for Sprout. And I will admit that it was really hard to be in the same city as the little guy and not be able to check in on him. After arriving home, having 5 children that were all trying to deal with the multiple transitions going on within our home, breaking my foot during the holiday season, not to mention adjusting to Sprout's gregarious behavior and her inability to sleep...I was done. I was in over my head and didn't know if I would ever be able to come up for breath. There was no way I could handle another child. So we made the difficult decision to pull our dossier and stop the adoption. It was so very hard to do but brought me immediate relief. Our family slowly adjusted to our new normal and we survived the holidays. My guilt about Kangaroo's adoption was still strong so I decided to try to find a family for him. I was able to find two different families that were interested in pursuing him, but for a variety of reasons China turned them both down. At the end of January, when our little Roo was celebrating his 5th birthday, I woke up one morning with a horrible feeling that we were making the wrong decision. I sat with this for a few days, hoping it would go away, but the feeling grew. On a whim, I contacted our agency and asked if China Would ever let us resubmit our dossier for Roo. She said she would check but she wasnt sure. She called me later and asked if I was serious. I said I needed to talk to Stu but I needed to know if it was even a possibility before I approached him with this. As it turns out, they had never pulled our dossier!!! So as far as China was concerned we were still in process for him. I honestly couldn't believe it. Stu and I discussed it and then discussed it some more and then prayed and then prayed some more. We finally decided to go out for dinner and make a final decision. By the end of the night, we still couldn't decide. As we were leaving, we mentioned to our waitress that we had 5 kids at home and she proceeded to ell us that she was the youngest of 6 kids and she loved growing up in a house full of siblings. Stu and I looked at each other and we knew we had made our decision. We were going to bring Kangaroo home. Everything went full steam ahead which has led us to where we are today...sitting in the Chicago airport, waiting to board our plane to Seoul and eventually Shanghai. In just 2.5 more days, we will finally be united with our Roo!!!
It has been quite the journey to our little boy but I can't wait for the adventure to begin. We bright Monkey wit us this time and if you are interested, you can follow along on his personal blog too: www.millerschinaadventures.blogspot.com.