Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What do the kids think?

I have been asked by so many people what our kids think about our adoption. From the beginning, they have been excited and enthusiastic about doing it. They have always wanted another sibling, and luckily, they have always been in agreement that this family needs another girl! Initially, we talked very vaguely to them about the idea. We would just say things like, "what would you think about another little sister?", or, "we are thinking about adopting". Over time, we talked more specifically about the little girls in China and what adoption is all about. We realized our kids only exposure to orphans has been in the form of the movie, "Annie", and we tried to help them understand what it really means to be an orphan. We tried to explain to them that there are truly millions of kids that have no home, and no family. We tried to explain to them that we think the right thing to do is to bring one of these kids into our home. We tried to keep it simple: there are lots of kids in this world who need love, and we feel like our family has a lot of love to give. Nothing more was needed. They were completely on board. Over the past few months, Rob and I have seen them really embrace our journey, and it is so awesome to watch their hearts open up to a little girl on the other side of the world who they haven't even met.  I want to share and document some of the things they have done and said over the last few months so that I won't forget, and so that their sister can one day see how excited they were about her.
 During our home study, our social worker visited our house to interview us as a family. She had a questionnaire for each child. The boys did their sheets on their own, and we helped Kate write hers. The only instructions were to answer with the first thing that came to your mind. Here is some of what they wrote (James on left, John on right):

and finally, Kate's

A few weeks later, we had our Open House at the boy's school. Some of the student's work was displayed, and this was up in John's classroom:

And just last week, this came home from James. In his class, the students were given the opportunity to submit a prayer  if there was something they wanted the class to pray for. One would be randomly selected. James' prayer was selected that day and here is part of what he wrote:

One night I noticed the kids huddled around the kitchen table.  When I went to see what they were doing, I found them voting on names for their sister:

There have been so many other cute stories. For instance, one day we were driving in the car, and the song, "A Thousand Years" was on. Kate and I have this conversation:
Kate: "Mommy, this song is just like me and my sister."
Me: "how so?"
Kate: "because I have been waiting for her"
Me: "when you get her, will you love her for 1,000 years?"
Kate: "No, I'll love her forever."

The kids have claimed a few other songs, "songs for our sister". Right now their 2 favorites are "I Will Wait" by Mumford & Sons, and "Home" by Phillip Phillips. The other day driving home from school they were all singing "Home" at the top of their lungs. Whenever it comes on they make me turn it up, and they will get all excited and say "our song about our sister!" Melts my heart to hear them singing the lyrics:

"the trouble it might drag you down,
if you get lost you can always be found,
just know you're not alone,
cause I'm gonna make this place your home"

A few months ago I saw this book and had to have it:

As we know, there are thousands of children growing up in China's state run welfare institutions without families to take care of them. In this book, which is a series of pictures of the girls in one such institution, the photographer, Richard Bowen (of Half the Sky), has captured a poignant glimpse of some of these girls.

I have found the kids on many occasions looking at this book on their own.

When I see my children looking at this book it makes me happy. It makes me happy because what I hope, and think, that my kids are seeing when they look at this book is this:  the girls in these pictures are kids ...  They are girls who deserve the same things our kids deserve:  to play, to laugh, to celebrate birthdays, to go to school, to have food to eat, to be held when they are sad, to be comforted when they are sick, and mostly, to be loved and cherished.  There is an introduction to this book written by Amy Tan, and I think she says what I am trying to say much better than me:

"I also wonder what the purpose of looking at such photographs is.  It seems at times too painful to look at these abandoned girls if we cannot directly take them into our arms and make their lives instantly better. Yet I think it is important to look.  For as long as we can look, we can imagine.  We can look and hope to  know more.  That is the start of compassion, I think."
Rob and I hope that our journey to our daughter is growing the sense of compassion in our children.  We hope it will help them to understand that  it is when you give that you truly receive.

(A quick note about blog comments:  I have had several people contact me to say they would like to comment on our blog, but have had trouble trying to do that.  I think that if you are viewing this blog post in an email update, you can't comment.  You have to view the actual blog page at: If you go to the page, you should be able to comment at the end of each post.  And we welcome comments! I would love for our future daughter to see the wonderful community of people supporting her journey home.)


  1. this melts my heart! what sweet children you have!!! I love that they are talking about her in school and clearly already love her so much!! Brings a smile to my face.

  2. What an amazing journey your family is on! I cannot wait to see who God has chosen to be your daughter and sister! I have that same book and poured over the images before we got Wesleigh, just wondering what our little girl would look like. I'm so excited for your family!


  3. Maureen & Rob - I think "Curious" John's story is classic. How he transitions from "I wonder what my sister will be like?" to "I wonder what the dinosaurs would be like if they were alive?'

    Great Job Maureen!

    Uncle Mike

  4. I always love reading your blog! It is amazing how pure and simple kids can make everything. We are all so excited for this sweet little girl to get here and join our big family!

    Love you!

  5. What an amazing blog. Not sure how I found this but, always had china adoption on my mind.. just never actively seemed doable. I wish I could adopt not sure I can at this point. Praying to do so.

  6. Just ordered the Mei Mei book! Thanks for sharing this resource. Excited about the future and the role that adoption will play in it!