Saturday, June 14, 2014

A girl and her dad

Being it is Father's day, I have decided to write this blog post about Rob. 

If you have followed this blog from the beginning, you know that Rob was pretty quick to say yes to the idea of adoption. 

He was not so quick, however, to actually say yes.

In fact, he "thought about adopting" for over a year.  During that year, in all the many conversations we had about it, one thing that never came up was a fear of not being able to love a child that was not his biological child.  Rob never had that.

Sure, Rob worried, but not about that.  He worried about managing 4 kids and more specifically, providing financially for 4 kids, but he never really worried about loving 4 kids.

Loving children comes pretty easily to him. 

And then we got "the call" about Vivian.  Rob felt she was the one.  But, was he in love with her?  No, honestly, not in the way I was.  Rob will tell you he wasn't as much "in love with her" as he was "committed to love her". 

So we went to China.  Again, if you followed my blog on Gotcha day, you remember that I was a COMPLETE mess. I remember so vividly pacing the hotel room, making a million trips to the bathroom, shaking and just feeling SO incredibly nervous.  Rob was just sitting there, completely calm, drinking his coffee and reading the paper like it was any other morning.  At one point, I actually got mad at him for being so calm. I remember kind of yelling at him, "AREN'T YOU EVEN THE LEAST BIT NERVOUS???"

 And I will never forget his answer. 

He said, "Yes, I'm nervous.  But I'm really glad  I'm nervous.  I'd rather be here, being nervous, getting ready to do something good like this with my life, than sitting at home on my as* doing nothing with my life."

In the days leading up to "Gotcha Day" as Rob and I walked the streets of China, we spent a fair amount of time discussing how we thought our Gotcha day might go.  We went through all kinds of different scenarios.  People told us to be prepared for a sad, grieving child.  People told us we might feel more like babysitters than parents the first few days.  People told us it might take time to feel real love for our child.  I know Rob was prepared for all of these realities.

What he was not prepared for was to fall in love with Vivian right there on the spot.  And that is what happened.  Just like with our other three children, he was in love the moment he met her. 

In this video clip, we have had Vivian for about 30 seconds.  I love Rob's first words about her:


I'm sure all the wives reading this will agree with me that watching your husband become a father is one of the greatest  things in the world to witness.  You feel a deeper love for them as you watch them parent your children.  This was true for me with the birth of each of our children.  I have to say, however, that there has been something especially wonderful about watching Rob become a "father to the fatherless".  There has been something really special about watching him fall completely in love with a little girl from across the world.

God knows he had to work to earn her trust!  She was NOT so sure about Rob in China.  But, with time, he won her over.  They have such a special relationship now. 



I know before we adopted, Rob worried about some of the things he would have to sacrifice and give up to bring Vivian home.  And now, I know that he would tell you none of it feels like a sacrifice.  He would tell you that what he has gotten in return has been far more than he ever could have dreamed.  He changed her life, and she changed his. 

This is the beauty of adoption.

Adopting a child was not Rob's "calling".  It was not his dream. It was mine.  And I am so incredibly grateful to be married to someone who values my dreams enough  to want to make them come true. 

In making my dream come true, I like to think he has made the dream of a lonely little girl come true, also.  He has given her a daddy.  Of all the accomplishments he has had in his life, I think being a dad is the one he would rank right up at the top. 

Happy Father's Day. 

"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad"


  1. Aw I love this. So sweet. Vivian reminds me of Kate in the pic of her on Rob's lap with the big bow. Maybe it's her expression?

  2. This made me cry! Such a sweet post. What a blessing for us to be married to such good men!

  3. Maureen, I found this blog a few days ago and read it through in entirety! I enjoyed it so much and found that we have a lot in common. My husband and I also have three biological children and have been waiting for a referral for a little girl from Taiwan. I really appreciate your honesty in your writing. I'm usually very excited about our adoption process, but every so often feelings of doubt and fear surface and I wonder how this is all going to work out. Thank you for your candor.
    P.S. I love your daughters' names. Kate and Vivian have been long time favorites for me. So classic and feminine!

  4. Maureen, thank you your kind words. You helped me in so many ways the other day when you commented to me. When I was leaving the orphanage, I truly thought I was the only one that had experienced that shaken feeling and that I just wanted to throw up!!!!! As I read your post it made me believe that we saw, smelled touched and experienced the same thing. I just kept asking myself why does this have to be this way? Please continue to pray for Jennifer and I in our new Journey. Again I still have no idea what this Thing will look like. We do not know if Mary will be our last!!!??? All I know is that I am willing to keep my life open to what God wants me to do. With your experience and your husbands too, I wanted to give you what God put in my head minutes after the trip. "What can I do to make sure everyone can see, smell, hear and feel what me and you and your husband did!? Why can't everyone take that walk in an orphanage before one penny is spent on self??????" This sounds so impossible but isn't that what God loves to do through his people, the impossible! I believe it is time to build an arc, walk on water and rise from the dead all at once!!!!!
    I almost think I am crazy but I think it is because I am in China and I am missing 7 pieces of my family very much. Thanks for listening.
    I so remember your husband coming to my office to get the ipad. What great memories. I do wish I could recall exactly what our words were but I am so glad God put us together at that perfect time so I could be an encourager to your husband. The last post about fathers day gave me goose bumps. The pictures and the stories, that is what being a dad is all about.
    We live very close to each other. I would love to see our children playing at a park one day this summer or fall while we sit back and enjoy them running and being kids. Maybe soon. Take care and thanks again. Bobby

  5. I say Amen! If any one could have even tried to tell me how blessed we would be by bringing home Avery I don't think I could have imagined how really amazing it is and how much it has changed our lives. Now that doesn't mean we haven't had hard moments, but those moments are so tiny in comparison to all the joy we have experienced. When people say "Oh, she is so lucky, I say NO, we are so lucky."

  6. I found your blog through the CCAI website because we are currently adopting from China and waiting for a match. I love your writing and all that you have to say. Although we are still months away from meeting our child, I often think about the painful process our future son's mother has already gone through. I also think about how much she must yearn to know whether he is happy and loved. Thank you for creating this place of support by sharing your story.
    BTW, I have started blogging, somewhat less eloquently at . :)