A surprise blessing…

As many of you know, our family is growing … but not through my belly anymore. 🙂
This journey began about 15 years ago really.  When Mike and I were dating, we discovered that we both hoped to provide a home and a family to children who needed one.
We weren’t sure when or where from, but we just knew that our family would one day be a blended family; a mosaic of people grafted into one family.
Our family had a rough start.  We lost our first baby and then struggled through infertility issues for two years.  Ultimately, we had our sweet firstborn Caroline, quickly followed by four other children (another little one that we lost, Benjamin, Charlotte, and Noah).
It was during my pregnancy with Noah that we determined that we were “shutting down the shop” so to speak, so that we could open our home and our hearts to our other children that we had yet to met.
I had researched adoption agencies for years before so as soon as we got back on our feet after having Noah, we really began with the process (initial paperwork, pre approval, etc.).
The issue of where we should adopt from was not a very challenging one really.
In a former life, I was a high school French teacher.  During those years of teaching French, I felt the overwhelming pull that we should one day adopt from a French speaking country so that I could help to preserve some of our child’s home culture, and facilitate communication between our child and any family he/she may have back home.  In my French III class, we covered La Francophonie (the French speaking world – other than France).  We studied Haiti along
In January of 2010, Haiti was rocked by a horrific earthquake.  The day we got home from the hospital from having Benjamin, the world news was alit with devastating images and coverage of this unreal disaster.
I will never forget sitting in my little rocking chair in the living room of our ancient rental home in Boston, nursing my newborn, and the tears wouldn’t stop.  The juxtaposition of devastation and new life was too much to take in.  I remember telling Mike that we needed to adopt from Haiti right now. This moment. That timing was not to be for our family but the seed of love for Haiti had been ignited that day, never to be extinguished.

We started the process many years ago really with researching agencies, initial paperwork, pre approval, etc. but it was only this past summer that we officially got started with our agency.


We were pursuing a Haitian adoption and we were entirely done with the home study (an intensive, massive, paperwork part in the beginning) when life took a detour.  

 
Our agency (CCAI) that is doing our Haitian adoption is also the world’s largest Chinese adoption agency.  
 
On their website, they have a waiting child page.  DO NOT CLICK ON IT UNLESS YOU ARE READY TO ADOPT IMMEDIATELY!  Too many sweet faces right there that will grab your heart right away!
 
I had visited that page once or twice, with no intention of changing course on our Haitian adoption, but then one day I saw a little guy that stole my heart.

 

I visited that page from time to time, and one day I saw a little guy that stole my heart, and quickly Mike’s too, and then our children’s too. 

 
Our Haiti adoption is taking a pause while we scoop up this little one that we feel is supposed to be in our family.  What a surprise blessing he is!!
 
We thought we’d be bringing home a new member of the family about 3 years from now as Haiti has a notoriously long process, but now life will be looking much different for us most likely at the very end this year.
 
His name is Rui Zhu (pronounced Roo-ay Jew)  and he is 2 years old (so he is 6 months younger than our youngest Noah). 
 
We are in love with him! 
 
PS – In case you’re wondering why we are adopting a Chinese boy instead of a Chinese girl (the question has been asked several times already by our families), let me explain briefly.  Apparently ever since the international outcry burst forth at the outrageous plight of Chinese girls abandoned in orphanages, the international community and Chinese foster families began adopting Chinese girls as a preference.  As a combination of this with the fact that China now permits families to have two children, now to adopt a healthy Chinese girl, a family will wait anywhere from 5-9 years.  On the waiting child pages (special needs of any kind), the girls are the very first ones to be matched as most people are looking to adopt a Chinese girl.  Boys (of varying special needs) are disproportionately sent to orphanages, they largely outnumber the girls on the waiting child pages, and it is typically much harder to find a home for boys who are waiting to be adopted.  Mike and I did not know this until we started seriously looking into adoption awhile back and we found this information surprising.  Anyway, just an fyi in case you were wondering! 🙂

 

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