My name is Nancy, and I’m tickled pink that the NHBO has invited me to contribute! My hubby, who is an adult adoptee himself, and I have been together since we were teenagers, before the invention of the wheel, circa 1984, even before cell phones and the www. I had always wanted a big ol’ family, and even from my earliest memories, I clearly remember wanting to adopt to build my family. With the most wonderful Godly man and best friend by my side, we now have 6 little ones ages, (several of which are hardly little any more) and another on the way via Jiangxi, China. All of them, ages 18, 15, 13, 9, 4, and 4, are still living at home and this make me a very happy, and very busy mama, who almost always has a laundry pile the size of a small baseball stadium waiting for her.
Oddly, I may be the only contributor to NHBO that hasn’t adopted from China… yet. Our 4 year olds, Tess and Jude, were both special needs adoptions from VietNam that we got just as the program was crumbling to a close in 2008. We adopted them at the same time when they were 12 months old. They were often crib mates at their orphanage in Saigon. Jude was identified as a special needs adoption with bilateral foot deformities. We suspected from his photos that he had bilateral club feet, and this did turn out to be the case. He has had 2 surgeries, much serial casting, a couple years of physical therapy, and still wears a brace 12 hours a day. His special needs were as straight forward and his attachment went smoothly. Contrastingly, his sister, Tess, was not identified as special needs, however it was indicated that she was a preemie with low birth weight of 3 lbs even, (likely 3 months premature) and also likely malnourished. Upon getting her, we quickly realized that there were a host of other post-institutionalization issues that would need to be addressed over the years, including on-going attachment issues that we still deal with.
Our newest bundle of joy, who we are naming Mazie Jade, is an amazingly adorable, almost 2-year-old girl, and is currently living in an orphanage in Jiangxi, China. We will leave to get her in the next 3-6 weeks. Her special needs are a bit unknown, and frankly that’s really scary, but with faith in God, we trust that we will have all we need to provide her with a strong wonderful future. So right now we’re in the thick of waiting… and waiting… and waiting… to bring her home. The waiting is getting excruciatingly hard. But again, with faith we know our time will eventually come. I plan on sharing here on NHBO regularily both before, during, and after our travel. I’m excited to share our feelings and experiences about attachment issues, transitions, and what adoption of special need’s kiddos looks like both in the long and short term.
Over at our family blog, Ordinary Miracles and the Crazy 9, you’ll also find me spending my free time blogging, gathering dirty laundry, dabbling in photography, sorting laundry, cooking VietNamese food, doing more laundry, dreaming of travel, folding laundry, living the chaotic art of having a large family, making far more mistakes than I care to admit, and still doing more laundry. Some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned about special need’s adoption have been through reading blogs of other families that have blazed the trail before me. I’ve learned the differences between my expectations and reality, and have found comfort when times got tough. I very much appreciate the opportunity to share our ongoing journey and be a part of the NHBO community!