The Making of a Family

September 25, 2015 a father's perspective, Bryson, China trip, Dads, Gotcha Day 17 Comments

Bryson, dad to 3 year old Lydia and husband to Mandy, shared several months ago on the challenges of attachment. We loved his post so much we asked him to come back and contribute regularly. Today he shares with us a true labor of love, his documentary film of their adoption journey. I encourage you to watch it, all 36 minutes of it. It’s that good. So grab a cup of coffee (and if you’re like me, a few tissues) and press play.

family day

It was about this time three years ago that my wife Mandy and I started the adoption process to adopt our first child, Lydia. Although my wife dislikes being in front of a camera, I did what I always do – I filmed our journey into the making of a family and created a documentary film. (We own a creative agency that specializes in video, so it is literally what I always do).

We invite you to watch our Making of a Family.

Disclaimer: We want to caution viewers who are about to travel and might have romantic notions of family day and time spent in China for the adoption. For most children and their families, time in China is very hard. There is very little video footage of our time in China because for many days, all we could do was take a deep breath and comfort Lydia.

We were doing our best to try to help Lydia feel safe, deal with orphanage behaviors, self-soothing, food issues, sensory overload, grief and loss, and her fear of us. Her entire world had drastically changed. We moved at her pace and put our camera away for days.


17 responses to “The Making of a Family”

  1. Lisa DV says:

    Beautiful beautiful story!! When my 4 year old first saw your daughter she remarked, “She has a hand muffin!” Our daughter had a Symes amputation – she calls her stump a muffin since that is what it looks like to her. ????. We loved the outtake too – my daughter was giggling at your daughter’s silliness!! We have a goofy drama princess too! Blessings to your family – thank you for sharing your journey.

  2. Bethany S. says:

    I love this so much. Absolutely love the honesty of this transformation story through loss, grief, healing and restoration.

  3. Pat Hargrave says:

    I have finished watching this the second time…through my tears, what an incredible journey the three of you are on!
    Reminded me of a similar journey Wayne & I were on 30 years ago (Dillon turned 30 last Sunday). Bryson what an incredible gift God has given you in filming and creating a masterpiece that will bless so many lives – mine included!
    Mandy – from a Mom’s perspective – what love God has given you and Bryson to share with this precious Lydia Grace! I have prayed for your family so often and will continue to do so ♥️. With your permission, I would like to share this video with Dillon. Love to your sweet family and your extended family as well! Pat

    • Mandy Moore says:

      Pat, we love you and your family so much! I think your family may have been the first adoptive family I knew really well, and through our journey, I thought so much of you all. Please feel free to share. -Mandy

  4. Rochelle says:

    Love LOve LoVe this!
    The feeling you get waiting in the hotel room! Truth!

  5. Karis says:

    This is so beautiful! We adopted our son in China March 2nd of this year and I think I relived every moment (happy and sad) watching your video lol

  6. Haley Long says:

    Oh guys- this was so incredibly well done. I so enjoyed following your story but even moreso just love the example you set of how to honor our adopted children and everything they’ve been through. I would love to be able to share this with others who are beginning their adoption journeys. What a delight Lydia is- she was made for the spotlight :-). I should’ve gotten her autograph in China as she sure does seem destined for big things!!
    Thanks for sharing your story- such a beautiful labor of love.

  7. Pam W says:

    Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for sharing this journey. As our daughter and son in love are awaiting any day a call matching them with a little girl from China, I am so touched by what they will be doing and how my husband and I are soon to have another grand daughter to love! Oh how exciting!

  8. Kara Canning says:

    Just finished watching your lovely video. We were in Nanchang in 2005 adopting our first daughter Gabby….so seeing the escalator at Walmart brought back many memories. Thank you for sharing how hard and wonderful adoption can be for the child and their new family. We went back to China in 2010 to bring our Lydia Jane home from Changsha. We are so blessed that these two amazing girls entered our lives. We blogged for a while about our experiences, but now that the girls are older we are busy with our day to day adventures. Enjoy each moment in these preschool years. Our 11 year year old Gabby has entered those tween years that can be challenging. Your Lydia is so precious….personality plus! I believe that if she ever got together with our Lydia…the would be two peas in a pod! Much love to your family and thank you again for sharing your experiences.

  9. Jen M. says:

    Beautiful video. Lydia is adorable and I love how well you understand the loss piece of adoption.

    You seem very purposeful with your parenting choices. I was wondering if you could explain how you handled introducing Lydia to her new name. I notice in the video you sometimes use her Chinese and American names interchangeably. Then towards the end Lydia says her whole name.

    The preschool clip sent me for the tissues. The necklace was a brilliant idea.

    She’s going to be a stellar sister to B.

    • Mandy Moore says:

      We have always told Lydia that she could go by her Chinese name “QiQi” or by her Western name “Lydia.” Like with our son, we called her Lydia QiQi for a long time. We call him Barrett FanFan. If either want to go by their Chinese names, we would be happy with that too.

  10. Rodrigo J. says:

    Hi Mandy,
    My heart is full watching this video. It has been 12 since we talked because you were my professor at JBU. Im extremely happy for you and your husband. You two deserve all the best in this World. #blessedbeyondmeasure

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