Now that we are a mere few weeks away from heading to China, everyone has been asking us, “Are you ready?”
The short answer is yes.
The long answer? Yes!
We have dreamed about expanding our family for years, been actively working on this adoption for eighteen months, and been staring at a darling photograph of our sweet son, stuck in an orphanage, for almost five months now. We are ready.
We have read all the books, taken both mandatory and elective classes relevant to adoption, trauma and attachment parenting. We have prayerfully progressed with the support of family, friends, and adoptive families who have gone before us. We’ve solicited and accepted wise counsel and followed God’s lead. Short of some of our final in-country funds for travel, we truly are ready.
What I’m more concerned about now is if our son is ready. Is HE ready?
Without any context for “family”, what can he possibly know about what is about to happen?
I’ve read articles indicating that many orphanages provide little to no preparation for children on the cusp of joining their new families. One acquaintance from our agency is in country currently (in a different province) and stated that her young daughter literally fell asleep in her orphanage and awoke a while later in the arms of her new parents in a strange building. While this might seem negligent, many orphanage workers adamantly refuse because they have seen far too many waiting children prepped for a coming family, only to have them back out somewhere along the line, for whatever reason.
We have reason to believe that our son has been told something about us, already, however… We know from families that have recently gone before us to bring home their children from the same “children’s welfare institute” as our son, that once matched with a family they are moved to a different room with other waiting children the same age. We were also encouraged to send our son a care package once he was officially referred to us. Included in our care package was a small photo album with pictures of us, our house, our pets and our region. We used mandarin captions that our agency provided under the assumption that his nannies would go over the photos and read him the descriptors. A dear friend sent us one of those wonderful Hallmark recordable books (with panda bears!) that all four of us were able to take turns reading aloud into so that he can (and hopefully has) hear our voices before we go get him.
putting together our care package for Little Brother
photo album with mandarin captions
Photo credit: the incomparable Valerie Hibler Photography
All our efforts aside, we can really only hope that God is preparing him for the big adjustment ahead. Because ready or not… here we come!