Tuesday, April 29, 2014

And the wait goes on

Still no TA.  I don't want to throw in the sponge before we're whipped, but it really looks like we won't be going until June.

I try to tell myself that I've waited for months, so a few more weeks is not the end of the world.  Patience.  Good things come to him that waits.  &tc.

Then I tell myself to go... um... well, it's very rude.

Friday, April 25, 2014


In my mental preparations for fatherhood, I have spent much of my time musing about issues such as race, transracial families, culture, and other potential problems that my daughter might face as an international adoptee.  What I haven't really prepared for are the more mundane issues that are the stuff of daily life for a parent.  Fortunately, I had a chat with a good friend of mine who is himself a new-ish father (his son is nearly three), and that brings a little focus to the more immediate problems.  Let's start with something simple:
The Diaper Bag.
I've seen plenty of people - including good friends - lugging these things around, but I'd never given any more thought to what is in them than I do to what's in a Twinkie (less, actually).  Oh, sure: diapers!  And perhaps talcum powder and... well... whatever other supplies are necessary for the disugsting, degrading, nauseating and all-around revolting task of changing a diaper.  I have done this exactly once in my life; the sun grew dark in my eyes, my head swam, and... and... I've managed to almost block out that memory.*  Suffice it to say that I had planned never to do it again, and so I've taken little interest in the methods and required equipment.
Unfortunately, my wife is adamant that I WILL have to do this, that handing our daughter over to the first woman I can flag down it is NOT an acceptable plan, and that, if I don't stop crying, come out of our closet and get my thumb out of my mouth, she'll give me something to cry about.  Life is so unfair...
This being the case, I listened with interest to my friend's description of their diaper bag.  I quickly got the idea that paratroopers preparing to jump into enemy territory have a shorter packing list.  Not only does the bag have to have spare diapers, wipes, talcum, and other necessary items for changing the diaper, one has to consider that the child may need a complete change of clothing.  Or two.  While you're at it, might as well take into account the child's other needs: formula and bottle and / or snacks (so they can start loading up for the next diaper change), a toy or two and maybe a book to occupy them when they get bored, and sturdy ziplock bags for holding soiled garments.  Another thing my friend pointed out by way of a rather graphic anecdote is that the PARENT may also get... messy... and have to clean up and change HIS clothes, too.
No wonder ol' Dad usually gets told off to carry the Diaper Bag: I think I humped around less in my rucksack when I was in the Army.

Mommy's Day Off: A group of new fathers prepare to take their children to the park

As you may imagine, I questioned my friend very closely about potty training.  I was relieved to learn that this is not really conceptually different than housebreaking a dog (though rubbing the child's nose in it is apparently frowned upon, likewise confining him to a crate).  Rewards are your friend!  The child gets it into the potty and NOT into the diaper and he gets a liver treat... er... a piece of candy.  Apparently, this works like a charm.  Now, it may be that my daughter will be too young to potty train for some months after we finally get her home.  Nevertheless, I am certainly going to try.  Oh, yes, I will try.  And even if she doesn't get the candy, I'll certainly need it.  Along with a stiff drink.
My friend suggested another helpful idea: Potty Bootcamp.


No, wrong again.  Where DO I get these ideas?
He and his wife took advantage of a vacation to do intensive potty training.  Free from the needs to be at work, on the computer, answering phone calls, etc., they could let their son run free while keeping a close eye on him.  At the first signs of impending... um... relief, off to the bathroom where they kept a stash of candy.  Result: their little boy pretty rapidly got the idea and, while he's not yet old enough to make it through the night and has the occasional accident, they are changing a LOT fewer diapers.
Finally, while I had some vague notion that adding another person to the party might cause some slight problems with time management, I learn that one is wise to set aside QUITE a lot of extra time and prepare to leave for appointments much earlier than usual.  Who would have thought that dressing a small person could be so time-consuming?  But, apparently, wrestling a toddler into her coat - after, I gather, finding the one that she actually will wear without going into a crying fit - takes quite a lot of time.
The back of the closet is looking better all the time.
(*) I DO recall enough to know that Gold Bond and talcum are NOT the same thing, and that what feels good on my feet apparently doesn't feel good on a baby's bottom.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


As I have gotten older, I have tried - without notable success - to train myself to take the events of the day as they come and not fret over things that I can't control.

The adoption process has severely tested me in this regard.

At present, we are waiting for TA, the last official step before we can book flights and hotels so we can go get our daughter.  IF TA comes this week, we'll go in mid-May.  If not... mid-June.

My wife and I are not exactly eager to wait ANOTHER forty-five days.

There is nothing I can do about this.  Getting TA sooner rather than later relies upon somebody in an office thousands of miles away to shuffle a bit of paper from his "In" box to his "Out" box just a little faster.  It relies on getting it done in time to make today's pick-up time rather than tomorrow's.  It relies on the person who has to sign or approve to be in his office and not out sick, to not take an extra long coffee break, or to spend a bit more time working and a bit less time worrying about how his son will do in this Saturday's soccer game.

I can do nothing about any of these things.  (Believe me: if I knew who to bribe, there would be a fat envelope full of cash on its way right now!)

We've had relatively good fortune throughout this process: we've gotten some bits of paper rather sooner than expected.  We were matched on about the normal schedule.  All has gone about as well as we could have wished.  Our agency has been generally quite helpful and responsive.  We have nothing to complain about.


I often say that things have a way of working themselves out.  A door closes, but another opens.  It may be that this extra time (if it indeed works out that way) will be to the good: perhaps it will give our daughter's foster parents (God bless them) that much more time to explain to her what's about to happen.  Perhaps she'd be a little under the weather in May but by June would be completely in the pink.  Maybe the extra time will allow us to get better tickets; I really, really hope we can get good seats as I hate air travel in the best of times, and getting a bigger seat with more legroom would be oh-so-nice.  Who knows?

What I do know is that I've been looking at photos of my little girl for a few months now, and I really want to see the real thing.  I want her home.

Monday, April 21, 2014



As a soon-to-be parent, education is much on my mind.  It is especially on my mind after reading this:

N.J. college suspends professor over ‘Game of Thrones’ shirt perceived as ‘threat’

A picture posted online of a New Jersey professor’s young daughter sporting a “Game of Thrones” T-shirt got Francis Schmidt banished from the Bergen Community College campus for eight days without pay because school officials took the quote as a threat.

“I will take what is mine with fire and blood,” the shirt worn by smiling 7-year-old Sophia reads in a picture the art and animation professor took in January and shared with his Google+ contacts. (1)

This is what our education system has come to.  I haven't only got to worry about whether or not my daughter is learning her "Three R's".  I haven't only got to worry about whether or not she's being bullied at school.  I haven't only got to worry about whether or not she's being exposed in her school to alcohol, drugs, sex or other undesirable behaviors.  I haven't only got to worry that some loony will go to her school with a gun.  I also have to worry about pinhead administrators who may so object to a t-shirt that she might wear, or a picture that she might draw, or a report that she might write (for that matter, something that *I* might write), or even a gesture she might make, that they'll toss her out of school and haul me up in front of the local DA.

Homeschooling has never looked better.


Naturally, educating my daughter is very important to me.  If every door she comes to in life isn't open to her, then I at least want her to have the capability to force it if such is her choice.  A good education is (if I may extend the metaphor) part of a very effective battering ram.  But of what does a "good education" consist?
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
--- Proverbs 22:6

It seems to me that a good education teaches a child a few basic but highly important things:

1.  Self-discipline.  People very naturally like to get their own way.  They like to do as they please, when they please.  Unfortunately, quite aside from any immediate consequences from a life of hedonism, a purely selfish pursuit of one's own pleasure pretty rapidly brings conflict with other people who may well be in a position to make life... unpleasant... for the hedonist.  It seems to me that teaching a child to put off his own wants (or, at least, prioritize them) will be a great advantage to him later in life.
It seems plain to me, that the principle of all virtue and excellency lies in a power of denying ourselves the satisfaction of our own desires, where reason does not authorize them. This power is to be got and improv’d by custom, made easy and familiar by an early practice. If therefore I might be heard, I would advise, that, contrary to the ordinary way, children should be us’d to submit their desires, and go without their longings, even from their very cradles. [emphasis original]
--- John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, sec. 38 (2)
2.  Compassion.  I define "compassion" here not simply as giving to others less fortunate, but rather dealing fairly with all people, of NOT looking to take advantage but rather of trying to reach an outcome that is equitable to all sides, and of trying to understand the other person's point of view.  This is not to say that a person should be a doormat; there will be times (plenty of them) when he has to stand up for what he thinks is right or even best for himself.  But this should be after mature consideration in which not only his own wants and needs are accounted for, but the wants and needs of all.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
--- Micah 6:8 
3.  The ability to learn.  Here we get into what it commonly considered to be "education": the teaching of facts and method.  We send children to school to learn to read, write, solve math problems, etc.  This is mostly an exercise in teaching them "fact".  To be sure, learning facts are important: one cannot do arithmetic without learning his numbers first.  What is equally important - perhaps MORE important - is the ability to learn method, to learn how to learn.  Key to this is critical thinking, questioning, skepticism, refusing to stop with the pat answer.  I can TELL my daughter that 2 + 2 = 4, but I would much rather that she learn how to work that out for herself.  If I can teach her how to do that, then all the learning and wisdom in the world is hers for the taking, because she will know HOW to know.
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” 
--- Albert Einstein 
I want my daughter to understand.  I want her to learn to deal justly with others and to treat them with the courtesy that they deserve.  I want her to behave well and to be honest NOT because she fears punishment if she is a brat or tells lies, but because she understands within herself that honesty, integrity, courtesy, mercy, compassion, generosity, charity and fair play are traits that a decent person should strive to have.  I want her to love learning NOT because she fears my wrath if she brings home a bad grade, but because she understands that improving her mind will be an aid to her as she grows older, providing her with opportunities not only for her career, but also for her pleasure.
I don't know if she will get these things in public school.  I don't know if *I* can teach them to her.  We shall see.


(1) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/n-college-suspends-professor-threating-game-thrones-shirt-article-1.1761354#ixzz2zUHNbpkB

(2) http://www.bartleby.com/37/1/4.html

Wednesday, April 16, 2014



We had Article 5 pick up on Monday China Time.  Now we are in the Travel Authority wait.  We really want travel authority by April 25 so we can ensure to travel in May.  If we do not get it by April 25, then we may be pushed to travel in the middle of June.  It is hard to think that we may have to wait 45 days to get her after we finally have permission.  It will be the longest 45 days ever. 

We received an update last Monday on Caroline.  Her numbers continue to indicate that she is a tall child.  She may one day tower over me.  That's fine though.  I've always wanted to be tall with long legs.  Hopefully she will be, but no matter her height, she will always be perfect to me.  I so wanted a photo with the Monday update and did not receive one, but on Friday we received a surprise email with a photo of our sweet girl.  She is growing like a weed.  The photo was taken in early March.  So she was 16 months old.  She has changed so much since her 14 month old photos. 

Here she is:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Countdown to... The Day

The paperwork continues to go forward.  We HOPE to leave for China in a few weeks, though it is possible that the wait may stretch out a bit longer.  Having gotten another update - and photo! - of our daughter, it's getting increasingly hard to wait.

But still...

What will she think of the two strange-looking people who are going to be pressing themselves upon her, holding her, telling her in bad Mandarin that "We love you" and then whisking her away from the foster FAMILY that she has known for almost her entire life?  Yes, yes, I know: children, especially very young ones, are resilient, and the trauma of Gotcha Day will likely* fade quickly.  But... what will she think?  Will she be terrified?  Angry?  Forlorn?  All of the above?

My mental processes are not always the swiftest, but as I was looking at photos of her interacting with her (unseen) foster parents, it finally hit me that she loves them.  And, pretty clearly, they love her and have cared for her as well as anybody could wish.  It's wonderful that my daughter has at least two fathers who love her very much, and I hope that we will be able to keep her in touch with her foster family in the years to come. 

And I will take her from them.

The end of this part of the journey looms larger and larger in the shrinking distance.  I am happy, frustrated, eager, frightened, and more than a little sad, because this is not how a child's story should be written.


(*) Or not.  The human mind is a strange thing, and some people have an easier time coping with trauma than others.  It may be that our daughter will adjust easily to her new life.  It may be that she will suffer ill effects for months if not years.  Only time will tell.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Putting a face on China

I am a child of the Cold War.  My father was in SAC, and I wasn't very old when I learned what the big silver airplanes (KC-135 tankers) he worked on were for.  Hence, my view of China was, from a young age, not exactly positive.  It was also badly informed.  VERY badly informed.

Paul Muni (Wang Lung) and Luise Rainer (O-Lan) in "The Good Earth" (1937)  (1)

Chinese soldiers from the movie "Pork Chop Hill" (1959)  (2)

American imperialism is the most fiendish enemy of world peace!
"American Imperialism is the most fiendish enemy of world peace!" (3)


Shanghai (4)

type 96
Type 96 main battle tank (5)
Volunteer students welcome freshmen in Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, Sept. 1, 2012. A total of 7,558 freshmen are enrolled in Huazhong University of Science and Technology this year. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)
Volunteer students welcome freshmen in Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, Sept. 1, 2012. A total of 7,558 freshmen are enrolled in Huazhong University of Science and Technology this year. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)  (6)

Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, waves during a launch ceremony
Chinese astronaut Liu Yang (7)

Quite a difference!

There are things about the Chinese government that I do not like or trust.  The communist party still runs the country, using all the odious apparatus of a police state - secret police, censorship, propaganda, detention without trial, secret courts - to stay in control.  They seems to be making expansionist noises in Asia, threatening Japan and the Philippines over territorial rights.  There is the perennial issue of Taiwan.  They continue to prop up the truly evil regime in North Korea.  Old habits die hard, and I know that there are those in the Chinese government (especially their military) who view us as the enemy.  They have no regard for such things as copyright, patents or other aspect of international law (less politely, they are a pack of thieves).  And... well, when somebody views you as their enemy, and that somebody has nuclear missiles... Perhaps I may be forgiven for having something of a dim view of China.

But China is more than the Chinese Communist Party and the ghost of Mao.  There are well over a billion people there, and they are industrious, increasingly well-educated, increasingly affluent, and with a great deal that they can rightly be proud of.  They have the same sorts of hopes for themselves, their children and their country that we have.  The handful of Chinese that I have known have been... well... normal.  They didn't call people "comrade", extol the virtues of a socialist workers paradise, scowl grimly at "American imperialists", or go about looking as if they couldn't wait to nuke the place.  Indeed, it seems to me that the Chinese I have known have been pretty rabid capitalists, intent on working hard to get ahead and make a good living.  And, on a more personal note, it seems to me that they have been trying very hard to deal with the problem of abandoned children.

I don't say that China is a paradise or that it hasn't got its problems: one-party rule, secret police, corruption, income inequality, pollution, a large part of its population that is still very rural and very poor, the One Child Policy, and all the other pains normal to a rapidly-growing country as well as those lingering traumas of the past (in living memory, tens of millions of Chinese have died of war, famine, torture and wholesale murder).  I don't say that our two countries don't have their differences.  As I say, old habits die hard, and I make no doubt that there are many Chinese who have absolutely no love for the United States.  I hope that they are very much in the minority.  I hope for a bright future for China, the land of my daughter's birth.  Above all, I hope that our countries can live in peace and increasing friendship so that, if my daughter returns there some day, she will find a welcome not only as a daughter of China, but also as an American.


(1) http://i0.wp.com/www.causticsodapodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2012/12/the-good-earth-movie.jpg

A word or two about the movie "The Good Earth" is in order.  Against the wishes of The Good Earth author Pearl Buck, the lead cast members in the movie adaption of her novel were all Anglo.  This is not surprising given that the film was made in the '30s.  Some thought was given to (gasp!) casting Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong as O-Lan, but the role eventually went to Luise Rainer in part because anti-miscegenation laws forbade white actor Paul Muni (Wang Lung) to kiss a non-white woman on screen.


(2) http://www.histomil.com/viewtopic.php?f=223&t=2116

(3) http://chineseposters.net/posters/pc-1960-001.php

(4) http://asturiasenelmundo.blogspot.com/2012/04/shanghai-china-lugares-de-interes-y.html

(5) http://www.moddb.com/groups/tanks/images/type-96

(6) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-09/01/c_131821506_10.htm

(7) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/16/chinas-first-female-astronaut-space

It is worth noting that the "Father of China's Space Program", Dr. Qian Xuesen, got much of his education here in the United States and was a major contributor to OUR space program.  Unfortunately, the government got the idea that he was a communist in the '50s and hounded him out of the country.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The One Child Policy

One day, my daughter may well ask me how she came to BE my daughter, why she is not living in China with her biological parents.  I will not be able to tell her truthfully why she was abandoned (what an ugly, ugly word), though of course I can speculate: “Maybe they couldn’t afford to care for you and, so that you could have a chance of a better life than they could give you, they gave you up." At the bottom, however, the reason is China’s One Child Policy.
When a good history of modern China is written (if it ever will be), much of it will be a litany of incredible blunders, of failures to look ahead that absolutely boggles the mind, of death and tragedy on a scale seldom seen in the bloody history of mankind.  One of these was a conscious decision by the communist government to encourage people to have many children.  In a predominantly agrarian society such as China was (and, to a large extent, still is), this makes a certain amount of sense: offspring are a ready source of very cheap farm labor.(1)  Further, they can inherit the farm, keeping it in the family for generations.  But there was more to Mao’s urging people to have children than simple agriculture: he would empower China and counter US military superiority (and especially our possession of the Bomb) with sheer numbers:
“I’m not afraid of nuclear war. There are 2.7 billion people in the world; it doesn’t matter if some are killed. China has a population of 600 million; even if half of them are killed, there are still 300 million people left. I’m not afraid of anyone.”(2)

Xin Liliang - Chairman Mao gives us a happy life
"Chairman Mao gives us a happy life"(3)
Unfortunately for millions of Chinese who died of starvation under Mao’s regime, the policy of having more children ran bang against the realities of China’s inability to feed them all.(4) As Mao’s grip on power weakened in the wake of the Cultural Revolution, more sensible Chinese leaders began to realize that the population boom would become a ticking population bomb for China.  Official policy shifted from "have lots of children!" to "marry late and practice contraception".  In 1979, the Chinese government took the next logical step and instituted the One Child Policy.(5)

Less births, better births, to develop China vigorously
"Less births, better births to develop China vigorously"(6)

As with Mao’s policies that led to it, the One Child Policy has had many unintended consequences.  The most glaring is the gender imbalance in China, where there are now roughly 1.2 men for every woman.(7) This is driven in large part by social custom: in many Asian cultures, boys are much preferred over girls as boys make better laborers and hence can provide better for their parents (think of it as choosing a retirement fund).  China has also been heavily criticized for certain draconian aspects of enforcement of the One Child Policy such as forced abortions and forced sterilizations.

Looking at it coldly, the One Child Policy makes sense: without it, China would simply have too many people.  But… Forced abortions?  Forced sterilizations?  Abandoned children?  Men who can have no realistic hope of marriage and, hence, no hope of children of their own?  People who may have nobody to support them in their old age?
I don’t think that China has seen the end of catastrophes brought about by Mao’s policies.
This is the background for a little Chinese girl becoming my daughter.  This is what I shall have to explain to her one day.
(1)    A friend of mine born into family of North Carolina tobacco farmers once told me that his parents told him point-blank, “We had you to work tobacco.” He assured me that he loved his parents and that they loved him and his siblings, but economics was the sine qua non for children, not love.
(2)    Mao Zedong, “American Imperialism is a Paper Tiger” (speech, Moscow, November, 1957), The Epoch Times (English Edition)

(3)  http://chineseposters.net/posters/e16-269.php
(4)    Nobody knows for sure how many Chinese died during the Great Chinese Famine that was due in large part to Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”; estimates range from 15 to 45 MILLIONS.

(5)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-child_policy#History 
(6)  http://chineseposters.net/posters/e13-871.php

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


"Adoption begins with loss."

Adoptive parents learn this phrase as part of our "training" to become parents.  I must say, however, that I've only recently really understood what this means.  In the past couple of days, the loss that starts adoption has been very forcibly brought home to me... and it hurts.

The first instance was a news article about a "baby hatch" in Guangzhou(1).  Now, for the adoptive parent, Guangzhou is something like the end of the rainbow: it's the last stop on the way out of China with one's new son or daughter.  It's a place of Red Couch photos and Shamian Island and silks (qípáo) and blocks of shops selling last-minute momentos to be laid up for future birthdays and Gotcha Days.  But...

A "baby hatch" or "baby safety island" is a place where people can safely abandon their children.  I've heard about these things being tried elsewhere in China and South Korea, and they make a sort of grim sense: better that a child - perhaps an infant - be abandoned where he can have hope of immediate care rather than in a park or at a bus stop or simply outside an orphanage where he may have to wait for hours in the cold and rain before being found.  How terrible is it that such things are necessary?  And what sort of person makes use of one?

I have often wondered about this.  How can a person abandon his child?  Do they not care?  Are they monsters?  Judging by the photos taken by surveillance cameras outside the baby hatch, the answer is an unequivocal "no".

A mother is crying after she has given away her child.

A mother is kneeling and crying with her son on the side.

These are desperate people.  Either because of the loathesome One Child Policy or else because they cannot afford the sort of health care that their child must have, they are driven to it.  I cannot imagine a more terrible decisions that a person would ever have to make: "I either give up my child forever and she might live, or I keep her and she will almost certainly die."

And this tragedy has been replayed millions of times in China and other countries.

To commemorate the lost children of China, French artist Prune Noury has created The Terracotta Daughters(2).  These are like the famous Terracotta Army of the Emporer Qin Shi Huang(3), unearthed near Xi'an in 1974.  However, instead of soldiers and horses, the figures are of children, representing the millions of Chinese children who have been abandoned or killed due to the One Child Policy and the Chinese social preference for sons over daughters.

I have mentioned before the blog Red Thread Broken, which is written by a Chinese adoptee.  She had this to say about the Terracotta Daughters:
As a Chinese adoptee and someone potentially displaced because of societal preferences for males, this project is one that impacts me deeply. When I look at these statues, I see the little girls who were forcibly aborted by the government. I see the daughters who, through infanticide, never had a chance. I see a clay shadow of the Chinese girl I could have been. As I sit at my computer half way around the world, I acknowledge that I am a statistic – that I, too, am one of China’s missing girls.(4)


A parent who gives away his child.  Who lives with this for the rest of his life.


A child who grows up wondering what his life MIGHT have been.  Who never knows WHY.


A country that must, sooner or later, come to terms with the fact that it threw away millions of its own children.(5)

My wife and I hope to see the Terracotta Daughters when the exhibit comes to New York.  We hope to take our daughter.  She will be too young to understand it, but one day, she WILL be old enough.  She will ask questions.  What shall I tell her?


(1) http://www.chinasmack.com/2014/stories/chinese-parents-abandon-children-at-guangzhou-baby-hatch.html

(2) http://www.prunenourry.com/en/projects/terracotta-daughters

(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Army

(4) http://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/terracotta-daughters/

(5) One especially telling comment in the article about the baby hatch (see Note 1 above):

China has money to lend to America, but doesn’t have money to help the impoverished common people, and even confiscates their land by force. Corrupt officials and unscrupulous businessmen in collusion, robbing and killing people, totally lawless!


As we wait for our Article 5 pickup on April 14, we have a little down time with the all of the adoption stuff.  Last week I sent off our Visa Applications to the Courier in Washington, DC for presentation to the Chinese Embassy.  I was told this would take 2 to 3 weeks.  I received a unexpected package this morning.  It was our Chinese Visas after only 1 week of waiting.  It was so nice to finally get something without waiting for such a long time. 

We are now praying that we also get back an update on Caroline.  We requested an update on March 18 and were told it can take 2 to 3 weeks to receive an update.  It has been 2 months since we received any new information on her and the photos we have are 3 months.  A small child can change so much in 3 months time.  I'm praying we receive the update this week!!!

Thanks for following our adoption journey!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Invisible Red Thread

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break.

I doubt that anybody who has had more than a passing involvement in adoption - especially international adoption - doesn't know about The Invisible Red Thread. Many adoptive parents seem to like the idea that they are destined to be united with their child. However, I have read that some adopted children dislike the concept very much(1).

Were we connected to Caroline by a Red Thread?

Answering this question pretty rapidly gets into the deep and (to me) unanswerable question about why the universe works as it does. Do things happen because they are destined to happen? Is the Universe a great clockwork engine built by the Supreme Craftsman that will run exactly as He designed it, with people nothing more than automata? Or does God simply decree all of our actions from moment to moment in the way that a chess player decrees where his pieces move on the board? Or could it be that God, who sees and knows all things, simply gives a little nudge here and there so that people act and events unfold in the manner of His choosing? Or does He just sit back and let things go of their own accord?

And what about the other people in her life to this point? Her biological parents? The policeman who found her? The social workers in China who have handled her case? Her doctor? Her foster parents? Did God connect them to her by their own Red Threads?

I don't know.

What I DO know is that for this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him(2).

Thanks be to God.


(1) Notably the blog "Red Thread Broken"


(2) I Samuel 1:27