Sunday, September 30, 2007

We made it through the China Review Room!

HIP HIP HOORAY! Our China dossier, which was logged into China's system on 8-10-06, was finally reviewed! We began the process for China in March of 2006, so this has already been one long wait. At this point they have only placed children with familes who were registered before November 25, 2005, so the wait has really just begun!

I have had some questions concerning our adoption process, so I will try to briefly address them here. After being married a couple of years and not getting pregnant, our PCP referred us to the local Center for Reproductive Health, which is one of the best in the nation. We had every test imaginable and were finally told by one of the physicians that we fall into the 15% of couples who have "unexplained infertility." The doctors couldn't find a cause, nor could they determine which of us was "infertile." After 6 rounds (9 months) of Inter-uterine Inseminations and other various humiliating (UGH!) and painful (OUCH!) procedures, we decided to move in another direction. Was it a difficult decision? I will address that in another post so this one won't be too long.

Before we left for Taiwan to meet Matthew, a lady said to me, "I don't know why you have to go all the way to Taiwan when there are children to adopt here." I suppose that view is understandable if you don't believe in God's hand in your life...if you think that people go and adopt just ANY child. I explained to her that God's perfect plan for our family included Matthew and God chose for Matthew to be born in Taiwan rather than Texas; therefore, it was to Taiwan we would go.

People may say they "decided" to adopt from here or there, but I believe that decision comes from God putting His promptings in your heart. When we began to research countries, we also looked at the US as well as other countries, but we felt drawn to Asia. I had looked at one agency representing Taiwan, but noticed their requirement for length of marriage excluded us from adopting there, so we applied for China. At the time it was a 9 month wait from application to referral. After 9 months we realized our adoption wasn't going to happen anytime soon, so we decided to look at the possibility of adopting from another country while we waited for China. I visited a family's blog who had adopted from Taiwan and then contacted their agency at the mother's recommendation. This agency supported a program which did not have a marriage length requirement, so we were good to go (although as a twist in the plot we received notice the week before we received Matthew's referral that the agency was increasing the marriage requirement, which would have kicked us out of the program, but then the officials made an exception for us). We applied in late 2006, finished our paperwork in early January 2007, received a referral in March, and traveled in August.

I have no doubt that God placed Matthew in our family. Perhaps our China adoption was a diversion until Matthew was born and ready to join us, or perhaps God has plans for our family to include a child from China, too. Perhaps we will eventually have a biological child, or perhaps we will adopt domestically. I don't know, but I know the One who does know...and I can rest in that!

The "P" word




















I asked Scott if, since Matthew joined our family, he thought our use of the word "poop" on a daily basis had increased 10-fold. He said he's putting a quarter in a jar every time I say the word. GREAT! Now we have a Christmas-presents-savings-fund!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Videos

Forgot to mention to friends who haven't checked out our adoption site that we also have some funny videos of Matthew at www.youtube.com. Just search by "Matthew Foster Pao."

Fall Harvest Festival

Went to the Fall Harvest Festival at a nearby village so we could check out the Annual Pet Parade. For some reason, I am having trouble uploading photos today, so I have posted pictures from the outing at www.youbelong.net/goff Check out NM architecture and charm and, of course, sweet Matthew!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Better than chocolate...





To me, there is not much better than chocolate. Well, milk chocolate I mean. Dark chocolate gives me the creeps. But here are two things that are so sweet they are better than chocolate:
#1 - Matthew is crazy about his dad. Scott reads to the baby every night, and sometimes Matthew doesn't even look at the book because he is so intently staring at his daddy...and will occasionally reach out a chubby little hand to touch Scott's face. Love, love, love. Life is good.
#2 - Matthew has a rubber duck (among other toys) for bathtime and, as he watches the tub fill, we throw each toy in the tub. Before we do I stick each one to his mouth for a kiss. Well, today we were looking at a book about toys and on one page was a rubber duck. I said, "Look there's baby duck!" and he promptly pulled the book to his mouth to give it a kiss.
THIS IS SO NOT BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE: Matthew's atopic dermatitis seems to be going hog wild despite the number of times per day that I grease him up like a little pig with that nasty smelling Eucerin Calming Cream (Sorry, Eucerin Company!). I found out from some other mothers whose Taiwanese babies had similar skin problems that lactose intolerance is common in Asians...so we trekked over to the store to get some soy-based formula. The verdict? So far...he thinks it stinks. So we may end up trying the milk-based, lactose free kind. Who knew there were so many different types of formula? They even have some especially for "gassy" babies....I know some adults who should start drinking that!
Here are photos of Matthew checking out the back patio. Not sure if he was that interested in the patio or just liked the chance to stand up on his own. Gotta love those little Fred Flintstone feet!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Nice shot...




Background: Scott volunteers at Noon Day Ministries and some of the lovely ladies bought Matthew baby gifts. We decided to visit last Tuesday to thank them in person.
The Agenda: To arrive at Noon Day by 11:45am.

The Logistics: In the left hand: Matthew, diaper bag, a bunch of papers to mail, and a super cute little embroidered purse I bought in Taiwan. In the right hand: car keys and the door knob as we were on our way out.

The Incident: As my hand turned the door knob to the garage, I heard a sound and looked to see Matthew spit up. I checked my papers...WHEW! Clean! I checked the floor....Clean! Great...the bib got it all!

The Twist in the Plot: While driving my cell phone rang (the town we live in isn't hands-free yet, so I was legal to answer). I grabbed it out of the front pocket of my purse, stuck it up to my ear, and....GROSS! What is in my hair??? Why is my ear all wet???? Yes, with the precision of a heat-seeking missile, the spit up had catapulted out of Matthew's mouth, past the diaper bag, past the papers, and into the tiny front pocket of my purse ending up all over my cell phone.

The Response: Mama: queasy. Daddy: proud that his son had such great aim!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Our Adoption Journal







For those interested in adoption, our journal can be viewed at www.youbelong.net/goff

Debut Blog!

It's my blog debut, and I'm sitting here in flip-flops and a t-shirt smeared with baby carrots! YIKES! Should have at least put on some lip gloss.

Just setting up this blog for friends and family to check in on our new little boy....and hoping some seasoned mama-veterans will share insight and advice when they visit the site!