School’s Out for Summer

The end of the school year was a whirlwind of activity!  It seemed for a couple weeks there that nearly every day was a field trip or a party or an award ceremony for the schoolies, while on the homefront we were busily compiling our portfolios and completing our testing and evaluations. But it all got done, whew!

Lewis had a great year.  He can verbally count to ten now, recognizes most of his letters, and can copy text beautifully.  He was loved by his peers and teachers both in his life skills class and his third grade mainstream class.    Here is he with his dear little friend Jude on his field trip to the natural history museum:

He is currently attending half days of school for his extended school year, and thriving there as well, and he will definitely be going back to school in the fall.

Teddy will also be joining Lewis in school next year. The services have been so good for Lewis that we really feel this is the best way to meet the needs of our special boys, though they will certainly be a handful in the same life skills class next year!  Brothers, through and through!

Bea also finished her year with a bang.  Both she and Ro participated in the track team in the late spring.  Bea’s teacher also chose to honor her with the Citizenship Award for showing good character and leadership qualities.  This girl loved every minute of her year of school, but is very excited to come back home next year (as we are to have her back). She made her decision a couple of months ago and never looked back.

Romilly also had an excellent year.  She won the Silver Pen Award for writing excellence for a fictional story which I will share here in photos.  I can’t read it without ugly crying.

Her sixth grade graduation was such a special day.  It was clear how hard she had worked and how this year had accomplished so much of what she hoped it would for her.

Please pray with Ro as she continues to struggle with her decision about school for next year.  She was solidly in the go-to-middle-school camp until a few weeks ago, then just as solidly in the come-back-home camp, and now she is firmly on the fence.  We see advantages and disadvantages for her in both, but we mostly just desire for her to make a decision that she is excited about and has no regrets.  And I kind of need her to decide quickly, because I have to submit my homeschool paperwork for next year by the end of this month!

It feels weirder to brag about my homeschoolers, but they really all had an excellent year, too, pursuing different interests and making steady progress in their academics.  Pippa earned her motorboating license in June and was able to put it to good use on our recent camping trip.

 

Summer has been kind to us so far.  As I write this, Trevor and four kiddos are in England spending precious time with Trevor’s family.  Time that almost didn’t happen!  My blood pressure has been a bit on the higher side this whole pregnancy, but on the evening before they were due to leave it was higher than it had been before.  My midwife sent me to the hospital for bloodwork to rule out preeclampsia, and while I was there my blood pressure came right down and my bloodwork all came back normal.  She gave us the all clear for Trevor to go, and I have stayed perfectly healthy while they’ve been away.  We are so very thankful for God’s mercy in giving us such clear direction, as we had all been feeling a little uneasy about their traveling so close to my due date (which USED to be early September, but is now decidedly early August!)

They have had such a sweet time visiting extended family, while I have had a surprisingly peaceful time at home with my little brood of seven!

 

 

And the homefront:

It is quite possible that the next update I give here could be a birth announcement!  This pregnancy has flown by (what, with the lost month and all), and we are so excited to meet this new little life.  We would welcome prayers for my health and the safe arrival of the newest Young!

 

 

Hello there!

Can you guess why I’ve been so quiet?  I’ll give you a hint:

I am so predictable, aren’t I?  We were thrilled to learn, not long before I dropped off the face of the internet, that our precious dozenth (is that a word?) child is on his or her way, due to join us sometime in August or September. (We *were* due on Pippa’s 14th birthday, September 6, but the ultrasound we had this past Friday showed baby about a month further on than we expected, so I am holding my due date and my summer plans with very open hands at this point!)

As we’ve reflected on the remarkable way God has grown our family over the last few years, we noticed that we have added exactly one child in each calendar year since 2011 (for those who like patterns and numbers, that would be: Coraline in 2011, Niko in 2012, Delia in 2013, Annis in 2014, Lewis in 2015, Verity in 2016, and Teddy in 2017). Of course that wasn’t on purpose, but it was kind of a fun coincidence.  It was a whirlwind, but we felt quite sure our streak would end there.  What a happy surprise that we get to add one more blessing in 2018!

It has been a full, busy season since my last post.  We’ve had our winter birthday season.

Bea and Romilly had their school play, and all three schoolies are continuing to love school and thrive there.

We’ve had an exceptionally long winter, with Easter in the middle somewhere.

We are now finally thawing out and looking forward to finishing up our school year (on both fronts!). We are still considering school options for next year, so I will keep you posted on that as we start to nail things down a bit more.  Happy Spring to you all!

New Year Thankfulness

I don’t like leaving things unfinished, and I do it far more than I’d like to admit.  My incomplete list of November thankfulness has nagged at the back of my mind for two months, and I am now afforded time to finish it for the unlikeliest of reasons: I am stuck in the hospital with Lewis, who has a stubborn skin infection.  He is better in every way as I type this, except for one: his fever is gone, he is cheerful and eating full meals, but the rash still won’t go away, and so we spend another night here.

So it is a good time to count my blessings, and perhaps give a bit of an update while I do.

17.  Grandparents far away.  Trevor’s parents visited for Thanksgiving, and we had such a lovely time with them.  I am so thankful that they are able to hop the pond as often as they do in order to stay so present in our kids’ lives.

18.  Grandparents near.  As I write this, my mom is putting ten of our kids to bed for the night in her two-bedroom house.  This was the plan even before Lewis got sick, only Trevor and I were supposed to have a little mini “staycation” this weekend.  We were thankful for the time together, even though we didn’t get to spend it quite as we expected.

Meanwhile, my dad came to our rescue last night when I left Trevor stranded at our Star Wars movie date to take Lewis to the ER.  When I called to see if my dad might be able to go pick him up at around 10pm, his genuine response was, “Sure.  That’ll give me something fun to do tonight.”

I have a good, good village.

19. Holidays.  It was a special joy this year to have our schoolies home for a week over Christmas.  Trevor had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but we still made time for family traditions once he had a few days off.

20. Sisters.  My three all came to me in my teens.  For a long time, they were fun little kids that I got to hang out with, but somewhere along the way they grew into beautiful women whom I am privileged to call dear friends as well as sisters.

21. Snow days.  Love these, except for the 5 am wake-up call from the school to tell us about them.  I miss the days of tuning in to AM radio!

22. My husband.  You know you really love someone when even spending a day with them at the hospital bedside of a sick child brings you joy.  (And you know your life is a little crazy if doing that feels almost like a date!)

23. Music. I love the role that good Christian music has in steering our hearts toward the Lord and instructing our minds. Over the years, we have loved memorizing scripture using the Sing the Word series by the Harrow family. We love singing hymns and worship songs from church in the van as well.  These become the songs that get stuck in our heads and that we hum around the house as we do our chores. They work their way into our souls and fill us up with truth.

In particular, I am excited about this new album we bought right before Christmas.  This is the second book of the Bible paraphrased and set to music by a group called Psallos (the first, Romans, is also phenomenal).  We waited for the release of Hebrews for a long time, and it has not disappointed.  It has deepened my appreciation for what Christ did in presenting Himself as the final “once for all” sacrifice to pay the debt for my sin, not to mention the music is just beautiful.

Since Thanksgiving was on the 23rd, I will end my list there, though I could certainly go on!  My boy has finally drifted off in the bed next to me, and I should follow him sooner rather than later.

Happy New (ish) Year to you all!

Thankfulness: Part 2

In no particular order (because, let’s face it, I’m coming up with all of these right now!)

Day 6: Homeschooling.  This is shaping up to be such a nice year for our homeschool.  The kids are loving choir.  I am enjoying rereading some old favorite books to a fresh new set of little ears.  Pippa is so independent and motivated.  Trevor is home just enough to make everything fit.  I feel like my kids are all getting more of me than they have for a while somehow, even the ones who go to school.

A friend hosted a wool-felting workshop in her home last week that we were able to enjoy.  I just love the freedom we have being home together all day.

Day 7: School-schooling. I am so very happy with how all three of our schoolies are doing.  I love their teachers.  I love all the things they are experiencing that they wouldn’t have at home.  I even love being a school mom and getting to have this different role in their education.  I feel as though our whole family is getting the best of both worlds this year.

Also, this boy is just absolutely rocking it.

 

Day 8: Three-year-olds.  Well, okay. This one in particular.  She is spicy and funny and wants to be big so badly, but is still so adorably not big. Annis-Banannis is one of the chief suppliers of much-needed comic relief in our family.

Day 9: My mom.  My mom makes up a good 75% of my support network, and she’s a busy lady herself.  Whether I need someone to drop everything and come watch my gang for a few hours or just let me have a good cry on the phone, my mom is always there.  She is my greatest cheerleader and an unchanging constant in my life.  Her latest feat of motherly superhero-ness was hosting a slumber party for four of our girls and three friends (plus me!) at her house, so that Pippa could finally have a proper 13th birthday celebration.  It was such a great night. And I didn’t even have to clean. 

Day 10: Names.  I realize this is frivolous, but I am actually super thankful for names.  I enjoy them so much that when I have a week like last week when I discover two new-to-me names that are not only beautiful, but full of history and substance, it actually makes me a little bit giddy.

Oh, what? You want to know what they were?  Well, okay.  Since you asked. Some friends gave their daughter the middle name Idelette after John Calvin’s wife, and we watched a documentary on the life of Richard Wurmbrand, whose wife’s name was Sabina.  I’m thinking wives of heroes of the Christian faith must be an untapped treasure trove of fabulous names!

Day 11: Our church family.  This has been a difficult year in the life of our church, and it had also been increasingly challenging for me to get everyone to church by myself as Trevor has been stuck working Sundays for a number of months.  But each time I flop my frazzled self into the pew and think, “That’s it.  I’m not doing this without Trevor again,” God shows me that I am exactly where I need to be.  Friends come and sit behind me to help keep the kids settled during worship.  Others have stepped up to help in children’s church so that I can stay in the service and be fed.  Our small group continues to find a way to accommodate our unwieldy gang each week for dinner and Bible study.  We are so very blessed.

Day 12: The Bible.  I have started copying out verses, just a few a night, into a little notebook.  I hope it becomes a lifelong habit.  I am always amazed at how God’s Word, no matter how familiar, always yields surprises and fresh insights.  Wasn’t God so gracious to reveal Himself to His creation in such a thorough and personal way?

Day 13: My big girls. Yes, this is the best recent picture I have of them.

These girls stay up late way too often, but that’s because they have reached the delightful stage of actually being enjoyable and easy to be around.  They are smart and funny and best friends (still!). They have, each in their own way, learned to do things that I didn’t teach them and don’t know how to do.  They amaze me every day.

Day 14: Cool weather. I think my six years in Scotland ruined me forever for hot weather.  I am thankful for every single day that I am not sweaty.

Day 15: Laughter. Life in our family has been pretty intense lately (did you know we have added one new child per calendar year for seven straight years?!), but I think we are all relearning how to relax together and just have fun.  Our kids are characters.  Every one of them has a side to them that makes us laugh (even Teddy, who ends most evenings with a lengthy imprecatory prayer about Niko: “Chico, bad! No, Chico!  Bad. Owwy!  No, Chico, no!”)

And now, on Day 16, I am very thankful that I have finished catching up my list so that I can go to bed!  Good night, friends 🙂

Thankfulness: Part 1

November is upon us already – it is hard to believe.  In this busy season of life, it seems I no sooner get used to it being a new month than it’s time to turn the calendar page again. I’m sure I actually blog just as often as I always have – it’s just that the time in between is passing quicker than it used to!

November always feels like a good month to focus on thankfulness.  Trevor showed me an article a few weeks ago on a blog he’s read for years that really got me thinking about appreciating the little things in my life.  (You can read the article here, on The Simple Dollar). So I thought I’d take up the challenge of finding one thing for each day of this month that I am thankful for. I probably won’t actually post every day, but I’ll try to catch up when I do.

I am thankful for:

1. Birthdays (and also a break from birthdays now that October is over!)  Last month I hit a milestone that feels entirely too old to be my real age.  Although I can’t say I’ve completely made my peace with my new first digit, I am so very happy with the life God has given me, and with the season I am in right now.

Happy 6th birthday to our lovely Coraline Audrey!

2. Adoption. This is by no means a “little thing” in my life.  It has changed the entire landscape of our family, and I am thankful for it every single day.  Both for the opportunity to be the mom of these four precious souls, and also for my loving heavenly Father who adopted me into His family at great personal cost.  I see my own adoption struggles reflected in my children daily: to trust, to feel secure, to rest; and I have learned so much about my Lord and myself through them.

 

3. Quiet nights after the kids are in bed. Time to reflect, process, and just breathe. And as a bonus: a bit of extra quiet time tonight thanks to the clocks going back!

4. Friendship.  Tonight my best friend Mary and I celebrated 35 years of friendship.  We met in the first week of kindergarten. The Lord has absolutely spoiled me in the friend department.  I just love the relationships He brings into my life, some that last for years, others that are only for a season, but every one precious.  (Trevor sometimes teases me when I come out of a store or the bank with a little grin on my face after chatting with an employee: “What are you smiling about? Oh wait: you were connecting with another human soul again, weren’t you?”. Yep!)

5. This baby.  She is 13 months old today, and at one of my absolute favorite stages.  She is waving and saying hi to everyone she sees (an extrovert like her mama, perhaps?), clapping her hands, nodding and shaking her head yes and no… Just suddenly bursting with personality.  She brings us so much joy.

Stay tuned for the next installment.  What are you thankful for today?

 

Fall Highlights

We are in the midst of our Summer/Fall birthday season right now and these three dear ones have had birthdays since the last time I updated:

Happy 11th birthday to Teddy, 13th to Pippa (a teenager!) and 1st to our sweet little Verity Laine!  Isn’t it nice that even the big ones still indulge me and let me take their annual teddy bear photo?  Here is Pippa at about Verity’s age, for 1. size comparison (13-year-olds are huge!), 2. likeness to Verity (twinsies!) and 3. just for nostalgia (because how on earth is my baby thirteen already?!)

Aww!  Wasn’t she sweet?

But probably what you really want to hear about is how school is going, right?

It is going so, so well!

I will admit that I spent the first week saying, “What have we done?” as I spent every evening signing dozens of forms and reading up on all the rules and regulations and getting to know each teacher’s little preferences and idiosyncrasies.  But now we have found our groove, and it’s a good groove!

As a homeschooling mom, I held my breath for the first couple weeks to see how the girls would fare academically, and they are both doing very well: at or above grade level in all major subjects. Whew!  Romilly’s teacher told me at back-to-school night that she is engaged and participating valuably in class, which is a huge part of what she wanted to get out of this year.  Bea is in student council and plans to run for treasurer, and she’s also joined an afterschool singing club.  Ro goes to an after school fitness class on the same day.  Both are learning instruments and playing in the band.  They have made friends and are finding acceptance.  I could not have asked for a better first month for them!

Lewis is also thriving!  I have to work a little harder to know how he’s doing, but here is what I do know: 1. He loves going. 2. His take home note each day has consistently informed me that he had a “Great” day every single day except for one in the first week that was only “Good”. 3. His ability to accurately copy letters has improved more in the past month than in our whole year of homeschooling.  At home, Lewis has had some behavioral challenges, so we are working through those, but overall, this is such a good fit for him.

As for the “homies” we are having some new adventures of our own this year.  Pippa, Niko and Junie have joined a homeschool choir, the Keystone Youth Choir.  The are learning much and being stretched there as well as making new friends.  (Bonus: the littles and I have a built-in playdate each week during choir with a friend from AWANA whose big brother is also in the choir.)  Also, when Delia (and soon Teddy) go to Theraplay for speech and OT each week, Pippa, Niko, Junie and Cora are still going to the Weavers’ home for what is now officially called Family Science Club.

Pippa, in 8th grade this year, is almost completely independent with her schoolwork.  I give occasional guidance in grammar and math, and we grade her tests, but otherwise, she runs her own show.  I am amazed at her self-motivation and determination this year.  She designed a weekly checklist of all the work that needs to be done, and she is a tough taskmaster!

Delia with her new communication device!

 

I am finding with three at school and Pippa working largely on her own, that my teaching load at home feels much more manageable.  I carve out time to work with the littler kids in the morning while Niko and Junie do some independent work.  Then I can help them until lunchtime.  After lunch we read together or do science.  At 3:30, when the schoolies get off the bus, our homeschool day ends, too.  Wherever we get to, there we stop. This shift in our day provides a nice change of pace for everyone.  The homies get to have some fixed free time (which never used to happen!), and I get to debrief with the schoolies and help with homework.  Life is feeling more doable than it has in a long time.

Coraline making a rainbow

 

Another unexpected side effect of having a few kids leave each day is that we have so much to talk about at dinner!  The schoolies tell us about their adventures, and we tell them about ours.  The best part is that it is so balanced, with neither side generally feeling that they’ve missed out on anything, but everyone, having had a full and fun day, happily sharing and being excited for each other (disclaimer: it is also very noisy!)

 

A New Adventure

Our summer has continued to be full and busy.  Delia celebrated her 11th birthday.  Happy birthday, beautiful!

Teddy went to his first VBS, his first (and second!) baseball games…

 

As well as his first camping trip!  This trip to the familiar haven of our friends’ parents’ home in central PA was our practice trip for a longer camping adventure later this summer.  Teddy did really well.  Our biggest fear was that he would escape from the tent and get into mischief in the early morning, but in fact, he loved the tent so much that a few times he escaped INTO it to hang out and look at books during the day!

But the biggest first of all will be happening for our family in just over three weeks, when THREE of our children will be going to public school!

It all began back in the Spring with the thought of sending Lewis.  I have enjoyed teaching him, and he has done well at home, but at this point, he can really only be doing schoolwork when I am directly working with him.  He has a good attention span and is a hard worker, and I just felt like he could benefit from more direct instruction time than I could give him.  So we began the IEP process with our local school.

Over dinner one evening, the other kids began to realize that this was a thing that was really going to be happening, and immediately, Beatrix and Romilly spoke up to say that they wanted to go to school, too!

I’ll admit, I was a bit dismissive at first. We have always said that if any of our children ever wanted to go to school, we would hear them out.  So far, whenever anyone has voiced a desire to go to school, it has been followed by, “…so I can ride the bus/have recess/have snow days,” so I wasn’t expecting this conversation to go far, but my girls surprised me.

Romilly, our highly sensitive, tender-hearted introvert, shared that she felt she would never overcome her shyness if she wasn’t pushed outside her comfort zone.  After hearing her out, I found (surprisingly) that I agreed with her.

Bea, our bubbly, tomboyish chatterbox, had completely different reasons, but excellent ones.  She feels that going to school is part of our shared cultural experience, and she wants to experience school for herself so she is better able to relate to others.  (I’ll admit I have been teasing them that Ro needs to go to school so that she can learn to talk to other humans, and Bea needs to go so she can learn to let other humans talk!)

They had gotten past me, but I was fairly certain that Trevor, the die-hard homeschooler of the family, would veto this crazy idea.  But you know what?  He heard the same thoughtful maturity in our girls that I heard, and gradually, a “we’ll see” turned into a “maybe” and blossomed into a “yes!”

Both of us have a peace with this decision that I never could have imagined I would ever have even six months ago.  The girls have never wavered in their resolve.  And Lewis loses his mind with excitement every time he sees a school bus, anticipating his big adventure this year.  We are all excited.  The ones who are staying home are excited for their year, too, though it will look very different without our three public-school adventurers in the mix at home.

And this mama, who in nearly thirteen years of parenting has never sent a child to school, is learning whole new lessons about trusting God and letting go.  Not to mention back-to-school shopping!

Summer So Far

I always think I’ll have more time for things like blogging when school is over, but it never seems to work like that.

We’ve had a couple of days at lakes in the Poconos.  Teddy was unimpressed by the water the first time, and mostly hung out with me in my “nest of warmth and dryness”, but the second time he was much more adventurous!

We’ve also had a few days at my dad’s house, a wonderful haven with a tire swing and a trampoline and tractor rides and chickens, and most of all a delicious meal I don’t have to cook!

The kids’ Sunday school class treated our whole family to a field trip to a life-size replica of the tabernacle of the Old Testament out in Lancaster.  Niko volunteered to be a priest in the demonstration.  Earlier in the tour, Lewis had played the part of Joseph with Bea and Teddy as his jealous older brothers.  Oh, how I wish I gad acted quickly enough to get a video of that!

We had a lovely visit with my grandparents, who are both in their nineties and are blessed to still be together in their assisted living home after 72 years of marriage!  Grandmom is on hospice care, and looking forward to meeting her Lord, but we were very thankful for the time we still have with her.  She is one of two Alices in whose honor we chose Romilly’s middle name, so it was extra special for Ro to get to see her.

Over the holiday weekend, we were thankful to have Verity and Teddy dedicated in church. Verity wore the same dress that each of our babies has worn (and tried to eat the pastor’s mic!  Cheeky!)

 

Fourth of July saw us at Teddy’s first big parade.  He jumped right in and started dancing with a Bolivian dance troupe, which, thankfully, they were totally cool about 🙂

 

And finally, we celebrated Bea’s 10th birthday with a day out to the Garden State Discovery Museum, to which we now have a membership.  (Kudos to them for, unlike every other attraction we looked into, not limiting number of children on a family membership!)  The kids loved it, even the ones who were slightly too big to love it 😉

 

The slower pace of summer has been just what we’ve all needed to adjust to life as a family of thirteen.  Teddy is doing so, so well, and we are all finding our new groove.

First Impressions

Teddy and my weary world-travelers are home – praise the Lord!

Today is day five and I feel I am only just starting to get a sense of what things might be hard about our new normal and what things are going to be awesome.  And it will likely all change again by this time next week.

The first few nights, Teddy was jetlagged, which meant he was wide awake in the middle of the night.  This was when we learned (well, we sort of already knew) that Teddy is a great collector and relocator of things.  He helped himself to a few of the sweets Trevor had brought back from China to share, but not as many of them as we initially thought – he hid a second box in Niko’s bed.  The next morning, he had stashed a few pieces of (fairly important, undealt-with) mail in the puzzle cupboard in his room, my Borax and Trevor’s shaving cream in the fridge, and all the pens and pencils we keep in the kitchen in the big crayon basket in the boys’ room.  We can chuckle about it now, because as he’s slept later each morning he’s had less time to devote his item relocation program, but it was pretty unsettling.

He is mostly very happy and sweet, game for whatever the kids are busy with.  He does have a very strong stubborn streak, which I’m sure we will see more of as time goes on, but for now, he is mostly happy to be with us and do what we’re doing.

He immediately adored Coraline, having apparently identified her as a smaller, squishier version of Bea. He is fascinated with Delia. They both love to give each other hugs, but usually only at times when the other doesn’t want one. It will be an interesting dynamic to watch! Lewis is enjoying him tremendously and suddenly seems like the resident big kid in charge, excitedly introducing Teddy to all the fun things about being a Young (“Teddy! Tuppon (Come on)!” All of the kids are just really excited he’s finally here.

Teddy is super affectionate.  He was uncertain about me when he first got home on Saturday, but I got my first bear hug on Sunday morning just towards the end of our church service.  I then got my second through twelfth bear hug, along with hugs and kisses for Niko, Bea, and Pippa.  At first, we could hear “aww”s from the pews around us, then “aww”s gave way to giggles as he kept relentlessly smothering us with hugs and kisses.  It was pretty sweet, but it got less entertaining when I finally had to try to peel him off his siblings, and that was no easy feat!

All things considered, we’ve had a good first week.  Going from 8 kids (I got a little bit comfy there!) to 11 was an adjustment for me.  I think I had prepared myself for Teddy being hard, but forgot what an adjustment it would be for everyone else.  As always, God’s grace has been huge, I just need to learn to lean into it more.  We are so thankful for the incredible gift He has given us in our new son.  Welcome home, Thaddeus Merit.  You’re officially a Young now!

 

 

 

 

Homeward Bound!

As I type this, Trevor and the kids are having one final lunch in Guangzhou and then beginning their journey to Hong Kong and home.  And that means that I am officially *not* going to China!

Yesterday (Wednesday) morning for them was Tuesday evening for us, and we were all praying fervently for the consulate appointment that caused us so much uncertainty just before Trevor traveled.

He was in a group of a dozen American adoptive families, all waiting, as he was, to finalize their child’s US visa.

The first thing they announced to the group was: we will need just one parent to come forward for the interview, and that parent must be a US citizen with their US passport.  (I am so thankful I didn’t hear the tale until everything was already over!)

Trevor was the very last to be called, and, as promised, the first question was, “US passport, please?”

Trevor showed his British passport and US permanent resident card, and produced the email from that very office stating that he would be able to complete the adoption without me.

The man conducting the interview went to fetch his supervisor and discuss.  I can only imagine how long those minutes must have felt.  Finally, he agreed that the permanent resident card was sufficient, and continued with the interview.

After asking Trevor a few questions, the man spoke to Teddy.  China’s policy (which I knew about but had forgotten since it never applied to us before) is that any child age ten or older must give consent to being adopted.

Well, our boy was apparently not in the mood for an interview.  Though he is fairly verbal and certainly understood what was being asked of him, he refused to answer.  “Well,” the man suggested in Chinese, “Could you point to your daddy?”  Nope.  Teddy could not.

The supervisor was fetched again.  When it was clear that Teddy was to be an immovable force, the man said to Trevor, “I can tell from your interactions with him that he is clearly part of your family.”

And with that, the interview was over.  Praise be to God!

They fly home on Saturday.  God speed, my sweet loves!