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Karen - We haven't even gotten our referral yet (missed it by a day -- can you relate much?!), and I'm already fretting over #2. My husband will turn 49 a month after we're home. Our state makes us wait a year before we can submit paperwork to China for #2. So even if we're ready the DAY that year is up, if the CCAA takes more than @3 weeks to move us from DTC to LID, we'd miss the new upper age requirement of 50. I can't even process that right now...

We really want another as well, but the long wait may have made that impossible. Until the writing is officially on the wall, I'm just going to focus on #1, whose face we should see for the first time in just a few weeks!


I am also someone that gets told that I overthink language (but I'm a grad student in anthropology, so this is something that I really enjoy thinking about, and by now, most of my friends and family are used to it). The words we use are informed by discourses and paradigms. Words have meanings attached to them beyond what comes across by pure definition. The reason that some people get so frustrated with the poor choice of words used by the masses is that the implications of these words (the paradigms, the prescribed ways of thinking) largely go unnoticed and therefore, unchallenged. Until people start thinking about why they choose certain words to express themselves and where these expressions come from, what types of ideologies they are rooted in, we cannot change the way our society thinks.

So, in this example, unless we challenge the thoughtless way people (even if they are well intended) refer to adoptive parents, people will continue to think and speak the way they always have, without considering the implications of their words.


Well, blackish roots are much better than my grayish roots. The roots show faster every month, it seems. If I just had brown roots, I would color my hair brown so the roots wouldn't show, and give up on the reddish thing. But I'm definitely not dying my hair gray, so live with roots I must. Sad sad thing.

Would you ever think about donor eggs? Duh, I'm sure you've thought about everything, and I actually don't really know what your fertility issues are, but the mention of FSH makes me think eggs. The cost is high, but not much waiting, and pretty darn good odds.

The words thing is tough. I spent the entire weekend away with a friend who adopted her daughter from Russia. We talked about adoption a lot, and we were discussing her thoughts on #2. We talked about your blog and the "own" issue. I try so hard not to say anything moronic, but I just know that I must have at some point said something wrong. But your blog helps keep my foot out of my mouth, a little anyway.


Yeah, I noticed as soon as I brought home my first child, people started asking about #2. I swear it was on the same day I was introducing my child to my in-laws. There is this notion that "real families" cannot be childfree and must include more than one child. It's silly and stupid, but there it is.

That said, I'm so happy for you that you're settling into motherhood with Maya. Thank you for sharing with us.

And I wish you lots of luck with #2, when you're ready.


SHH. I will not hear discussions of Vietnam slowing down. It is currently 6-9 months for referrals for infant girls, and much, much shorter for boys. Like 3 months or something crazy like that. Plus 3-6 months for travel auth after that, although it seems like it's usually on the 3 side more than the 6. Manageable, but on the long(ish) side. And if you're thinking of a boy, it's really not bad at all. (We, of course, are going for the baby girl).

Anyway. Not that I would ever suggest what anyone else should do, except that maybe people might back off for a minute and let you enjoy the adorable Miss Maya for a while before pushing about the next big thing! It's like asking about kids at someone's wedding -- sheesh.

Lisa M.

Will the new restrictions go into effect before you'd be able to be DTC for #2? Have you thought about Taiwan for #2? I understand the wait there isn't too long.


Oh, we too, are thinking about #2 also. Our 3 month Us-versary was last week. Not sure what we're going to do at this point. If the wait is going to drag and drag and drag, we may as well have our dossier ready to go next September.
Also, and I know you will not believe me on this, but daycare is not as bad as you think it will be. My imaginings were one hundred thousand times worse and Maggie has fun at school and her teachers loooooooooove her. And it feels kind of good to go back to work sometimes. Mostly to see my friends and also! The picking up in the afternoon is the best ever! My husband has to take Maggie in the AM and you should make Random do the same. :)


Tangent, but OMG do I hear you Stacy on this: "There is this notion that "real families" cannot be childfree and must include more than one child." At the moment I have one bio kid and have some issues that would make having another sort of challenging.... and truth be told am pretty content with one. But it is AMAZING the people who think they have a right to an opinion on my family's size. In fact, I am becoming downright sensitive about being asked constantly when we're going to have another.... by perfect strangers even. I don't want to explain all our issues and everything that's happened, but I don't want them to feel this is an OK question to just sort of throw out there as small talk. I mean, not only is that a super-personal question, but who knows what might be under the surface? So I leave it with a tight smile and, "It's complicated," and most people get that they've stepped in a cow patty of some sort.

Karen, I am so sorry to hear that the challenges involved in adopting from China are getting worse, and hope the path on what to do next is easy to choose.


I didn't enter the blogging world until right before you adopted Maya. Did you blog while you were going through IVF? I tried to go through your categories but I couldn't find anything about your IVF cycles or why you decided to adopt. Can you direct me to some of these entries (if there are any?) I would really be interesting in hearing more about your background.

Rhiannon Huang

I actually hear on E! news...no joke, that celebs are actually dyeing roots onto their hair, so YES!! roots ARE in style! Yeah for moms everywhere!!
Maya sounds so cute, she is ay ahead of kai-Li in the body parts...Kai-Li can only point to her nose....
Instead of everything round is an apple, Kai-Li thinks every animal says "moo"


This is surely something you and Random will consider at some point, but what we're doing is forging full steam ahead with dossier #2 to China -- but we're fully expecting that that child will be the third child to join the family. Because if wait times truly will stretch to two to three years, there is time to accomplish something in the meantime (Taiwan? back to the RE?). I know the wait this time around will be different since we already have a child to keep us busy, but I still don't think I could handle waiting nearly three years, with everyone asking questions all the time. I really want our daughter to have a sister from China, but she might have another sibling, too.

Funny, but when I read about the new regulations last Friday, I thought, "I wonder what Karen's going to do."

Now that I've just admitted that I think about moms I've never even met, is there any chance Maya would like a playdate with a very friendly 18 mo the next time you're in SC? I love that picture of you and MP at the beach.


Wow. Number two. I don't know why, it's weird really, but the idea of another child for you and Random and Maya gets me all happy. Whatever you do. However you go about it. I think it's wonderful.


I'm relatively new to the adoption world. I'm single and KNOW that my daughter is China, but hit a little glitch in the application process due to being in grad school right now. In the mean time, I've enjoyed reading blogs of lucky moms that already have their daughters in their arms. After reading this entry, I did have a question about the changes happening in May (uuggh)?!?!? What are the changes...and what's a good resource for keeping track of these things? Thanks!


And after you have #2, then people will ask "are you done/aren't you going to try for a boy (if you have 2 girls)/three's a charm!"

The weirdest collections of meaningless conversation has to be the wife of our friends from China. For about 10 years now, every time I see her the conversation is literally only about babies: am I still trying? Will I adopt? If so, where from? And strangest of all do I think she should try for a girl (she has 2 boys). At first I attributed it to her lack of English, but now it occurs to me that she just doesn't know what else to talk to me about. I am the baby woman. And, interestingly, she's apparently been getting some on the side for a number of years (and her hubby has a squeeze in China on his payroll). Surely that would be more interesting to talk about...


I still marvel that I'm a Mum, and my daughter has been with us 9 years!!! And my son 5!!! I guess when I slip up, arse over tit, on spilt juice all over the floor, the notion that I am in fact a Mum, comes flooding back!!!

Heather G

Hey Karen! Are you inside my head? Seriously. Maybe our mommy brains our hanging out in the same place of overthinking language (hey, let us have a conversation that consists of more than 2-5 letter words like red and apple already), dark roots, and worrying about baby #2.

On the subject of dark roots, I was putting my hair in pigtails the other day (no comments, ahem, pic on ye ole blog) and guess what is worse than dark roots? Ack! I totally saw a gray hair in the middle of my wee blonde skull! How did that happen? :) I just laughed because it was easier than crying. Hugs to you and Maya. Libby still yells "YA-YA" if she sees me on the computer and insists that everyone is Maya, even herself, funny babies! :) Merry Christmas! Loved the pic on the beach. It took my breath away. You must have a great random photographer. Cheers!


Well, I wasn't arguing that you overthink language. I was suggesting that by substituting "birth" for "real," you are denigrating the birth mom's relationship to your child.



Hilarious one-sided conversation!

My friend adopted from Cambodia, then from Guatemala. What about those countries?


just came across your blog today. i think it's a fascinating read!

welcome to parenthood, ahhh the joys! people always give "good advice" but the one thing noone ever warned me about ...

how much i would love my babies. nothing could prepare me for that!

good luck


Have you considered adopting from Mongolia? Our pastors and a few other people from our church adopted from there. I think it took about a year for the whole process. They used Lutheran Social Services. I'm not sure if there's one near you or not.


Sob.. no one told me obvious roots were a fashion faux pas!! Crap.


Forgot to add.. that if you and hubby are as determined as you were on having MP, having a second will be a walk in the park... And you will be so entertained by MP in the meantime!


What about #2 from America?


I'm sorry to hear that it's getting tougher to adopt from China. It would be really special for Maya to have that connection with her sibling, but the important thing isn't the child's place of origin, in the end. After all, you'd still love MP if she was from Mars.

I just really hope that these tighter regulations don't mean more babies sitting in foster care waiting to be placed. Do you know why the changes?


I'd also like to know how you keep track of what is happening in adoption terms and does anyone know how one could possibly keep track of this information in Europe? People here who have adopted kids have adopted from Russia, Vietnam and Tahiti and I know a couple who is waiting for a referral from Ethiopia. Apparently the couple who adopted from Tahiti were there for the last days of the pregnancy. It sounds a bit strange as they paid for the all the family's expenses for the three months they were in the country but it was worth a mention as Tahiti is not normally the first country that springs to mind.

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