Wednesday, July 19, 2017



It's funny-- it feels like the adoption process takes FOREVER. The applications (and the many background checks that go with it), the approval by the adoption agency and both countries, the matching of the child to the family, the travel... it all takes months and months and months. And that's if everything goes smoothly! Many families end up waiting even longer than months and months and months.

But then you finally make it to the country, and suddenly you have a child. At least in China, you meet him one day and are given guardianship that very moment, and then the next day the adoption is official. Boom. Done.

We are so grateful.

While Mom and Dad kept Isaac back at the hotel on Tuesday, Mick, Allie, and Samuel went to finalize the adoption. They each had to "sign" all the papers, and then Samuel was officially a Schaefer. What a beautiful, wondrous thing.
Papers blurred out, because security.

After the most significant event of Samuel's life, they did as all American families do in the summer: they went swimming.
Must swim with caps!
Dad recounted the many rules of swimming in the hotel pool:
Rules included no spitting (a great idea); no using the pool per government orders if you have a communicable disease or a skin disease or, critically important, if you are mentally unstable. That last one prompted some introspection and personal reflection.  Just how much mental instability would disqualify one from swimming? Occasional anxiety?

And speaking of Dad, he and Mom had an adventure of their own after Isaac reunited with the three other Schaefers (!):
Mom and I braved crossing a major thoroughfare twice yesterday to get to a mall.  It's where we got Samuel some clothes. Crossing through the battle lines at Gettysburg came to mind.  We have been in three malls here, and have only seen one Westerner.  He is the husband from the other family adopting with Holt here.  We are being watched and stared at as if we do not belong (which we don't) or as if we are up to no good (which we aren't).  

And of course, they had adventures all morning with Isaac:
Yesterday when we kept Isaac, he was supposed to do a workbook page and then could watch a movie.  He did not want to do a workbook page.  So he suggested watching tv.  Not connecting the dots I said, "sure."  Next thing you know, we were watching a movie NOT having done a workbook page.  Sheesh.  
Who is minding whom?
Today, Wednesday, the plan is for Mick, Allie, and Samuel to go to Lin Fen to apply for his passport. I think the docket for Mom, Dad, and Isaac includes the pool (if they are mentally stable, of course), some workbook pages, and a movie.
Always holding hands, even on the short walk to breakfast in the hotel Wednesday morning
They are all saying that they think Samuel is beginning to understand them. The other day at the mall, Samuel cried out, "Wait, Riri!" I don't know if he was mimicking Isaac or if he remembered that phrase all on his own. Either way, impressive! It also helps that Mick, as Dad puts it, has an amazing repertoire of Chinese. Between Mick and Google Translate, they feel like communication is decently passable, all things considered.

I didn't hear from them at the end of their Wednesday, but Mom did check in during the afternoon hours and said: There is not much to report. We eat. We sleep. We manage boys.

So it sounds like everything is going as planned, and we couldn't be happier about that.


  1. Wonderful!!! I am so happy for your family!! Congrats and keep the posts coming!!