My big question of the month was, boxers or briefs?  Seriously, I want this child to have as many things familiar as possible so I asked our Chinese teacher what he would be used to wearing and she said briefs.  She said he probably wears short sleeved undershirts but would be more comfortable in sleeveless.  Since I couldn't find the latter in his size, I bought short sleeved.  PJs were another big decision.  G wanted to buy Spider-Man pajamas, but I don't know if he likes spiders or is afraid of them.  I know that he has Winnie the Pooh (the honey jar in the background of his play photo has Pooh leaning over the rim) and I know that Disney is in China, but I don't know about Spider-Man.  So he got Thomas the Train pjs.  I also bought a sharp outfit for the naming ceremony and thank goodness picked out a blue dress shirt instead of the white one.  As soon as I left the store I realized what a bad idea a white shirt would be in Chinese culture-it is their funeral color.  Red is always safe, so several of his clothes are red, as is his rocking chair.  I bought a red rocking chair for him, but RB came first so it became his.  Since I don't want jealousy between them,  I bought another one for our son.  Our son, of course, is not used to having anything of his own, but RB is.

 
 

For the past several years I have read stories by adoptive parents about how their child could not have been more perfectly placed with their family.  I have not ignored the stories about attachment issues-in fact those parents should publish more-but as with any pre-adoptive parent I hope to arm myself with all the knowledge I can about those problems, prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

I've been thinking about the referral for our son and I really think the Matching Room people did the best possible job.  We asked for a 3-5 year old of either gender.  He is four.  We have one son and two daughters.  He is a boy, giving us balance.  Our family photograph was of our first daughter's wedding which showed three tall men and three very short women.  He is tall.  Our dossier said that our family was involved in sports, including stock car racing.  He runs so fast that the other kids at the orphanage can't catch him, and he loves to play with plastic cars.  I have 11 siblings and Christmas at my mother's house numbers more than 40 people; G has one sister but his family do everything together (our first date, and our second, were family outings).  Our new son is outgoing and talkative.  They really could not have studied our dossier more thoroughly.

 
 

We have learned that our son's favorite game is hide-and-seek and he loves to play with plastic cars.  He runs really fast and the other kids can't keep up with him.  He is talkative, active, and an extrovert.  He sounds like your average four year old boy.

He is tall for his age and can do many things for himself, like brush his teeth, wash his hands, and fold up his own quilt each morning.  He was found in early May, 2004 and his birth was estimated at April 28.  He lived for about 20 days in police custody before going to foster care/group home where he has been since.

Today we sent off the letter of acceptance.  Thought we'd encountered a slight snag with the name, because forms asked for the name we would give him.  We haven't decided on a name because we didn't know if our child would be a boy or girl, what his/her face looked like, or what the existing name was.  So we checked with the China specialist at our agency and they called back to say that we could leave it blank.  One of my brothers says that we have to give him an all-American name so that he doesn't have the stigma of being completely different from the rest of his family/neighborhood.  I think that was a good point, though the name will probably be more Gaelic than American, in keeping with our other children.

I also spoke to our Chinese teacher (each year our school hosts a different teacher from China) and she told me that I was pronouncing his Chinese name correctly and that it was a good name.  She said he was a very handsome boy (I agree).  So we'll have to give this some thought and decide what we like and how/if we are going to use Yan in the name.  People often use the original name as a middle name and for a while call their child by both the first and middle names, eventually just using the new first name.

Also, travel to China is unlikely this summer since the Olympic games are in Beijing and Yan lives there.  So I have asked our agency if we can send a care package to him during the ensuing wait.  It would be awesome if we could send pictures, video, letters, anything.

 
 

Here are the rest of the details so far:
Name: Peng Yan Shen
DOB: April 28, 2004

Health Status: Normal

Living at Beijing Child Welfare Institute.


 
 

Early this morning I left Louisville where I was reading AP US history essays to be with my family.  My husband's only sibling lost her only son last night in an accident.  He and G were very close, more than just uncle and nephew.

Then this evening I got the call!  We had asked for a 3-5 year old of either gender and our referral is for a four year old boy, born April 28, 2004 and currently living in Beijing.  I'm not sure I got the spelling of his name right due to nerves, so after I get the preliminary referral tomorrow with pics, I'll update again.

 
 

Word is that referrals will come in early next week and that we're included!!  Unfortunately, I'm in Kentucky reading AP US History exams until late next week.  Still super excited and can't wait to post a picture of a real little person here.