Thursday, June 6, 2013

Introducing: My Family

We’ve been into this blog for a few weeks, so I think it’s time for some introductions.

You already know me! I love my family. I love my job. I am passionate, emotional, empathetic, and I try to be fair. I love my girlfriends, I love talking about marriages and fertility (much to the chagrin of my husband). I love baking, coffee, and finally I can say that I love cooking. Oh, and of course, I love adoption!

This is Brian. We met in 2004 when he was our on-call computer support guy at the adoption agency where I was employed. He runs a technology consulting company called PerAspera Consulting (the name is best understood by those who have an equally passionate love for the State of Kansas) and I think does a great job at what he does. We dated for a couple of years and got married on April 28, 2012. He’s pretty great! He’s a wonderful spiritual leader for our family and has a heart for things to be right, just, and always gives 100% in everything he does. When this rain turns off we are going to have some awesome summer salads, thanks to his sweet gardening skills.    

This is our little dog, Sunny. We adopted her last July. She’s a rescue and was in a bad situation before we got her. Thankfully, some incredible foster parents helped her so much and prepared her for a family. She’s got her challenges still (bless the people who walk their dogs in our neighborhood and move to the other side of the road when they see us coming!) but she’s perfect for us and we like to think that we’re perfect for her.

And this is our newest family member. Her name is Yiyi. We think she’s pretty cute and obviously values good posture. We’ve not met yet, but we are hoping for an invitation to travel to China and meet her after the first of the year.

So there you have it, you’ve met all members of the Pauls family.

That's some news…we’re adopting! The consummate social worker is now going to be an adoptive mom too.   

It’s been very interesting to be on this side. We’ll use today’s blog, and the next few, to answer some questions that I think will become helpful tools for all of you adoptive parents and pre-adoptive parents. I want to make this blog a teaching and learning tool.

But I’m going to be somewhat guarded with my information sharing. I’m aware that it’s pretty exciting to learn as much as you can about people’s adoptions but I have to protect my family. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want and I’ll answer them if we feel it’s ok to share.

Let’s start with some FAQ’s.

1) Why?

There is no other best and first answer…we love adoption and we have been called. We have been called to submit and welcome this child into our family. We have been called to be the best parents to her that we can be. I can talk adoption and prepare families until I’m exhausted, but until we do something about it, are we really doing enough? Both Brian and I had a heart for adoption long before we got married and naturally came to this decision before we were married. How old, what needs, and where the child was from were up in the air until we found this child on a photo listing…then all that became clear.  

2) Why now?

We felt called to adopt an older child with special needs. And we felt it better for our family building efforts to adopt this child first, so we can focus 100% of our attention and attachment building on this child. We can be more intentional about attachment-focused parenting if we don’t have another child who is pulling our attention in another direction. We’re not sure what the future will hold with needs of other children, so we wanted to jump on this sooner than later.

3) How old is Yiyi?


4) Did you guys plan to adopt a child that old?

Honestly, not really. But I have looked a hundreds of photo listings of children over the 9 years I’ve worked in this field and never had such a visceral reaction to seeing a photo before I saw Yiyi. When I started talking with Brian about it and he was instantly connected (before he even saw her photo), we knew age didn’t matter.

5) Where is she?

She’s in a foster home in China

6) What are her special needs?

Yiyi’s needs are readily apparently so we feel that we can share. Yiyi has some significant vision impairments that stem from congenital cataracts. She has never had an operation or a pair of glasses.

7) Can these vision problems be corrected?

Probably not. At least we’re not going into it with the idea that they can be. We will get the cataracts removed and get glasses on her, but we’ll not know how that affects her vision in the long run.

8) Did you write your own home study?

Is this a serious question? No! We were so incredibly blessed with a social worker we imported from creation to do our home study. She and I were surprised that we had so many people in common, but didn’t know each other. She is awesome.

9) Where are you guys in the process?

We got pre-approval in February. Our home study was finished last week and our paperwork is now with USCIS.

We’ll share more as the weeks and our process progresses (my computer husband tells me blogs should be no more than 1000 words and I’m already over), but in the mean time, thank you for joining us in prayer as we pray for the Lord to prepare Yiyi’s heart for a forever family, the ability to adapt to her new life in the United States, and for us to be the best parents to this little girl that we can be.

So we wait, patiently, and learn as much as we can in the mean time. And I know our waiting and learning is only going to help me be an even better social worker to you and others in the future.  


  1. Ahhhhh! So excited for you! Just know that there is a great network of adoptive parents of older kiddos to support you along this journey and great adventure. ;) And other incredible local resources available, like a fantastic Chinese dance group.

  2. Sooooo amazing!!!! What a beautiful family of 4 :)

  3. So So very excited for you! Congrats!

  4. Tears of joy for you, Brian,& your precious new daughter! So happy for you, and she is simply beautiful. Emme is already planning play dates!:). Praying for you as your process continues.

  5. I am so happy for you guys! Tears literally started streaming down my face last weekend when I read the news on facebook. I will keep you, Brian and Yiyi in my prayers. She is going to be welcomed into an amazing family!

  6. This is just super Nikki! Thanks so much for sharing. We hope the best for you, Brian and YiYi.

  7. The 1000 word rule does not apply to a life-changing announcement like this! I know Brian from college and know the world needs a dad like him. You are so blessed to be Yiyi's parents.

    I love the chair pictures. Her place is waiting.