The best time in my life started when I was four years old. I woke up at eight in the morning and that was a good start. But the better part of the day happened later in the day when I heard from my parents that we were adopting a baby girl from China. This was music to my ears when I first heard it. “ Like yeah,” I’ve always wanted a sister. Now I have always wanted a sister, and I have heard that they are annoying and I wanted to know myself. Also I heard they were fun to play with and someone I could play with. Lastly, I knew I could teach them a few things like: crawling, walking, and talking. This was going to be great I was the happiest kid in the world! There was only one problem what if my parents would love her more than me, and I would be left out of the picture? Now this was off my mind for most of the time while our family was going through the steps for adopting a child from China. A lot goes into this process. First, my parents had to go through an interview with the people from the adoption agency. Also our whole family had to be fingerprinted, so the government could check all of our backgrounds. Another thing we had to do was have home inspections where they made sure our home was safe for a new girl. Next, we all got physicals, to make sure we were in good health. Lastly, my parents took a parenting class to learn how to care for her and had shots taken before they left on this adventure.
March, 2004. The day we heard we were adopting a Chinese girl.
“ Hunter, Justin, come downstairs. Your father and I have to talk to the both of you.”
“ Okay, okay be there in a minute Mom,” we said.
“ Come on guys,” Mom said.
That’s when we heard a knocking on my door. Then my parents came in, picked my brother and I up, and we went downstairs.
“ Sit down,” Mom said. So we did.
My Dad then said, “ We have decided that our family is going to adopt a little girl from China.” He paused, and then my brother asked a lot of questions.
My mom joined in on the conversation next by saying,” We will discuss some ground rules and will start preparing for her in a few weeks after we get the paperwork back that we are her chosen family.”
Then we ended with dinner and got on with our life.
We had to do a lot of paperwork to get admitted for our Chinese baby girl. We also had to send pictures of our house and family so they knew we were the right choice. That was my life for a few months. Lots of signing my name, my family appearing in court, and cleaning the house. Papers for about everything in our lives were submitted to the adoption center in China.
A few months later we got a card in the mail saying that we would be able to adopt a Chinese girl. So we started the long,fun, and stressful process to get ready for her. First, my grandpa came in to paint our sister’s room, changing it from blue to pink with flowers painted on it for her. Then we had to get child locks for our cabinets and other protective things. Another thing we did was get some girl clothes and other pink things. Lastly we started to brainstorm names. As you may know if you have had a baby sibling, this can take a lot of time to decide. After a long time of thinking we had two names we might use. Amanda, my mom and Dad’s favorite name and Jazz was the favorite name of my brother and I. Remember we were only four, so it was a stupid name, but ok for our young ages. Finally, on a Sunday night a few nights before my parents would leave to get her, we had decided on Amanda as her name. This is good because I think she would be embarrassed if her name was Jazz.
On that Wednesday, my brother and I left for our grandma’s house and our parents left for China. We drove five hours to reach Springfield, Illinois where they lived. My parents rode on a plane 14 or 15 hours to get to Changsha in the Hunan Province of China.We would spend the next week and a half at my Grandma’s house, while my parents picked up my sister. Now it was fun at my grandma’s house, but I still thought of how it would be with a new sister when I returned. Each day we would go to the skateboard park and do other fun things like go-karting and go to arcades. But I could not get the thought that my parents would be ok and make it home safely. Maybe that was the last time I would see them. Have you ever dealt with that in your life? I was mostly sidetracked by the fun times we were having at my grandma’s house. We went to this amazing sub place called “ Monty’s Subs”, and one time we went to a chili place that I think is has the best chili in the world. After that we would go out for dinner at different places around Springfield, which was pretty cool considering it was the hometown of a man you may know as Honest Abe. This meant that most of the places had cool sculptures or drawings of him and great food around the town. Even though we got scared about our parents, the thing that would calm us was the fact that my brother and I got an envelope each morning from our parents. The envelope normally consisted of a dollar to spend and a few chocolate coins.These were great and they got our days off to a great start. Now, on the last day we were there we spent most of our time in the car driving five hours back to Wisconsin. This was boring, but kind of weird for my brother and considering that there was going to be a new person in our lives when we got home. I mean, we were thinking a lot about the “what if’s” again. For instance what if my parents like her better than us? Or what if she is so cute they would not pay any attention to us? Then we got to talk to our parents and they said that they had picked up Amanda and were on their plane home.This was the worst moment thinking all about how much they might like her and not us. Have you ever felt that way? Lastly we arrived home at 8:00 that night and went right to sleep.
The next morning we all awoke to a “ ding,ding,ding,ding,ding” and, sure enough, it was the phone with my parents on the line. They said they would be home with my sister in a half-hour. We were all ready after we quickly made her bed and vacuumed. Which did not make a lot of sense because she was only one and would probably not notice. When they finally got home my parents brought her up to her new room to meet us. They set her on her new bed and she looked at us with a “ Who are these weird people look?”Sure enough we knew we had nothing to be afraid of because we would all be treated equally. We were a big family who loved everyone. Now this was the most amazing moment of my life and will be for the rest of my life to come.