So, Bini has been quite mercurial of late. Very emotional, very wired. Some of that, apparently, is characteristic of a 6-turning-7 kid. But much of it is due to his apprehension about the trip, about having a sibling, and about his own adoption.

This morning, Bini climbed into my lap for a snuggle. Then he told me that he didn’t want a brother from China — that he wanted a brother from Ethiopia. I explained that the wait times for a child, even an older child, were very long in Ethiopia. And though it had made us very sad, we’d switched from Ethiopia to the Waiting Child program in China so that we didn’t have to wait so long to add to our family.

“How come you already love him?” Bini asked. “I don’t even know him yet. What if I don’t love him?”

“We all have to get to know him,” I explained. “But Daddy and I love him already because he’s our son. We felt the same way about you when we first saw your picture.”

“Really?” he asked, hugging me tighter.


Then, Bini started asking about his birth mom. That led to tears. After those abated, he asked about his birth dad. More tears. All I can do at those moments is hug him. I don’t even tell him that it’s going to be OK, because what do I know about it? But I did tell him that he could always talk to me, no matter what. That it was OK for him to love and miss his birth parents. That it was OK to be sad, or angry, but important to let the feelings come out sometimes, like he just had.

"I'm sorry for being bad. Love, Bini."
“I’m sorry for being bad. From, Bini.”

These are all things I’ve said many times before, and will probably say many times in the future. Times two.

A little later, he was tossing his yellow Nerf basketball in my bathroom while I got ready. He asked where his little brother would sleep when we went to my parents’ house in California.

“That’s a good question,” I said. “Grandma and Grandpa only have the one race car bed. What do you think we should do?”

“I think I’ll sit up in bed and he can sleep with his head on my lap,” he said.

“That’s really sweet, honey.” I was surprised — but pleased — by this expression of brotherly love. “Do you think you might sometimes let him sleep in your trundle when we get home?”

“No, I want him to sleep in my bed with me,” Bini replied, like he’d decided after weeks of thinking it over.

“There’s not a lot of room in your bed,” I reminded him.

“I’ll go make room, then,” he said, and scurried off to make room. Along the way, he got distracted by Pokemon cards.

After the morning of Big Feelings and sweet declarations, things went steeply downhill. It was the usual: backtalk, defiance and mini-tantrums, bookended by sudden bursts of crazy energy and extremely loud and annoying noises. Under normal circumstances, this would be irritating. But Steve and I have so much to do before the trip that we were at the end of our respective tethers by about 11:30 a.m. Thankfully, our friends offered to take him for a sleepover tonight, and another friend is having him for a play date tomorrow afternoon.

I gotta go to bed. More tomorrow.


  1. Kristin, Laurie has shared this site with me. You write so well I want to read about your adventures. It might take years for these little people to know what a kind and loving opportunity they have been given by your reaching out to share, teach and love. “What a wonderful world.” – Julie Morton

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