A Latta Love: Our New Family of Four

Friends, my heart could not be more full as I write this post to share with you our joy. If you’ve been following along for awhile, you know that since early January of this year, our family has been on an epic journey to grow in number and love through adoption. The process was long, exhausting, and frustrating at times, but in the end, every second was worthwhile. On Monday, October 9, we met our new son in his home city of Chengdu, and the following day he officially became a part of our family.

Months ago, I shared with you how and why we felt called to pursue this journey and this specific boy. If you missed that post, be sure to catch up on it here so that you can hear our story. If you did read it, you may remember that it all started when I was scrolling Facebook and saw his photo. At the time, I couldn’t share that photo with you, but now I can…here is the picture that grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let me rest until “Scout” was ours.

I didn’t realize it then, but the Pinocchio statue wasn’t at an amusement park, it actually stands in the lobby of the Chengdu Children’s Welfare Institute, the orphanage where our son lived until being placed in a foster family. When we arrived at that building to take custody of him, everything came full circle as I saw the statue and knew that he had stood in just that spot when the photo was taken. It meant more than I can say to have a family photo right there. In the first picture, he was alone. In the second, he is a beloved son, brother, grandson, and great-grandson.

The first part of our trip was spent in Chengdu doing paperwork and seeing the city where “Scout” grew up. We visited the Panda Research Center where we saw more than 50 pandas, and we also spent time in a beautiful local park that had a mini amusement park inside. Most of all, though, we spent time playing games, being silly, and getting to know each other.

He speaks a little bit of English and we speak a little bit of Mandarin, so we have been teaching each other the best that we can and getting by with our own version of “Chinglish.” Funny faces and hand signals help a lot too, and we are so grateful for the Google Translate app which helps us explain things that are more complicated than what we can act out or attempt to communicate with our limited language skills.

The second half our our trip was spent in Guangzhou, the location of the US Consulate. “Scout” had a mandatory medical exam on Saturday, a Visa interview on Tuesday, then on Thursday we were able to pick up the Visa allowing him to enter the United States. Hubby’s 40th birthday happened to fall during our time in Guangzhou, so I had the boys draw handmade cards for him and let each of them choose two gifts at the Walmart. Little Crafter chose a 4×4 puzzle cube and a stuffed penguin for his daddy, and “Scout” bought him a pirate hat and a soccer ball. I’m pretty sure he’d tell you it was his best birthday ever.

As soon as we had the Visa on Friday, we flew to Beijing for the very last part of our time in China. Saturday morning, we took “Scout” to see and climb a section of the Great Wall, then we flew home on a 14 hour flight. The Great Wall was breathtaking…both literally and figuratively. It was an amazing thing to see and the views were stunning, but boy oh boy was it a reminder that I work from the couch! It would more appropriately be called the Great Staircase! We climbed the “easy side” {haha} and made it up to that little building you see at the top of the mountain behind us, but was it ever exhausting!

We arrived at Dulles Airport around 8 PM EST this past Saturday night, where my parents met us and drove us home. My bed has never felt so good, and I’ve never loved everything about my house more. China was an incredible experience, but there’s truly no place like home!

We are all struggling with jet lag {it sure is a beast!} and we’re getting used to our “new normal” which apparently includes me making fried rice for breakfast. Little Crafter headed back to school today and his brother will hopefully join him next week after we get his required vaccinations and ESL testing. LC is struggling a bit with the changes to life as he knew it…he loves his brother but also is used to 9 years of being an only child, so we are fully prepared to give him some extra grace as he adjusts. “Scout” is doing wonderfully; he seems to love being part of our family and has settled right in. He is helpful, polite, and hilarious. I’m sure you see the sparkle in his eye! He keeps us laughing nonstop, and I feel like we have known him forever.

It’s funny, when we started the process, I thought we were rescuing “Scout,” giving him a family and a new chance at whatever kind of future he wants to create for himself. Turns out, he was the puzzle piece we didn’t know was missing. He completes our family and brings joy, love, and laughter to our lives. We are the lucky ones.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout our journey…and now we are beginning a new journey as a family of four. We hope we can count on your prayers as we adjust and settle into our life together. If you all are interested, I will continue to share some photos from different parts of our trip, like the pandas, the Great Wall, and more! Let me know!

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  1. Oh Amy… this is beautiful and amazing news. I love how God works through this adoption. He is so good and certainly He will show his love to you all in ways that will amaze you.
    HUGS! Thanks for sharing the story.

  2. Congratulations to you and your family, Amy! I’ve so enjoyed following along with your trip and travel updates on Instagram – I’d love to see more posts on your China travels!. I hope everyone continues to adjust and settle in well!

  3. I love all the pictures…it’s wonderful how you are sharing your story with others.
    You never know who you may touch in the process…So very happy for all of you…

  4. Thank you so much for sharing. My heart goes out to LC as he makes this adjustment. Welcome to Scout and wishing you all the best as you settle in to your new norm, fried rice and all.

  5. So happy for you. Thirty years ago we adopted a baby from South Korea. I am reliving my experience through your adventure. Oh and before you know it they will be all grown up! Enjoy every minute of your new life.

  6. What joy you must feel in having Scout home and making him a part of your family! What a gift you are to him, even though you feel he is the gift. God is so good and has blessed you with finding him to give him the life that he deserves. Yes, please keep sharing photos of your journey…and of Scout!

  7. Congratulations….what a beautiful family you have. I’m so happy for you all and I enjoy all the stories and pics you share with us.


  8. THIS!!!! This is the post I’ve been waiting for! Congratulations! My heart is so joyful for you and your family! Seeing those brothers together…..I can only imagine all of the fun awaiting them 🙂

  9. What a wonderful story. I can tell you have huge hearts and I am thrilled you had a space for Scout. He looks so happy and I can see the mischievous twinkle in his eye. Lots of fun ahead indeed!

  10. I look forward to hearing more about this exciting and challenging journey you have chosen. God’s blessings and grace to you and your family.

  11. That’s wonderful! What a blessing to all of you. I’ll keep your family in my prayers. Let God guide, support and comfort all of you. Congratulations!

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