Introducing My Family

It’s good to be back up and running here at the adoption blog, and great to be working with Rachel. I will miss hearing about Ed’s boys, but I’m thrilled for Rachel’s newest addition (and addition-to-be!) The final two blogs of my series on children’s books with adoption themes are now published, so I invite you to check them out!

It’s occurred to me that, while I’ve shared important pieces of our family’s story and some of my feelings along the way, I’ve tended to be more informational and reflective in my writing. I don’t intend to change that, but I thought I might also give you more of an overview of our family and a flavor of what my kids are like. If you are a new reader, welcome to the blog! This entry should tell you a little about me and how I came to experience the joy of adoption in my amazing family. If you’ve read some of my blogs before, perhaps this will fill in some of the gaps.

As a child I played at being the mom of a large family of both birth and adopted children. Years later, after grad school and a stint in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (a fulltime church-sponsored volunteer program), I married my college sweetheart. He insisted the church staff add the phrase “to give life by birth or adoption and teach our children to love God and His Church” to our formal wedding statement!

We were beginning the adoption process when I became pregnant. There were some complications before, during and after the birth, but we ended up with our wonderful son Patrick, now age 9. Patrick is an intensely focused kid. As a baby he never wanted to be put down, and seemed to never sleep, but he would listen to stories and invent his own worlds. Today he is an independent kid who loves science, reading, building things, and baseball.

When Patrick was nearly two we began the adoption process again. He was nearly three when we brought Meg home from Korea, two weeks before her first birthday. Meg is now seven, a first-grader. She has a wonderful singing voice, likes arts and crafts, is renowned for her jump-rope and hula-hooping skills, is a member of the school chess club, and enjoys friends, fashion and Disney Princesses. Any problems Meg gives us usually stem from her desire to be helpful and independent—for example, the time she decided to help me do the wash and poured an entire bottle of detergent into the washer, and the time she noticed a small mark on a library book and decided to soak the book in a sinkful of soapy water…you get the idea.

When Patrick was five and Meg was three, I mused to my husband that I was so close to my sisters that it was hard for me to imagine Meg not having a sister. The very next morning we got a call from Meg’s adoption agency that Meg had a baby sister who could be our daughter also. Regina is now four years old. When I think of her I think of the phrase, “She attacks life with great gusto.” Her Sunday School teacher said the other day, “I’ve learned to brace myself when Regina comes running to give me a hug.” It’s very endearing how she will throw herself into your arms—and very scary to worry what she might throw herself off of next. She has the worst tantrums of all our kids, and the most capacity for joy and ecstasy as well. She is ecstatic when feeling the wind and rain on her face, slows down only to spend 20 minutes watching a slug cross the path, is very sensitive to the tone of someone’s voice, very loving with her dolls and younger cousins, and is now giving us signs of some very deep thoughts which she hasn’t had the language to express until now.

I look forward to sharing more of our story in the future, and to hearing your stories and answering your questions as well.

Please see these related blogs:

Somebody Meant This to Be

Journeying to Our Daughter, Part One

Journeying to Our Daughter, Part Two

Journeying to Our Daughter, Part Three: Going Home!

Choosing Whether and How to Adopt Transracially: Our Decision

Naming, Claiming, and Letting Go

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About Pam Connell

Pam Connell is a mother of three by both birth and adoption. She has worked in education, child care, social services, ministry and journalism. She resides near Seattle with her husband Charles and their three children. Pam is currently primarily a Stay-at-Home-Mom to Patrick, age 8, who was born to her; Meg, age 6, and Regina, age 3, who are biological half-sisters adopted from Korea. She also teaches preschoolers twice a week and does some writing. Her activities include volunteer work at school, church, Cub Scouts and a local Birth to Three Early Intervention Program. Her hobbies include reading, writing, travel, camping, walking in the woods, swimming and scrapbooking. Pam is a graduate of Seattle University and Gonzaga University. Her fields of study included journalism, religious education/pastoral ministry, political science and management. She served as a writer and editor of the college weekly newspaper and has been Program Coordinator of a Family Resource Center and Family Literacy Program, Volunteer Coordinator at a church, Religion Teacher, Preschool Teacher, Youth Ministry Coordinator, Camp Counselor and Nanny. Pam is an avid reader and continuing student in the areas of education, child development, adoption and public policy. She is eager to share her experiences as a mother by birth and by international adoption, as a mother of three kids of different learning styles and personalities, as a mother of kids of different races, and most of all as a mom of three wonderful kids!