Before and After – A Bandas Adoption Update

**I wrote the first half of this post while we were still waiting to hear if our little one would be coming home to us, the second half after we found out that he would be!

We got to watch a video of you yesterday my sweet boy. And I’ll be honest, it was the very first time you felt real to me. Until that moment, you were a picture on a page – but not anymore. Yesterday you became a part of my heart. Even though you weren’t part of my plan.

Your mamas in the orphanage, who’d dressed you so nicely for the occasion, directed you to chase a bouncing ball as they filmed you toddle around the room. A room filled wall to wall with metal pink and blue cribs. A little girl lay motionless against the pink rails of the only bed she’s ever known. Her dreams completely unfettered by the bars around her.

Similarly, the sound of crying babies and toddlers vying for the mamas’ attention gave you no cause for concern. But you probably couldn’t hear many of them with only one of your hearing aids taped into your ear. We’re glad to see you’re wearing one now, but that wasn’t what we’d planned on.

Your smile, or more accurately, your smirk was deliciously impish as your eyes darted up to the camera. You looked much different than the child who’s been living in my mind for the past year. You’re tinier and handsome than I imagined.

It had been a month since we first heard that you were waiting for us in the Philippines. We’d mapped our course and chosen another country halfway around the world. But what’s that they say about ‘best laid plans’?

But now we know you’ll be coming home. And the waiting is almost palpable. People ask about you every day, just like when we were waiting for your brothers. And just like when we were waiting for your brothers, I smile and politely tell them how much longer – all the while my heart aches to hold you, even if my belly didn’t.

Your brothers can’t wait to meet you either sweet boy. I know this to be true because they’ve already added your name to their Netflix profile, a place reserved for Bandas Boys only. I hope you like TV shows about monster trucks and superheroes – you might be seeing a lot of those.

And your dad? He’ll talk about you to anyone who will listen. But he does that, your dad. You’ll love that about him.

As for me, I’m busy making plans, because that’s what I do best. I’m filling out more forms and putting backwards, lefty checks in checkboxes, so that I can get you here as soon as possible. Because that’s what I’m planning on – getting you here as soon as possible. But you, you’re not what I’d planned for little one. I thought I’d mapped our course to the letter, but you’re a surprise that has changed our story in the most beautiful way possible. And as I’ve learned with your brothers before you, the unplanned uniqueness of my children and their arrivals into my life are the things that become imprinted on my heart forever.

And while there are sure to be many more surprises along the way, one thing is for certain – you are in my heart little one and before we know it, you’ll be in my arms.



  1. Oh, I teared up reading this! What a special thing for your child to have one day! And it is by far precious that those brothers have already added his name to their Netflix profile! Hoping you get to hold your little one soon.

  2. I’ve been thinking about you all and praying for you during this process. I hope he gets to you as soon as possible. <3

  3. How beautiful is this. I just got teared up as I read this. That child (your child) will be surrounded of so much love and how cute that he’s already part of the Netflix gang. 🙂

  4. This is so beautiful and YOU are beautiful for making this choice!

  5. AWWWWWWWW, your boys are so sweet and this little one will fit right in! So happy for you!

  6. Giving a home, to a child in an orphanage, or left alone in some way, is a blessing. To give a home filled with love, laughter and family, is heaven.

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