Last week we added another child to our family.
Some of you may know that Zander (our 4th kid) was adopted. We're in touch with his birthmom and some of her other kids.
We've always been a fan of adoption for many reasons, partly to help Mom's to have alternatives when they're in a bad situation but also to mix up our family. As followers of The Way (Jesus) we want the world to know that the family of God includes everyone, not just those born into a specific family. In fact God uses the adoption metaphor when talking about his family.
So since Zander is now 3 and the world thinks we're a crazy large family Becky and I decided it's time again to add another child to the family.
If you're on Instagram and following pkortman or if you've seen us on Periscope (namtrok) you may have already caught a picture of her. We took a week to ensure that all is well, the paperwork is in order and that our newest girl will be a good fit for our family before making an official announcement.
There are many reasons we've decided to add a new member to our family, and over time you'll understand more of them. But here's just a smattering of the reasons:
- Alia has been begging for a sister for years, and praying for one too.
- We know much larger families than ours and don't see ourselves as a large family
- We don't do life normally, so "Why not?"
- Josiah wants another playmate
- We're passionate about offering a home to those in need of rescue.
By now you may be wondering if you're going to learn her name, her story and see a picture of her... It's coming.
We brought her home to live with us in Gracie on Sunday (7-12-15) and since we have found that she has blended seamlessly into our family. She is 3 years old and has been slowly coming out of her shell. She didn't eat for the first couple of days and slept a lot of the time. It was a stressful transition but suddenly she wanted to play outside with Josiah on Tuesday and hasn't looked back. She brings a ton of laughter into our house and offers snuggles to anyone who wants them and is generous with little kisses.
By now you know that we don't do things normally, so we cannot even have a normal birth announcement.
We adopted her from the ARC last week and MooMoo is the name she came with. Alia does not want to change it. Her previous owners abused her and when she was picked up as a stray the folks at ARC found she had a major flea infestation which cause a staff infection in her skin. As a result she has permanent damage to her hair and skin from the fleas which means our sweet girl has some permanent bald spots. So she is a rescue dog.
We were looking for a family dog and wanted a medium sized dog. First we met MooMoo. She is far from medium sized. So although Becky and Alia fell in love right away, we passed on her and met two other dogs. One was Lydia.
Lydia is an awesome dog, but she wasn't really a playful dog... instead she wanted to lounge around. We wanted to make sure we had a playmate for Josiah as well as an all around family dog. You may remember that Josiah is quite attached to dogs.
We also met Grayson who was ALL play and a bit too energetic for our crew!
Then as a family we discussed adopting Lydia... to see if she was the right dog for us. We all decided that she couldn't be our family dog since she didn't meet the playfulness requirement that Josiah had and we felt that was important.
At the same time we're planning on visiting Best Friends this fall and hopefully adopting a dog from them. So we decided to wait until then to find a good fit for our family.
At this point Alia was getting quite emotional about not adopting a dog.
So we agreed that if she wanted her dog (each of our kids get to pick an animal at age ten) 6 months early she could.
Alia went back to check if Alia could walk Lydia on her own sicne she would be Alia's responsibility.
Turns out that for Alia, Lydia was too much dog when on a leash.
Alia wanted to adopt MooMoo. After a check with Dad (who doesn't like little dogs!) to make sure it'd be okay, Alia went in to adopt Moo Moo.
The first day was a long day where we were a bit nervous, she seemed to just sleep around all day.
But shortly she came out of her shell.. and here's some videos of her playing with the kids.
Alia has a sister and Josiah has a playing buddy too!
Here are some recent pics/videos of life with MooMoo:
Yes, those are frozen peas on Becky's lap. One of the kids had just slammed her thumb in the door (thus the pained smile) and MooMoo was trying to comfort her!
In Gracie, MooMoo sleeps at the foot of Zander's bed since it is the only one she can reach.
But, when we stayed in my brother-in-law Mike's house (while Becky was painting in Gracie's bedroom) Alia chose a lower bunk and MooMoo was very pleased!
She gets chilly easily and LOVES sleeping up in the sunny dashboard!
MooMoo has an especially close bond with Alia and we discovered that dog ownership responsibility coupled with the need to be calm, kind and gentle has afforded Alia the ability to have more self control than we have seen in YEARS!!! It seems as though we inadvertently adopted a Emotional Support Service Dog! Alia can't allow herself to be wild and out of control or else it scared MooMoo. In turn, MooMoo lavishes her with affection in response to her choice to remain calm. When Alia forgets, MooMoo's fearfulness is an immediate and sobering negative consequence but the dog's unconditional love always gives her another chance.
We pray that Alia and MooMoo have many years together as a perfect pair...teaching and learning from each other. Our hearts are filled with joy as we watch a rescued dog rescue our girl right back!
Welcome to the family, MooMoo!
sweet — on LOTS of levels! <3
MooMoo sounds like a winner; congratulations and best always for all of you!
Awesome slow Mo video! Great Pictures – so happy that Alia & MooMoo have made a great connection.
Perfect fit! Great size!! Great bond with the kids. Time and again it is an animal many times dogs that connect with children on the spectrum. It’s the total unconditional love and sensing that only dogs have. Maybe, I don’t know. So happy for you.