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The single biggest culture shock my wife and I had upon adopting our daughter from China last year was the loss of our old lifestyle. We were DINK's -- Double Income, No Kids -- and had a carefree affluent lifestyle. That literally changed overnight. No more sitting around watching "Law & Order" two hours a night for me. No more sleeping in till 8:00 AM for either one of us. It was a MAJOR change and the scale of it caught us completely by surprise. You will adjust to that just like we did. But be ready.

The sleep deprivation thing was the one thing I really dreaded about becoming a parent, and it's still the thing I really dislike. We've had our 19-month old for almost a year now and generally she sleeps really well, but there are still episodes where she'll wake up 2-3 times during the night, or at 3:00 AM thinking it's time to get up and start the day, etc. You learn (1) to appreciate a good night's sleep like never before and (2) that the amount of sleep a person really NEEDS is kind of amazingly small. But still, there's few things worse in life than a toddler with sleep issues. I wish we'd done a better job teaching Doodles to sleep on her own when she was an infant.

And yes -- it is all totally worth it. It's the kind of "scary" that you really need in your life to let you know you're really alive!

Shoot me an email if you want to chat more about it or if you have questions. (robert [at] brightmystery [dot] net)


I stumbled upon your post and I am fascinated by your story. I always admire people who adopt children and I've always thought I wanted a little girl from China. Good luck to all of you.

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