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The Reams Family bio picture

    We’re Paul and Amy. We’re teachers and artists and lovers and laughers. We have a daughter,
    Lucy, who fills us with delight. We take pictures in fields of flowers. We’re adopting a little boy
    from Africa. And we can’t wait to meet him.

In which my wife cries in front of a therapist who is evaluating our mental and emotional stability

This wasn’t our best morning. My wife cried in the lobby of a psychologist’s office while repeating, “I know I don’t look mentally stable, but I am.”

Before beginning on our paperwork for [home country], we have to complete a number of forms for our adoption agency. One of these is a mental health exam, presumably to establish that we are sane enough to be parents. Amy spent a couple of hours on the phone looking for a mental health professional who would be willing to meet with us and write a two sentence letter to establish our sanity. After trying several offices, Amy finally spoke with a counselor who was willing to write the letter after meeting us only once and who was covered by our insurance. Even better, the office had an appointment on Saturday that Amy and I could both make.

So, on Saturday, Amy cut short a visit with her cousins who were in Long Beach from Seattle for the weekend and I got up early and we drove 40 minutes away to our appointment. And they wouldn’t let us in. We never got out of the waiting room. The psychologist apologized repeatedly, but said that she wouldn’t feel qualified to write the letter since she had never seen us before. She wasn’t sure how we’d ended up in the office.  So, we’ll need to find another mental health professional. As we walked down the hall, away from our failed mental health appointment, we laughed through our frustration about the irony of trying, while battling tears and with (slightly) raised voices, to convince a psychologist that we are stable.

It wasn’t a big deal in the scheme of things, especially in the scheme of the adoption process, which is filled with pitfalls and backtracks and “Oh, I can’t sign these forms.” But it was an opportunity for us to vent our frustration with each other or to bask in bitterness towards the therapist. I’m happy to say that, for today at least, we chose to hold on to each other and to laugh instead.


May 6, 2013 - 6:30 pm

Bradford Phelan - Love love love your blog. We are so fired up for y’all. Can’t wait for our sons to play together one day and share their adoption stories with each other. Praying for y’all.

Getting Started

It’s been a busy week. Since last week we have: signed with what we think is a pretty fantastic agency, entered into a vetting process that rivals vice presidential nominees, and filled out more paperwork than I ever thought possible. We’re on the move!

First Fundraiser

Our first adoption fundraiser may well go down as our most fun. It’s going to be pretty tough to beat, anyway.

When Amy and I were dating, we lived in New York City. Amy was staying in the NYU dorms and I was on Manhattan’s East Side, right next to the United Nations building. That first year in New york was rough for me; I’d never lived away from home and family before, and the winter weather was…stunning for a born-and-raised San Diegan like myself. One night, in 2003 or 2004, Amy and I were invited to a house concert featuring a guitarist named Tom Conlon. The concert was great-something about Tom’s music was accessible and encouraging, and easy to listen to. But most of all, there was a difficult to describe “home-ness” to the music. I bought two CD’s that night, and throughout the years in New York, and later when we got married and moved back home, Tom’s music became the music that Amy and I listened to when we felt alone or out of place or just wanted to relax.

Photo credit: Jason Williams

So it was something of a surprise when Amy told me that Tom Conlon was touring on the West Coast and was willing to perform in a fundraiser for us. We set a date and gathered friends-mostly from Amy’s childhood-and had wine and desserts and really good guitar music. Amy and I shared our hearts for adoption and we were really blessed by the response. We raised nearly five thousand dollars! Enough to cover our first agency payment and make a down payment on our home study.

I’ll leave you with our favorite Tom Conlon song. It’s one that we’ve always loved, but has taken on new meaning in these last few months.

We’re Expectant!

A post in numbers:

1. Soon, Lucy is going to have a baby brother. Our family is going to grow.

2. But not the way that you might think.

3. We’re going to adopt an infant from Africa.

4. (pause for excited squealing)

5. We can’t tell you which country online (it’s in the adoption agency contract), but if you ask us in person, we’ll be happy to share that info with you.

6. We’re about two weeks into a process that we hope will take between 12 and 16 months.

7. We’re thrilled.

8. We won’t be able to afford this alone. But we’re expectant, trusting that God is going to use all of you out there to help us bring our son home. We can’t wait to see how that works.

A New Blog. And a Big Announcement

Thanks for visiting us. We started keeping a family website when our daughter, Lucy, was born in April of 2011. We kept her website,, fairly active over the next two years, mostly posting pictures of us having fun together as a family. But, now that we’re expecting, we figured that we should have a website that’s a little wider ranging than just the exploits of Lucy.

Did you catch that? I said “Now, that we’re expecting.” Amy and I are really excited to go Facebook-official with our big news. Within the next year or so, we hope to have adopted a little boy from [Home Country]. There will be lots more info about our rationale for this on the site, but for now…we hope that you’ll rejoice with us. Adoption is a long and difficult journey, but we are blessed to have an incredibly supportive group of family and friends. You all are so supportive that we felt selfish keeping you all to ourselves. We can’t wait to share you with a new member of our family.

We’ll continue to post about our fun with Lucy, but we’re also going to use this site to keep you up-to-date on our adoption process, any other family happenings, and ways that you can help.

May 6, 2013 - 8:41 pm

Lia Thibodeau - This is such wonderful news! Blayne and I thought seriously of adopting in our younger days. It makes my heart happy for your family and your new sweet little boy that is awaiting meeting his awesome new family!

May 7, 2013 - 2:47 am

Granma - Already praying for my new grandson. Can’t wait to meet him!