I’ve told this story of God’s providence in our family to our church and in a variety of other settings, so much apologies in advance for some having to bear through this story again. But we never could have imagined the way God would so quickly provide our second son.

Two weeks after we got home from Kazakhstan with Caleb, I came home late one night from a meeting. Heather was still awake, which was unusual, and I asked her if everything was okay. She told me I needed to sit down. Worn out from the day and now worried that something was wrong, I sat down onto the couch next to her. She looked at me and said those two shocking words.

“I’m pregnant.”

I was instantly tired. Yes, we had wanted to have a child, but now we had one…for a whole two weeks! After the previous five years, we didn’t think this could even happen, and we certainly hadn’t planned this timetable. Apparently, what happens in Kazakhstan doesn’t stay in Kazakhstan… [Did I just write that?]

Throughout our adoption journey, we had been told at every turn not to get our hopes up because you never know when something is going to go wrong. Don’t get your hopes up when you send in the application. Don’t get your hopes up when you are matched with a potential child. Don’t get your hopes up when you meet that child. You never know when something could happen in the process and everything might fall through.

Likewise, we had friends who had experienced tragedies in pregnancies, and we knew the emotional toll that weighs so heavily on couples who have gone through such experiences. We also knew that for some reason, over the last five years, we had not been able to have children. In light of all these things, we decided that night that we were not going to get our hopes up just in case something unexpected might happen.

So for the next week, we didn’t get our hopes up. For the next eight months, we didn’t get our hopes up. Then, nine months later, Heather woke me up in the middle of the night. “I don’t think we need to get our hopes up,” she said. “It’s probably a false alarm, but I think we should go to the hospital.”

In the middle of a cold December night, we climbed into the car for the hospital. When we arrived, they told us they didn’t have enough room for us. Kind of appropriate. Going to the hospital in December to have a baby, only to be told that there’s no room for you and your wife. “Alright,” I thought. “We’ll just go outside in a manger or something. We’ll be fine.”

So they put us in a closet and hooked Heather up to all kinds of machines. For the next couple of hours, we looked at each other drowsily until a nurse came in, checked Heather, and told us, “We need to move you into a room now. You’re going to have a baby today.”

We decided it was time to get our hopes up.

As they moved us into a room, our excitement quickly mixed with tension. Simply put, I am not a big fan of hospitals. The sight of blood or really anything medical at all doesn’t sit well with me (I’m getting queasy just writing about it). Heather knows this, and a couple of weeks before that day, she had told me that she was concerned about how I would do in the birthing room. I must admit that this wounded my pride a bit. Here was my wife thinking about having a baby, and she wasn’t concerned about her health or our baby’s health. Instead, she was concerned about my health and whether or not I could make it through the delivery process.

With that in mind, I overheard the nurse in our room talking with Heather later. The nurse told Heather that the doctor who would be delivering our baby actually lets husbands help deliver the baby, if they would like. “Ha,” Heather laughed. “My husband would never do that!”

Shot number two at the pride. Wounded yet again, I realized this was my chance to show my wife who I really was. Without thinking, I began to speak. “Well…I’d love to help deliver the baby,” I blurted out.

My wife looked back at me with a sudden smile on her face. “You’ll help deliver the baby?”

“Yes…of course,” I stuttered. “Who wouldn’t want to deliver a baby?”

The nurse immediately went into action making the preparations as Heather sat back in her bed smiling. I turned around and immediately began to sweat. What was I thinking? I can’t stand the sight of blood, I already feel sick just standing in this room, and I just signed up to deliver a baby?

I needed a plan, so I decided I was going to look at this like it was a mission trip. When you go overseas, you do things you don’t normally do. You eat things you don’t normally eat and drink things you don’t normally drink. When you’re in Rome, you do what the Romans do. So, I thought to myself, when you’re in the hospital, you do what doctors do. Besides, I have a doctorate. Granted, it’s in preaching and theology, but what difference does it really make? They’re all the same in the end.

I paced until the doctor came in. It was time. He strapped a gown and gloves on me, stood in my face, and for the next 60 seconds used a bunch of medical jargon that I didn’t understand to tell me what was about to happen. At the end, he asked me, “Are you ready?”

I responded, “Ready!”

The reality? I was scared out of my mind and sick at my stomach.

I’ll spare you the details, but after a few moments of standing right behind him, he gave me the cue. He told me to reach down and put my left hand under my right hand. If you can imagine the scene, I felt like Peyton Manning. Flanked by two nurses – one on my right and one on my left – here I was waiting for the ball to be snapped.

All of the sudden, a tiny head popped out, and time stood still. There was our son, Joshua, for whom Heather and I had prayed over many years. I pulled him out and placed him on Heather’s lap with Caleb, our first son from Kazakhstan, waiting outside.

We couldn’t have written this script. Only God, in His creative mercy and wise majesty, could have designed this story…a story that now continues with Joshua asking to wear his “I’m A Big Brother” shirt on our flight to Beijing. Ever since we arrived, Joshua has been the celebrity Platt in this city. Keep in mind that this is our normally quiet, reserved, keep-to-himself son, but China has brought him out of his shell. Everywhere we go, he is smiling, waving, and greeting people with a “Nee-how” (“Hello” in Mandarin) or expressing gratitude with a “Shyeh-Shyeh” (“Thank You” in Mandarin). And Chinese people are drawn to him. His blonde hair and light skin evoke constant stares and even some uncomfortable situations where people keep trying to pat or rub his head. Some have stopped us to ask if they could take a picture with him.

Along these lines, I’ve attached a couple of clips together here. The first is walking out of Tiananmen Square in a crowd, and you will notice (1) how easy it is to find Joshua in a sea of dark hair and (2) how in the beginning of the clip people keep trying to touch his head. The second clip includes a Chinese tour group that saw him walking along the sidewalk. Amidst it all, Joshua is unphased. He does what he’s been doing all day, giving them a polite “Nee-how,” a smile, and a wave, and then he walks on. Just another day for our celebrity son in China.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/32327685 w=400&h=225]

Needless to say, we are thankful for our boys. Their anticipation for their new sister grows every day as they keep asking, “When are we going to meet her?” And we tell them, “Just a couple of more days!” But in the meantime, we have visited the Forbidden City where emperors used to live…

I had the pleasure of taking both boys to the Forbidden Bathroom (nothing like teaching a 3-year-old and 5-year-old how to use the squatty potty)…

We’ve learned how Chinese silk is manufactured…

And we’ve seen some interesting Chinese signs.

We have one more full day in Beijing tomorrow. As I close, the primary thing I would ask is that you pray for the guide who has been with us in Beijing. We’ll call him “Winter,” and we are sharing the good news with him. As we prepare to bring a daughter into our family, we are asking that our Father on high would adopt “Winter” into His family.