I tend to over-think everything. Everything. This story is definitely not the exception.
Our adoption worker, Martin, suggested that Chance and I buy a snuggley toy for Nasko. He mentioned that we could give it to Nasko as he gets off the plane in Chicago. We could then encourage Nasko to sleep with the toy in order to help promote his feelings of safety. We would bring the toy everywhere with us - whether we were going to the store or to Grandma's. The idea is that the permanence and consistency of this toy would help Nasko understand his permanence and consistency in our forever family.
That's all well and good, but what I actually heard from the adoption worker was this: "Choose a toy that will be the ABSOLUTE first thing your child sees as he enters a scary, new country. It will actually be a physical representation of your love for him. Pick one with which he will grow attached and desire to hold, snuggle, and hug. Your child is coming into your home unattached and this single stuffed animal could help him attach sooner. This animal could save his life. If you pick a bad animal, you will ruin his life!"
That's a tall order for a few pieces of fabric containing some stuffing.
So I got to thinking... and over-thinking...
As a child, I didn't have a super-consistent "Teddy" like my big brother did. (And all God's people said, "Awww..." and then harassed Brian on facebook...)
I've always been a "mother" and as a kid, I would regularly carry all nine of my baby dolls/children around with me, but it wan't until I was in elementary school that I settled in on a stuffed animal.
And then I slept with him until I was married.
He actually went to college with me. This fact would have been embarrassing, if my roommate hadn't been obsessed with Hello Kitty. My stuffed animal paled in comparison to the Hello Kitty Christmas lights. (Sorry, Joanna, but you know it's true!)
My favorite stuffed animal was a polar bear named Snuffles.
My parents received dear Snuffles as a baby shower gift from one of our extended relatives. He's not quite as white as he once was, but he sure is well-loved.
("What is on the side of his face?" you ask... Who knows. Snuffles may have lived in my now-husband's dorm room for a while in college. Knowing the Reverend, it's probably food.)
Just for comparison sake, here's a picture of a brand new Snuffles (still available for purchase.)
So, back to the task at hand... I knew I had to find Nasko a stuffed animal that he could love and hold and sleep with and let his future bride take to her college dorm room without fearing ridicule.
Again, it's a tall order for a stuffed animal.
This, ahem, used to say "GUND."
So, after searching the internet for days and days (literally, like 4 days) the Reverend and I believe that we have found...
The stuffed animal to rule them all!
The animal to save the world!
The animal to solve world hungry and to promote peace to all the nations!
Ok, actually, we just found a cute and lovable little teddy bear that we think Nasko will like.
World, we'd like to introduce Philbin!
(Praise Jesus he came with his own name... Naming our children is hard enough for me...)
Philbin should arrive in our lives via the United States Postal Service tomorrow. That should give him plenty of time to learn the ropes of our house from a very old, and very tired polar bear. Philbin's going to need to rest up before Nasko gets here on March 1.
And maybe in his downtime this week, he'll be able to solve world hunger.