If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry

Kathy Krugeradoption, China, gratitude, perspective20 Comments

Sh#t happens, sometimes piles of poo.

And sometimes the only way to get through (as opposed to step on) all the sh*t is to laugh about it.

I wrote about the drama (and comedy) that seems to want to accompany us whenever we travel in this post, but there’s one comedy of errors that takes the proverbial cake and needs its very own post to recount it.

After an eight-year journey of infertility and the long adoption process we got a call in June 2004 (the 16th to be exact, at approximately 2.34pm), that we had been matched with a 10-month-old baby girl.

We would soon be on our way to China, or so we thought.

Our baby 1

We clutched the two photos of the baby we christened ‘the chunkster’ – she turned out to be a little undernourished when we finally met – and we proceeded to fall madly and deeply in love with her.

We‘d done a silly thing – buying a new house before we sold the one we’d painstakingly renovated over the previous three years – but fortunately our auction was successful just days before that big call.

We could breathe a sigh of relief – everything was falling into place – a new house, for a new start to our family life.

But after such a long wait, that call had come a couple of months earlier than we’d anticipated and we’d be caught in the ‘house hop’.

The purchasers of our house couldn’t bring settlement forward, so we had to beg and cajole the vendors of our new place to let us move into the vacant property early – eventually they caved in – for an exorbitant rental.

Bah-Bom (my lame attempt at that sound when a game show contestant gets the question wrong). UPDATE – BUH-BOW, you lose (thanks Kimberley @Melbourne Mum)

And so we moved house and had the baby shower on the very same day (as you do when things are so incredibly rushed) – the boys stayed behind with the beers and the boxes, while us girls enjoyed high tea and toasted the fact that things couldn’t get any more surreal. Could they?

Then it was straight into painting the baby’s room – after such a long wait it would be a mad rush to get it sparkling pink and ready in time before we were scheduled to leave for China, ten days later.

Katelin_s room 2 small

Bah-Bom or BUH-BOW, you lose.

Somehow the paperwork got lost.

At this point I was crying more than laughing. Crying lots.

The lost paperwork would delay our travel by a month or more, and meantime we’d miss our daughter’s first birthday.

That missed milestone seemed so symbolic of all the time we’d already missed with her, and as excited as I was to finally become a Mum, I cried buckets.

You’re waiting for the funny bit aren’t you?

The delay did give me extra time for training – I put two four kilo weights inside a baby carrier, strapped it to my chest and walked around the local park imagining myself suddenly carrying 8kg of baby – I must have looked strange. And maybe funny too.

And all that training came in handy when Mr Yang snapped his Achilles tendon, two weeks before our confirmed departure date!

He would go to China on crutches.


This is so ridiculous it’s funny right? I mean he was playing volleyball at work of all things! He wouldn’t have had the accident had we been in China like we were supposed to be!!

He had to have surgery, because of course it was snapped clean the way through, and get fitted for one of those big orthotic boots and I held my breath that nothing else could go wrong. And laughed. Just a little bit. What else do you do?


We finally got on the plane, and on the 23rd of August, 2004, at precisely 9.34am (after what I call an almost 10 week labour following THAT CALL), I held our daughter in my arms.

Katelin first shot small

We spent two and a half weeks in China, and our group of six families with new babies and associated paraphernalia, complete with Mr Yang on crutches, closely resembled a travelling circus. (as an aside, for such small people, why do babies need so much crap, especially when you are travelling through China on crutches?)

People looked (stared) at us and actually sniggered (laughed) as we tried to climb the Great Wall, and in fairness, it was pretty bloody funny.

There was more drama on the trip, but there was laughter too – and I’ll never forget the sound of our new baby girl laughing. It gave my happiness a sound I sometimes never thought I’d hear.

And the tears – they were mostly happy ones.

Linking up with Emily – Have a Laugh on Me and the rest of the funny gang for a Laugh Link-up this Monday. Let me know how you’d spell out that sound of the gameshow wrong answer?  And linking up with the lovely Grace for another FYBF.Sign block small


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Kathy KrugerIf you didn’t laugh, you’d cry

20 Comments on “If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry”

  1. melbournemum1

    Well, I used that very sound myself in a post last week, and it goes “Buh-Bow. You lose.” That really is the most tremendous laugh or you’d cry story. Kx (thanks for linking up with #laughlink)

  2. rhian @melbs

    What a lovely story. Lovely to read although I can imagine not nice as you were going it through it. Glad all worked out so well in the end and you got your beautiful baby.
    Definitely an if you don’t laugh you’ll cry story 🙂

  3. coloursofsunset

    Oh Kathy, I know if you don’t laugh you cry, and I am crying. I love these pics of you, finally united with your daughter. What a gift for you both! I can’t believe how many hurdles you faced – just proof it was MEANT TO BE 100000%. That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. xo

  4. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

    This is a laugh/cry moment for sure!! A comedy of errors and sadness but with a very gorgeous and happy ending! She was such a cute baby. I bet you were gutted about the paperwork. You have had so many hurdles lovely, but look how awesome you are now! Thanks for linking xxx

    1. Kathy Kruger

      She had such a great laugh – and I guess even though it wasn’t her ‘first’ laugh, it was the first time for us hearing it, so just as special. Thanks for visiting Alicia.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Hi Kelly – it truly was amazing, although she was very upset so it was very surreal feeling her sadness juxtaposed with our joy. When we met our son for the first time he had a big smile on his face. Adoption has been a wonderful, challenging but rewarding experience and we are very lucky to have our kids. X

  5. Pingback: Lessons from travel | Yinyangmother

Thanks for commenting and sharing the love

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.