Baby A. and Up

carl and ellieIn The Art of Up, Tim Hauser makes this thought-provoking observation:

Taken as a whole, Pixar’s films can be viewed as serialized chapters in a single life: from sibling rivalry, early attachment (Toy Story), and socialization (A Bug’s Life), to maturation (Monter’s Inc.), separation, and parenthood (Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo); from protecting the nuclear family (The Incredibles), shifting out of the fast lane (Cars), and rekindling passion (Ratatouille), to planning for future generations (WALL-E), and, finally, accepting death (Up). 

In the movie Up, Carl has his life set to a certain standard, and his goals are fixed without much room for interruption. But interruption knocks on his door (2,000 feet in the air) and presents itself. Throughout the story, Russell the boy slowly but surely wedges his  way into Carl’s heart. And slowly we begin to see the ideology of an adoption form. We learn that Russell is fatherless and Carl steps in as his surrogate father. But the only way for him to do that is by letting go of what’s closest to him.

I’m not like Carl in the sense that I always keep my word (or will die trying), but I do have many of his negative qualities. I’m stubborn and like to have things go my way. But with the arrival of our foster daughter a few months ago, I’ve had to rearrange my comfortable lifestyle a bit.

But I’m not the only one; anyone who’s a parent has had to do this. Parents learn how to watch less TV, get less sleep, and drop everything to assist the needs of the afflicted (or hungry).

And you know, giving all that up is worth it to see my little girl smile with satisfaction or joy just to see me.

I love stories like Up, because it reminds us what we’re living for. Not comfy chairs or waterfalls or prunes, but relationships, and love, and extending our family circle.

We’re so thankful for our rolling, laughing, giggling little girl. Her parents have been MIA these past several months so it looks like transitioning into the official adoption phase is inevitable and very near at hand.

Obviously Sarabeth and I are thrilled and can’t imagine a single a day without Baby A. in our lives. So yeah, she’s worth less sleep and dirty diapers. To us, she’s worth everything in the whole world.


Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

35 thoughts on “Baby A. and Up

  1. The writers of UP totally nailed the heart aches and joys of the human soul. The hopes, the longings, the dreams, the tremendous gift have having true friendships. Wonderful! Life is truly a great adventure not to be missed and best shared with the people God blesses us for the journey.


  2. I love your blog. I feel absolutely the same. I have already bigger kids (12, 15 and 19) and I realize how fast time flies. When they were little I was so happy about a time out. But since they are flying out, are more and more on their own feet I cherish and appreciate every moment with them. I am aware that in a few years my oldest child will leave home. That’s why I enjoy it even more to spend time with them in a totally different way.


          1. Lol… so true… I had that 3 times….. but as Eckart Tolle says: every moment passes bye….. there are many moments when my kids were little which I really cherish looking back, but getting up at night or early in the morning is not part of it……… 😉


  3. I always loved the movie “UP”, but it surprised me that they dealt with the issue of losing a child through miscarriage. Continued luck with the adoption process.


  4. I’m glad you wrote life is “about relationships, love and extending your family circle – not comfy chairs, waterfalls or prunes”. 🙂
    I wish you lots of love and laughter with Baby A!!


  5. I think UP is a good litmus test on unstable individuals. They need to incorporate it as a means to identify potential serial killers. If you can get through the first ten minutes of that movie, you’re a robot.

    All joking aside. I always enjoy reading your adventures with Baby A. It’s just a wonderful reminder that sometimes the simplicity of human relationships, the bonds that form between family, is the most amazing story of all.

    It’s the very reason at the heart of any great story is believable motivation to inspire the characters to face the story’s conflict. I’ve faced some of the heartaches Carl has and it is a shattering ordeal. Breaking out of the shell that forms with misery brings not only happiness, but acts as a muse to create and love anew.

    Thanks for this uplifting post. Really made my day.


  6. Hi James, thank you for following my blog recently, as it allowed me to find you and this post. You see, I (well we, my husband and I) adopted our foster daughter back in 2010. You’re one of my first followers, so it is exciting to me to learn we have this connection. To make a long story short: We got her when she was 18 months old after the state took her away from her birth parents. We were the emergency contact the birth mother gave, as I am her aunt. So on a warm June day back in 2007, my family’s whole world changed rather quickly. After many foster parenting classes, hours of extra learning put in and many home visits the court took away the birth parents rights and we began the adoption process. This my friend, seemed to take forever! Years! So much red tape, so much paperwork, meetings etc. And I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Finally, in April 2010 she officially became ours, although she’d already been ours since 2007. She’s now 8 years old and is who I affectionately call “My Future Lawyer”. She has completed our family and I can’t imagine it without her. Everything happens for a reason, we just have to trust and have faith.

    Btw, I LOVE Wall-E! Such a cute, sweet movie. 🙂


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