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Not to give away the ending, but keep your eye on Stevie the stork.

The stork, as any old-fashioned diaper commercial can tell you, is the go-to guy in the baby sweepstakes. He is also, in a children’s book recently published by a Wiesbaden couple, the character that finally brings them their long-awaited baby girl.

Marc and Christine Maxwell don’t have their baby yet. They’ve got a name picked out — Meredith Elyse — all their paperwork completed and sent into authorities in China, and expectations that some time between November and January they’ll get word that a girl is ready for adoption.

“We don’t know what province she’ll be coming from,” said Marc Maxwell, 32, a guidance counselor who works primarily with soldiers at the Wiesbaden Education Center. “We’ll be going to Beijing to get her.”

As part of their preparation, Christine, 31, who works as a registrar at the American Middle School in Wiesbaden, asked her husband to write a story for their baby-to-be. She wanted a “fantasy fairy tale that can get [the baby] to believe in family,” Marc said.

“The Wallace Dream — The Adventures of the Baby Seekers” was born.

The book, featuring a couple named Sam and Finley Wallace, who decide they need a baby to make life complete, comes with all sorts of characters familiar to the innocent American childhood: a St. Bernard, tooth fairy, Santa Claus, friendly German tour guide, the Easter bunny and a variety of talking bears, panthers and other animals, all taking part in the couple’s adventures to find a baby.

The facts of life, it’s not.

“Well,” Sam says to a friend in the book’s first chapter, “Finley and I are thinking of starting a family and we really didn’t know where to go or what steps to take.”

Marc Maxwell said that was intentional. “Every child is going to ask, ‘Where did I come from?’ We wanted something a little more magical.”

Nor does it relate how the couple, who have been married for five years, decided to adopt and what actual experiences they’ve been through. “We’ve gone through some things. There’ve been some low points,” Maxwell said. “But we just wanted her to think there was something magical about how she was brought to us … and that we’re just as cool and exciting as some of these characters.”

After 15 chapters of adventures, the baby arrives in chapter 16. The book was illustrated by Patricia Pflug, the Maxwells’ 14-year-old next-door neighbor.

The Maxwells started off getting 100 copies published through BookLocker.com — Maxwell said the cost was minimal — to give to friends and relatives, and are also selling it online. They even did a book signing at a local AAFES book store near Wiesbaden.

The first chapter can be read at: booklocker.com/books/2425.html.

The book has also sparked another idea in Marc Maxwell — an activity book for deployed soldiers’ families.

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Nancy is an Italy-based reporter for Stars and Stripes who writes about military health, legal and social issues. An upstate New York native who served three years in the U.S. Army before graduating from the University of Arizona, she previously worked at The Anchorage Daily News and The Seattle Times. Over her nearly 40-year journalism career she’s won several regional and national awards for her stories and was part of a newsroom-wide team at the Anchorage Daily News that was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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