We designed this site in order to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away and in order to communicate with other adoptive families from around the world.

When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!

If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at:
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.

Take care,
Brian and Rosemary

Monday, December 29, 2008

leaving on a jet plane

We made it back from Florida late Saturday night and I am leaving for Thailand today.  It was worth it though!  We had a great time with our family.  It was wonderful to see my parents, grandparents, siblings and all the kids!  There are A LOT of kids now too!!  We really enjoyed playing with all of them and seeing how they've grown over the year.  Note to self: children get larger very quickly.

Life has been such a whirlwind over the past month I can't believe I'm making this long trip tonight.  I meet my dear brother at JFK at 7:30 and then we head out for Hong Kong, followed by Bangkok, then onward to Chiang Rai.  We are actually stopping to spend the night in Bangkok which means that we will be there on December 31st.  I have spent Easter in Mexico, Thanksgiving in Africa, Valentines in England, and Mother's Day in Italy.  Now I get to add New Year's Eve in Thailand to that list.  I feel very blessed to have experienced so many layers of culture firsthand.  Years ago, my roommate Dee and I walked into an Irish Pub in Bangkok and found a Thai Beatles cover band singing "Back in the U.S.S.R.".  That's the stuff I really love. When cultures just melt together to understand and misunderstand each other peacefully over things like good music and national holidays.

As always, I'm exhausted just thinking about the trip, but I'm eager for the road.  I really do love to travel and I'm dying to see our kids  and staff again.  I don't know when I'll get to update this blog again but I will try and, who knows, maybe Brian will decide to write some stuff in my absence.  It could happen.

- Rosemary

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Christmas

We are leaving for Florida in the morning to spend some time with our family so we celebrated our Christmas today.  Ever since we were engaged, it has been our tradition to have our own private Christmas and I'm very grateful that we've made a big deal out of that.  Sometimes it can be hard to recognize that only two people (who are childless and whose relatives all live very far away) are still a family.  I think it can be especially hard for those two people. However, we've made joy out of this time and I know that even after our children arrive we will both look back on these years fondly.  

Before I describe our Christmas Day celebration I really need to put a disclaimer on this by saying: We are major "foodies."  The discussion of food, Food Network, restaurants, recipes and ingredients takes up a major part of our lives - don't hate us!  

We started our day off by sleeping late and having a big breakfast.  We always have pancakes (or puffed pancakes) because they are my favorite food in the whole world.  Then we opened our presents for each other.  I got an easy-to-operate camera, a watch and a fancy new apron!  Brian got a bunch of new clothes and books.  Finally, it was time for each of us to open our last gift.  It was then, in 2008's cheesiest couple moment of the year, we discovered we had both purchased each other the same locavore cookbook.  There is no need to mock - we already feel ashamed of ourselves.  

After that we made our Special Christmas Lunch, Oysters Rockefeller, and lay around enjoying our time together.  Then we started working on our Special Christmas Dinner: Chimay-braised short ribs with saffron risotto, manchego and garlic mashed potatoes, and panetone for dessert.  After dinner, we roll ourselves over to the couch and open stockings!  It truly is a fantastic way to spend a day together, especially if you're self-admitted, good food addicts who love cooking.  

How do you guys spend your Holidays?  Are you pre-children and doing something special as a couple or do you have a house-full of
little people to celebrate this year?  However your days come to you during this season I hope they are lovely and joyful!

- Rosemary

P.S.   I have to admit that I did buy two tiny, little presents for Baby even though he/she isn't with us this year.  I got the cutest penguin family in an airplane (all plush very soft) and some old fashioned stacking blocks. I had to buy something - it was Christmas!!  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lets go to the movies!

I love movies.  Love to watch them at home; love to go see them at the cinema.  However, nothing compares with seeing a movie in Thailand.  In my opinion, the Thai's have perfected the movie going experience!  

In smaller towns like Chiang Rai there is usually just the basic price option for viewing a movie (100 b).  This experience is similar to ours in America, with one notable exception.  At the beginning of every film they play a montage of The king accompanied by the Royal Anthem.  Everyone must stand up for this!  A very polite attendant will come and tell anyone sitting to stand immediately.  In larger cities a variety of viewing classes are available for a price.  You can choose from the Gold class, Emporer, VIP or Star seats (300-500b) which have various amenities such as: reclining seats, blankets, pillows, free popcorn and sodas, loveseat option, complimentary shoe removal and slippers, menu service during the movie.  If you really love going to the movies you honestly can't beat this treat!  Another fun thing is that you can have your popcorn flavored: butter, sweet, seaweed, bar-b-q, spicy, etc.

When "The Legend of Suriyothai" came out our girls at the home were all crazy to see the film! It was the most fantastic big budget movie that Thailand had made to date and it was all about a female protagonist.  We had a very kind donor who offered to pay for all our age-appropriate girls to see the movie.  That morning the staff each took turns waiting in line to buy the most tickets 1 person could buy - 10.  That night our vans rolled into the parking lot an hour early and we seated our girls right in the middle of the auditorium.  Most of them had never been in a cinema before.  They were so proud to stand with the rest of the audience when the king's montage aired.  They laughed so loud and oohed and aahed - so easily impressed at everything on the big screen.  When Suriyothai commits her final act of heroism on behalf of her country I looked around and all my girls were crying and holding hands.  It truly is a beautiful film and I recommend seeing it (especially if you have a Thai daughter) but even if it had been an awful movie I would always love it for reminding me of what it means to share something delightful with a child.

- Rosemary

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trip is on!

This morning I booked plane tickets for Thailand!  Our company has rescheduled the trip for Dec. 29 - Jan. 10 so that is going to be great.  Bri has to work on New Years anyway so I won't be missing anything too special there.  Instead, I'll be winging my way across the world headed towards our kids!  Not too shabby.  

We did have to make some pretty considerable changes in the trip format though.  The main purpose of the trip all along was to take Christmas to the kids - we are still doing that it will just be a belated Christmas - but I was also taking a team over to introduce them to our work there and let them really get a sense of the purpose of the work.  However, none of them can reschedule their lives, which is completely understandable, so instead we are going to be doing a lot of internal housekeeping type stuff which is also needed.  

The really great thing about this trip for me is:  my brother is coming!  Because I have epilepsy it is considered best if I don't do things like make exhausting, international trips alone and since Brian cannot possibly get off work my big brother has graciously agreed to come with. Just goes to show you're never too old to bring your kid sister home safe. ;-) For those of you thinking "it sounds like he has an awful lot of free time" it's actually the exact opposite.  Big Brother Travis is my boss and one of my favorite people.  The company we both work for is our family's humanitarian non-profit.  Our parents, lovely people who have lived a constant example of ministry and social justice, started this work more than 30 years ago.  

Anyway, I thought I would give a little bit of back story for all my stranger-friends in internet world who might be following this blog as I post from Thailand.  The confusion over who the big guy named Travis was in all my pictures might drive someone to distraction.  You just never know...

- Rosemary 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Asian Santa

So I was talking with a friend of mine, who is African American, and we were both bemoaning the fact the we don't have any of our Christmas decorations up yet.  Procrastinate much?  Yes, we do! Then she mentioned that she had found the most beautiful black Santa over the summer and was looking forward to putting it out.  That's when I started thinking about something new.  

If Santa Clause is for children and our children will be Asian do we need to make an effort to have Asian Santa Clause figures?  How important is it that children see iconic figures like Santa representing their own race?  Of course, I don't know the answer to that.  I'm just hitchhiking my way through this world but it did raise some interesting ideas.  Once again, I was grateful to have dialogue with friends from all races to remind me that being white is just one state of being and one that my children will not share.  

I think, because we are a transracial family who is making an attempt to be anti-racist, we are going to represent Santa in all of his racial identities: black, asian, white.  For the folks who will inevitably ask, "But won't that confuse the children?"  I intend to steal  from James McBride's amazing memoir of growing up in a transracial family.  If you haven't read it - IT'S WONDERFUL!  In that book, he recounts being teased by some kids about being mixed race.  Afterwards, he asked his mother what color God was.  His mother wisely responded by saying, "God is the color of water."  So in our house, God and Santa are both going to be the color of water, and we're going to try to have pictorial representation in every race.  

BTW though - finding these Asian Santas is extremely hard!!  I will certainly be combing specialty stores and buying one as soon as I see it, whenever I see it, for the rest of my life.  If anybody has any leads on where to get good racially diverse decorations please let me know.

- Rosemary

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wishes For Her

One of the oddest things about adoption is that it has caused me to have an emotional relationship with two people I will probably never meet.  Our child's other parents.  Brian and I are using a lot of terminology right now: birth parents, biological parents, first parents and other parents.  Everything respectful is fine with us (the always disparaging and uncomfortable real parents is out).  If we could ever meet our child's first mom we would ask her how she would like our family to refer to her and then we would simply honor her request.  But that is one more thing we probably won't ever be able to discuss with her.  

I wonder what questions she wants to ask me and can't?  Maybe there is a beautiful Thai woman sitting on the other side of the world thinking, "I wish I could ask my child's adoptive mom this but it's just one more thing that I'll never get the chance to say."  I wish I could meet her and answer her questions.  I wish I could meet our child's birth father too.  I know a lot of other people feel differently about this for their families and that's fine too.  There many ways to handle adoption.   

I think about our child's first mom a lot.  We do not presume to know her life.  We don't make assumptions that either vilify or canonize her.  All we know is that she's a woman who is having a child and is also, obviously, going through something very hard that has caused her to make an adoption plan for her baby.  We can only imagine that this is a terrible or at the very least difficult experience for her.  

I don't really know what I'm trying to say here.  But you know how something little can happen and help your day out?  The guy behind you in line loans you 2 pennies when you don't have exact change.  The woman at the bank smiles at you.  Your Grandmother calls just to say she loves you no matter what.  Your best friend tells you a story that makes you laugh until a little pee comes out.  Your favorite tv show is on and it's a really good episode.  All the small things that don't do anything to change the awful realities of life but somehow manage to make each day of it more bearable.  Well, I hope that during this very difficult time, our child's first mother, has a king's ransom of tiny-everyday-good-things happening to her that help make it all a bit better.

- Rosemary

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sesame Street Memories

So all of you stranger-friends out there in blog world won't know this, but I nannied my way through school.  Sure it's hard taking care of somebody elses kids and, yes, I was always glad to leave at the end of my shift but I really did love those children and I learned so much from our time together.  During my years nannying for preschoolers, I developed a very great appreciation for Sesame Street, which in my opinion, is probably more valuable than Kindergarden.  

With one family, I had this great 3 yr. old boy who really needed routine.  Every morning when I arrived at his house I would make us both an "egg in a nest".  Piece of bread with a circle cut out of the center - fry an egg in the center of the toast and you have your nest.  Butter and toast the remaining circle of bread and that's your "birdy".   This little idea never stopped delighting him. Then we would settle down to watch Sesame Street.  It was just as enjoyable as an adult as it had been when I was a kid.  Watching Sesame Street together in our pj's on rainy mornings is definitely one of those specific little things I am looking forward to sharing with our child.

Recently Babble, a very cool online magazine for parents, ran a fun article on the fifty greatest moments in Sesame Street history.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that Brian and I watched all of the clips and actually laughed out loud at some.  However, they did not choose my favorite clip of all time so here it is: Witness the mournful Cookie Monster

Monday, December 1, 2008

what really matters

So it has been a very hard week here.  I'm incredibly disappointed that my trip got cancelled! Then, on top of that, because I was supposed to be in Thailand Bri already had a ticket to go see his family in Texas and we really felt it was important to prioritize that so... I ended up spending Thanksgiving alone.  I know: pitiful, right?  Anway, I'm trying to pull focus and remember what really matters.  So I decided to share some of my favorite pictures of exactly that.  I hope you'll enjoy these with me.

The gardens at our
 girl's rescue home in Chiang Rai.  

BTW - If it seems like I'm being obtuse in not saying the name of the home I work for it's because we're purposefully trying not to. We haven't asked permission to do that on this blog and we want to respect the privacy of everyone else involved.

The jungle-gym is everyone's favorite hangout!

Brian giving piggyback rides.

Because most of our girls don't know the day of their birth is we have an annual campus-wide birthday party with cake, presents and "celebration of being".  

Two of our middle grade girls proudly wearing full Akha dress.  Almost all of our kids are Akha, a tribal people group represented in Thailand and other Asian countries.  Of course, our kids wear regular clothes most of the time.  Their heritage dress is reserved for special occasions and ceremonies.  It is extremely important to us that our kids feel deep respect for their tribal culture.

Brian and I with our sponsor daughter.  Isn't she beautiful?  Not that I am biased or anything but she is the smartest, greatest kid on earth!