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

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Recently I've heard from at least three of my fellow pre-adoptive blogger moms that the waiting has them down right now. That's very understandable! It's a long and arduous process with a lot of ups and downs. I go through periods of great sadness and frustration myself. Fortunately, I'm feeling ok lately. Anyway, I thought I would share my "Top Ten" non-adoption related distractions for when I'm feeling blue. How about you guys? What are your favorite ways to kill time and raise your spirits?

- Rosemary

Overheard in New York - As a pedestrian city, which relies on mass transit, it is a constant reality that we will overhear perfect strangers saying the most hilarious and/or awful things. This is where we all share them with each other and laugh at the morons who are definitely not us or are friends.

Pioneer Woman - One of my favorite blogs about a very real family. I admire this mom of four for not constantly trying to make her children appear perfect. I cannot stand the mommy-competition that appears to have taken over gymboree classes and play dates. This lady just calls it like it is. Some days her kids are brats and she loves them anyway!

Wide Open Spaces - A fantastic design and life blog written by a fellow pre-adoptive mom in need of distraction!

Wow-O-Wow - A really interesting compilation website with political, humor, culture, opinion and fashion blogs written by ladies such as: Lilly Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Peggy Noonan, Marlo Thomas, Jane Wagner and Candace Bergen.

Scary Duck - A british blog posting hilarious opinions, weird youtube stuff, and funny rumors about celebrities. Plus, it's just fun to read all that yummy British vocabulary.

The Sartorialist - A photography site dedicated to fantastic fashion seen on real people out on the very real streets. It makes me feel inspired and ashamed all at the same time.

Eat Local Challenge - One of my favorite locavore websites boasting tips, hints, clues, and outright directions about how to eat with joy and live with more accountability to our planet.

The Muffin - A blog about writing, fresh baked daily!

Simply Recipes - I love this cooking blog. She always shows great pictures and embraces every type of homemade food!

Cracked - Nothing but fun silly stuff to make you laugh.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bubble Tea

A few years ago, walking through China Town on a very hot summer day, I encountered bubble tea for the first time.  I'd never heard of it before and I'm not really a tea drinker so I was hesitant to give it a try.  Fortunately for me, it was cold and I was parched, so I decided to be a little bit brave and ordered a small vanilla bubble tea.  What was I tasting?  Delicious! Heaven! Nectar of the gods!!  I'm not ashamed to admit that I sent Brian back to buy us a second cup a few minutes later.  It's just that good.

Here is a portion of the Wikipedia entry concerning Bubble Tea:
"Bubble tea, also called "Boba" tea, is a tea beverage containing gelatinous tapioca pearls. It originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, spread to nearby East Asian countries, and migrated to Canada before spreading to Chinatown in New York, then to various spots throughout the West Coast of the United States. The literal translation from Chinese is pearl milk tea (traditional Chinese: 珍珠奶茶; Tongyong Pinyin: jhenjhu nǎichá; Hanyu Pinyin: zhēnzhū nǎichá). The word "bubble" refers to "bubbling", the process by which certain types of bubble tea are made, and not the actual tapioca balls. The balls are often called "pearls." Drinks with large pearls are consumed along with the beverage through wide straws; while drinks with small pearls are consumed through normal straws. Bubble tea is especially popular in many East Asian and Southeast Asian regions such as Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam."
I was recently delighted to learn that Bubble Tea has a huge following in Thailand!  There are great Bubble Tea shops and street carts (like the one shown above) popping up all over Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and other cities.  In the final concession of wild popularity, it even has it's own piece of "flair" under the Thailand section on Facebook.   :-)

But here's the really great news: If you don't live in the sort of place where you can just pop over to your local China Town or your neighborhood tea shop then you can order bubble tea supplies online and make it yourself!  Check out bubbleteasupply or any other online provider. We are definitely investing in one of these setups right away because #1 - I crave it constantly and #2 - We are moving away from NYC and I doubt they have any bubble tea carts where we're going.

I would highly recommend giving it a chance though. It's a great sweet treat. Kids can easily help make it.  It comes in a variety of flavors (chocolate and coconut are my favorites) so there is something for everyone. Most importantly, it's a fun way to connect with the "modern and everyday Thai culture" and not just that important ancient heritage we've all worked so hard to learn about.

 - Rosemary

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Second Place

"Up A Road Slowly" by Irene Hunt is one of my favorite books.  It is the beautifully told story of a family's struggle to become a safe haven for one another in the face of death, abandonment, and adoption.  Or at least that's how the story speaks to me.  Julie, the main character, experiences the death of her mother when she is five-years-old.  Her father then chooses to veritably abandon her claiming he isn't up to the difficult task of raising a child.  To add insult to injury, he keeps her big sister.  Little Julie is then given to her maiden school teacher aunt.  

Why am I sharing all this?  One of my favorite ideals of adoptive families (and really all healthy families) springs from this book.  There is a section of dialogue in which teenage Julie is crying because she feels she loves her older sister more than the sister loves her.  An elderly gentleman says, "It happens the world over - we love ourselves more than we do the one we say we love.  We all want to be number one; we have to be number one or nothing!  We can't see that we could make ourselves loved and needed in the number two or three or four spot.  No sir, we've got to be number one and if we can't make it we'll rip and tear at the loved one until we've ruined every smidgin of love that was ever there."

I love that quote because in all families, but especially in adoptive families, there are just so many players.  So many important people who are called by so many names: first families, adoptive families, biological parents, unbiological parents, foster parents.  If every one of them is in a desperate race to be number one somebody is going to get trampled.  Chances are it could be the children.  I will not be my child's only mother and I do not have to be number one.  I can be number two or even three (if she turns out to be a real daddy's girl).  Kids are not property and I do not own my child's affections just because I am her mother.  In fact, I'll settle happily for a top ten ranking!  When I imagine the honor of being in my child's 'Top Ten Most Loved People On Earth'  list I think, "How could that not be blessing enough?"

 - Rosemary

Saturday, February 14, 2009


This week marks the US film release of Chocolate, the long awaited new movie from Thai director Prachya Pinkaew, of Ong Bak fame.  Actress Yanin "Jeeja" Wismitanant plays an an autistic girl with amazing powers of muscle memory.  Jeeja has trained in Muay Thai for years, used no body double and did all her own stunts for this film.  They are calling her the female Tony Jaa.  

I don't know much about autism but some critiques of the film have not appreciated the manner in which the condition is handled in this movie.  The New York Times says, "It’s true that Zen (Jija Yanin Vismitananda), born to a humble Thai woman and a Japanese gangster, exhibits behaviors that suggest autism, or at least some poorly acted simulation of it: abnormal shyness, primitive syntax, rocking back and forth, an extreme aversion to houseflies."

In the same New York Times article mentioned above commenter WBBolton from Austin, TX. writes in to say, "The person who reviewed this movie has no appreciation for the genre, so don't be put off by his comments. I've had this movie in a Malaysian release for months.... Jeeja Yanin is a real-life taekwando expert, and she has the moves."

We haven't seen it yet but we're hoping to catch it at an indie theater somewhere here in town. However, I do like two things about this movie from the get-go.  #1 - It defies all that gender profiling that would tell us boys get in fights and girls go shopping.  #2 - It portrays a female lead who is not using her body to seduce men and achieve power.  I have become especially sensitive to the latter lately.  I am so tired of seeing Asian women portrayed by the media as if the entire race exists to serve as nothing other than oversexed supermodels or prostitutes.  Now I do realize that martial arts expert is also a racist stereotype that the Asian community would like to get away from as well but this is genre film produced in Thailand for the Thai community.  I think it's ok for someone in a martial arts film to be a martial arts expert.  It's when the Asian girl in any given media characterization is always a martial arts expert that the illusion grows weary.

That being said, "I hope you guys enjoy a little Thai Chocolate this Valentines season!"

Happy Valentines Day!
 - Rosemary

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A little shopping

I had a wonderful day yesterday!  Not too much to do in the office so I took a long lunchy afternoon with my dear friend Brittany and then we went for a little window shopping.  I ended up having very unexpected luck with my shopping.  We stopped by Bank Street Books where I found Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox which I have been dying to get.  It is quite possibly the cutest book ever written and the illustrations are pure gold!

Then I found a big surprise!  A whole display of "Families of the World" learning dvd's.  These are 30 minute, fun, educational films designed for children to teach them how different family cultures and therefore life for kids is around the world.  Usually if places carry them at all, they just have dominant cultures like China, Russia and India but Bank Street Books had all of them which included THAILAND!  So of course, I snatched it up while I could.  It's a wonderful little film that I think will come in handy at a certain age level.  I could imagine it being a great thing to take to school for that 1st-3rd grade level.  
A funny thing happened though that I thought only you guys would truly appreciate.  One of the last shops we went into was this cute, little, eclectic place that has a bit of everything including a small children's nook in the back.  Slowly, Britt and I made our way around the store and finally ended up there.  I immediately noticed a basket of some of the CUTEST soft dolls I've ever seen.  What made them even more irresistible was that they were racially diverse and actually looked authentic!!  The Asian doll looked like a cuddly little Asian baby and not like some upsetting, altered, white baby.  So I was just about to make a mad dash for the cash register, and buy up all the dolls they had for me and my fellow waiting moms (we're all in this together)!  When Brittany says, "Hey babe, these dollies are ummm... anatomically correct."  Sure enough.  Every single one of them was either a very real boy or a very real girl.  Apparently the makers of these dolls can re-create more than just racial features correctly.  So I ended up not buying the gorgeous Asian baby-doll.  It isn't that I have a problem with anatomically correct toys.  I mean I understand they serve a purpose (but honestly it was kind of creepy).  More than that though, I wasn't sure what kind of message it would send if the only doll in our nursery who had a wee-wee was Asian...  I'm pretty sure that's the kind of thing our kid would definitely end up telling his therapist later on down the road!   ;-)

 - Rosemary

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs

As many of you know, I am a blog addict.  Especially adoption blogs.  Of course, like pre-adoptive parents everywhere, I love to read the sweet "bringing baby home" blogs that give off that great endorphin high.  But I've also developed a real penchant for the darker stories.  The true tales from biological families and adult adoptees who have something to say about their lives.  Before you quit reading or write this off by saying, "Well Rosemary must be made of sterner stuff than I.  Those stories are just too difficult for me."  Please, let me finish.  It was not always this way!  When Bri and I first started our adoption research we were wide eyed and bushy-tailed like everybody else. Full of optimism and convinced that adoption was nothing more or less than a thing of beauty.

However, we are both deeply analytical people and before long we started to fiddle with that emotional Rubik's Cube.  After a couple of twists nothing matched up anymore.  Then we almost decided not to adopt.  I no longer wanted cute little stories about bringing home baby.  I wanted someone to tell me about the other side because this is one of the unarguable truths of life: every view has an opposite horizon.  That's when I found Third Moms Blogroll and she introduced me to a lot of intelligent people who were all writing about their side of the Rubik's Cube.  I immersed myself in anti-adoption blogs, forgotten first mothers, baby-scoop-era botched adoptions, and the frustrated, adult-adoptees of transracial families gone awry. 

There were times when I sat in front of the computer and cried for hours.  There were days when Brian came home from work, closed my laptop and said, "That's enough."  Our adoption decision remained on ice as we worked our way through a lot of new information.  It was not information that had been packaged by a social worker for "adoptive parent training".  It was raw, unfettered and not really meant for our consumption.  Blogs, unless otherwise stated, are simply writing exercises for the purpose of helping the person writing to feel better.  Nothing is creepier to me than adoptive parents who go on blogs, where people who have a personal experience with adoption are discussing their own reality, and then try to argue with them about the life that is theirs to own.  Isn't that the definition of truth silencing? But I did read and learn and allow myself to be changed.  Sometimes I argued with the screen. Sometimes I let go of my own silly, little dreams of how my family would act or look. Sometimes I nodded my head in vehement agreement and then read aloud to Brian or the dog.
Four months later we decided to go ahead with adoption.  Everything had changed though: our adoption plans, our parenting plans, our vocabulary, our social and political opinions, and most of all our hearts and minds for the experience of adoption - as it feels for our children the people being adopted - had changed.

If you are also a PAP and you haven't yet really waded into the pool of "the other side" please consider respectfully learning from them.  They have so much to teach us about what our children and their first families may feel in the course of the adoptions we are all equally involved in.  There is so much to be learned about how we can create the best families possible. We all know that there is no manual for parenting but adoptee blogs have become my CliffsNotes.  What is the good in having someone tell us comfortable lies while we starve to death?  I would much rather hear unpleasant truths that will feed my family.
So this is a THANK YOU to all the brave first families, adult adoptees and outspoken adoptive parents who have gone ahead and now share their stories with all of us!  Thank you for giving us a fighting chance at being more understanding parents.  Thank you for scaring us to death and then reminding us that it's worth it.

 - Rosemary

Friday, February 6, 2009

Are You Kidding Me?

Everyone else is talking about this so I might as well too.  It goes without saying that I am disgusted and horrified by the above photo of pop-sensation, Miley Cyrus, openly mocking not only the Asian guy sitting right next to her but Asians everywhere.  What is even more disturbing though is that her "camp" has not yet responded to the myriad complaints of racism.  It's as if Miley, her parents, her P.R. reps and her fans are all trying to think about it and decide: "Ummmm,  is this really racist?" Of course, like everyone else, I want a public apology and major groveling from this spoiled brat but mostly I want to take the opportunity to think about this.

Who is that poor kid sitting next to her?  Why did he feel he needed to be a part of this social moment?  I hope to God that our kids have  the confidence and self-respect to walk away from peers who would treat them this way.  I want to raise children who feel comfortable in their own skin and know that they have a right to both personal and racial respect.  However, I also want to tell my kids that I understand how hard it is to stand up for something of value.

A couple of years ago I was at a bridal shower.  The most civilized of venues, right?  Wrong.  I was shocked, absolutely shocked, when the girl across the table from me started using offensive and discriminatory language.  I immediately spoke up and said, "Excuse me but you are describing some of my closest friends."  Well, the amazing thing was that even though I knew most of the people at the table agreed with me several ladies said to me later, "You made a really big deal out of that." or "You embarrassed her."  I was made to feel awkward for standing up for basic human decency.  To each of them I said, "No, she embarrassed herself and I regret not making a bigger deal out of it."  I was 27 years old when that happened, among many close friends and experiencing the comfort of being in the racial majority.  I still felt the subterranean push to simply keep my mouth shut.  How much more difficult must it be for teenagers, perhaps in a racial minority, who have their social standing on the line? 

How to be realistic about the discrimination and racism that kids, teenagers and adults face without assuming an attitude of futility?  I don't have the answer for that.  I just know that we must speak up and demand better when we encounter the kind of behavior Ms. Cyrus exhibited.  I know we have to model anti-racist behavior for our kids so they can feel comfortable asking for anti-racist behavior from those around them.  I know we should be talking about race and culture instead of assuming that not talking about it is polite.  I know we should be brave even when it's scary.

 - Rosemary

Thursday, February 5, 2009


We have enjoyed the services and research of Ethica: an Independent Voice  for Ethical Adoption for a while now.  We truly believe in the work that this organization is doing.  They are a pro-adoption group who believe that adoption can change the life of children.  However, they also understand that without reforms adoption may cease to be an option for children in the United States and the world over.  

The following is excerpted from Ethica's website:
"It is our belief that the term "ethical adoption services" pertains to more than just the actual act of adopting a child.  For services to be truly ethical, they must involve family preservation efforts,  birth family counseling and advocacy, adequate pre-adoption training for adoptive parents, ethical placement practices, post adoption services which include disruption assistance and the fulfillment of lifelong responsibilities to adoptees and their families."

Ethica has done great work on the Hague Convention, open records for adult adoptees, and safe haven laws.  They also offer a subscription service to receive breaking adoption news from around the world that affect the adoptive communities we have all come to care so much about. They also host a fantastic opportunity, called Ethica 50, to get involved in your own area.

For us the most important reason for supporting Ethica, and other advocacy organizations, is our kids.  We want to make sure our kids see and know, not just hear, that we were more interested in the proper care of children and families that needed help than we were in being parents.  They are going to have enough questions without needing to worry about our motives. So if you're also an Ethica supporter then keep spreading the word and if you haven't checked them out yet give them a moment of your time.  An ethically conducted adoption is the only adoption worth considering!  

 - Brian and Rosemary

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Mantra

Well as you can all tell from my last post.  Life has had me a little crazy lately.  But I am trying to pull myself together.  I had a two day conference to attend all weekend but that's done now. Since Bri was at the hospital on call when I got home last night I just gave myself the evening off.  I laid on the couch, ate Thai food and watched a DVR episode of Private Practice.  Tay Diggs is my guilty pleasure!!

But this morning I'm feeling a little overwhelmed again with everything I need to do.  So I am reminded of the absolutely best Christmas present I got this year!  If you know me, or someone with my personality, then you will understand this immediately.  I'm a worrier, stress out about everything, insomniac, Type A personality who really needs calming people and places.  This is why my husband is my perfect person.  He is the most soothing man on earth.  Anyway, I digress - back to my Christmas present.  I received a lovely copy of this World War II British inspirational poster:

 This has become my new adoption/moving/working/life mantra. Plus, I absolutely love the design!  You can find them at Blue Ribbon General Store if you're interested.

- Rosemary