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, March 30, 2009


We all hit bumps in the road - no matter where we are going - and I appear to have hit mine. This blog is going dark for a while. Best wishes to all those waiting. We'll see you when the lights come back on.

- Rosemary

Friday, March 27, 2009

Six Months!

This weekend is our six month-a-versary of being on the list. On September 28th, 2008 Holt received our dossier and we officially went on the list at number 29. Of course we started this process 15 months ago but I'm not even going to let myself think about everything that went wrong with our homestudy. So anyway, we're going to celebrate a little because six months is a big deal!!

I really can't believe we made it this far. I remember mailing that package and thinking "It's happening"! I was so excited to finally really be waiting but at the same time I couldn't believe how much further we had to go. Now we've survived 6 months of it and sometimes it seems as though it flew by and other days I'm amazed the house is still standing and we're both still alive. For those of you not surviving an adoption, yes, it's been a bit stressful.

So for everyone who just started the process: As impossible as it seems, time will eventually pass.

And for everyone ahead of us: Let's get those late-late-late March referrals in and find out how much we've all moved up this line!

May the next six months bring each and every one of us closer to our children,
- Rosemary

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am not Paper Pregnant

"Paper Pregnant" is an interesting phrase to me. More interesting I suppose is it's popularity in the adoption world. I don't say it or use it as a description of my mood or wear t-shirts with it blazed across the front. But I know girls who do. Lovely, sweet, caring women who don't feel uncomfortable with it. Let me say right up front: I AM NOT JUDGING!

But give me a chance to explain why I don't go there. I understand the impulse. Really I do. There is a "secret society of pregnancy" that adoptive moms get left out of. There is an implied and sometimes obvious lack of respect for anyone who isn't giving birth. I have had condescending remarks made to me and outright attacks on my womanhood. I once had a family member announce that a woman's I.Q. goes up ten points after she becomes a mother. She then gave a long pause, looked around the room, allowed her gaze to stop on me and said, "Well, only if you're pregnant first." BTW - that information is completely untrue!
So after we, the incredibly un-pregnant adoptive moms, experience a couple of moments like that I think we begin to build up an almost feral need to protect our "nesting" experience. We are becoming mothers. Some of us for the first time! We too are expecting a child. We are going through a huge amount of stress not to mention physical, emotional, and financial drain. Instead, at family dinners everyone is busy talking about Susy-Q's latest sonogram. Isn't that kind of what it boils down to? Everyone just wants their due? We all just want a little credit and sympathy for our own life experience? All of our pregnant friends and family members are getting theirs and many people cannot understand what the adoption experience means so we cleverly label it "Paper Pregnant" so they can grasp that we're facing parenthood.

However, the reason we don't use "Paper Pregnant" in our household is because we do all want a little credit - that's the human condition. And I'm not pregnant. She is. Button's other mother is pregnant and I think she deserves the credit for it. I have no idea what her life has been like but I bet nobody threw her a baby shower. I bet she has not had it easy and I bet she has had more than her fair share of unpleasant comments from friends and family and maybe even strangers. So I don't want to take even a shred of her credit. She gets it all.

Adopting isn't easy but I don't want a t-shirt that says "Paper Pregnant" because in my opinion those words don't go together. Someone very real is very pregnant and she will suffer the loss of a child because of her circumstances. I think whatever hits I'm taking during this time are minor in comparison. I know it isn't much but I guess it's a gesture of solidarity with her. It's one way that we're showing our respect for both her pregnancy and our adoption. They are two completely different things and we shouldn't have to masquerade our process as something it's not just to get a little support. We feel very grateful for all she's doing and the irreplaceable bond she's creating with Button during this time and I would never try to assume any of that relationship by valuing my own experience more highly than hers.

- Rosemary

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Name Game

Brian and I have finally made the decision not to use our child's name on this blog. Please don't assume that we think people who do that are in the wrong because WE DON'T!! It's nothing remotely like that. We just want to give our baby and his biological family as much privacy as possible. Lately we have been getting a lot of hits from around the world, which is really fun and we're thrilled to share our lives but we know that our child may not have a personality that feels comfortable with our level of openness and we want to respect that.

So exactly how are we going to refer to our child in blogland for all of time? Good question! Obviously we can't say "him/her" because that would be maddening and we have no intention of saying "our child" forever because that sounds like we're suffering from an ownership complex. So we've been searching for some kind of moniker that would reflect a specific baby or toddler who we don't yet know, have never met or seen and are as yet unaware of their sex. Hmmmm...

Have you ever noticed how you can take a plain old shirt, nothing special at all, and dress it up in a hundred different ways just by adding buttons? You can take the same shirt from simple to fancy to silly just by changing the button. Well, Brian and I are all ready. We are just waiting to find out how this family is going to look once our own unique Button is sewn on.

We're still trying to decide if we're going to post pictures of Button once he or she arrives. For now the jury is hung on that one.

- Rosemary

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Learning Thai

Even though this is officially "our" adoption blog most of you will have noticed that Rosemary does almost all the writing. My contribution here is mostly as a copy-editor. I'm not really a creative writing kind of guy but our adoption is very important to me and I think about it a lot.

One thing I feel more confident about, and that I'm trying to do more frequently, is blogging about Thai language and culture in as much as we know (but we're learning more every day). It's tremendously important to us that we become conversant in the language and culture of our children's birth country. This not only gives them as strong a sense of their Thai heritage as two farang can offer, but lets them know that it's not just them - it's us. We are a Thai-American family. Not in the traditional sense, certainly, but I think in a very real way nonetheless.

We've both been to Thailand before - Rosemary many more times than me - and picked up some tourist Thai. Rosemary has a big leg up on me there too, but we've really set into a schedule of studying Thai now. One of my more ambitious goals is to become literate in Thai, too. For those of you who don't know, Thai script looks like this:

So, that seems pretty impossible at first. But I'm actually making some progress and can sound out the yellow and red sign above (I don't know what it means, but I can pronounce it - I think). Since many of our friends in the Thai adoption community are also trying to learn some amount of our children's birth language, I thought I'd share some resources I've found recently:

- A great cheap source for the popular Rosetta Stone software here - $85 for Level 1 (it's only available in level 1 for Thai, but that's still about 60% off!)

-Strangely, Northern Illinois University has an excellent Thai program. They have many of their curricula on their website. This site includes a link to Maani, which is a traditional Thai grade school reader that has been made into an online interactive tool to learn to read Thai. I highly recommend it! is another great resource with lots of materials for beginners through advanced learners and has a great interactive speaking Thai-English dictionary. has lots of good recorded dialogues and stories to attune your ear to the tones and practice your pronunciation.

-For those of you who, like me, need a textbook sometimes to explain some grammar or pronunciation rules, there is an excellent one online here.

-And finally, practice makes perfect! Flashcards for learning the alphabet and vocabulary can be found here and here. I've also found a great tracing sheet for practicing your Thai letters - if anyone is that into learning Thai (I tend to get obsessive), please email me and I can send them to you.

I hope these websites will be helpful for some of you who are as interested as I am in this project of learning Thai. It's a great way to pass the time while you're waiting for a referral or TA! I'd like it if we could share educational resources among ourselves as Thai adoptive families. If anyone has more great websites, please email them to me, and I'll share them here. Who knows - I've even been thinking of making a little "Thai I learned this week" post. Good luck!

- Brian

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shop Like A Pro!

In one week we are going house-hunting in VA. and in slightly more than 2 months we are moving. This is all very exciting! Who doesn't love the thrill of moving to a new town and discovering fun new shops and restaurants? The uncertainty of finding fresh places to get involved and meeting new people! OK - lots of people don't like it but I'm not one of them. I'm almost always good for the road. The life unlived and all that stuff...

However, you may be asking yourself "What does that have to do with shopping?". Well, the deal was that I would restrain myself and not buy a bunch of stuff for our child which we would then only have to box up and move cross country. Needless to say it was Brian's idea because I would have loaded every last rattle and bib into a covered wagon and defended it from Indian raids if need be just so I could start shopping now.

Anyway, poor old Brian is about to be in some serious trouble because I have been doing research for almost 18 months now and as soon as that moving van pulls out of the driveway I will consider myself to have a a sealed, signed and stamped license to Baby Shop. It's sad to see a man buried alive by his own words like this. ;-0

I am a savvy shopper though and I love nothing better than a SALE! The trick though is finding what you want, from the stores you want before it's all gone. Well, about a year ago, my dear friend Michaela sent me the coolest little invention ever and just in case all of my fellow baby shoppers were not yet aware I thought I would share the glory of:

Shop It To Me is a "sale searcher sight" that allows you to choose the stores you frequent most! They also allow you to change your stores as often as you want. So for instance, I have been receiving sale updates on Women's Fashion for the past 6 months because of Brian's heartbreaking moratorium on baby shopping but as soon as we get moved I will broaden my updates to include baby stores. Then after we get our referral I can go even further and tell it to update me when "little girls" or "little boys" items are on sale.

When you get your "shop it to me salemail" updates they will show you pictures of the sale item, tell you the store, it's original price and sale price and give you a link to get more info or buy online if you prefer. I got the most fabulous pair of in-season green corduroys for $15 just because this service alerted me that they were going on a crazy 1 day sale. I tell you it's genius! I can't wait to see what they do to all that ridiculously overpriced kids wear. Brian is hoping against hope they can do BIG things!

Happy shopping!
- Rosemary

Friday, March 6, 2009

Real Family

What is a real family? Like most people, I don't like the expression "real parents" because it is so disrespectful to the entire adoption process. If I am the "real" mom then that implies that our child's first mom is in some way less authentic. On the other hand, if the biological parents are the "real" parents then the assumption is made that adoptive parents are fake.

The very nature of adoption guarantees that our children have two very real, very authentic sets of parents. They may also have multiple siblings from multiple unions and I can't begin to count how many possible grandparent sets they may have if divorce is involved. Why do any of these people need to be the "real" ones? Why can't they all just be who they are and bring their own offering to the banquet? I have two siblings. I have never once thought of one of them as the "real" sibling. Why should our child be forced to create an emotional ruling about which of his dads is the "real" one? Is it just me or does that seem like not only an impossible task but also an incredibly banal waste of time?

My friend Jessica over at her fantastic adoption blog recently said, “Forever family” seems redundant. All family is forever. All children may not live forever with their biological families, but Baby G’s birth parents are forever his birth parents. The adoption does not and cannot change that." I really loved her expression of this idea! Why do we get so uptight about these monikers and work so hard to create phraseology that will make our families sound... better? Why isn't the truth enough? Some people think that sincerity is confusing and scary in adoptive families. I guess I think that is the nature of almost all truths. We have to face up to that before we can heal though.

So what the heck are we going to tell our kids??? Well, Brian and I wonder about that a lot but I guess we'll just tell them the truth in the plainest possible terms as nearly as we understand it. I suppose I might say something like this:
"I am your adoptive mother. That makes me your mom completely. She is your biological mother. That makes her your mom fully. You have two mothers. That is a good thing but I am sure on some days it will seem very difficult. Why don't you tell me how that makes you feel?"

- Rosemary

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another Top Ten

Unless, you've been living under a rock you have surely noticed that a very real buzz word lately is "volunteerism". Our new President has taken great opportunity to remind us that we all need to be doing our part to care for our communities - locally and globally. I think we can all agree that doing more to serve the world around us can only be a good thing. If you consider yourself a person in need then doing your part can only mean it will come back around to you. How Wonderful! So in the interest of more "non-adoption related distractions" that can help us kill time, feel happier and do a little good - allow me to compose another list. My "Top Ten" possibilities for volunteering. Several of these are related to families and kids in need which should be important to everyone touched by adoption!

CCI - Canine Companions for Independence. Brian and I spent almost two years training a labrador retriever to become a companion to the disabled. We had been married for less than a year when this opportunity came into our lives and I can honestly say that it is one of the most amazing efforts we have ever put forth. It was Extremely Difficult to raise a puppy from 8 weeks old and then give him away but I can also tell you that IT WAS WORTH IT! We still get notes and cards from the family who received our dog as a companion to their quadriplegic son. This is a great way to help kids understand giving and gratefulness and we intend to raise another dog for the organization when our kids are old enough to participate.

Suitcases For Kids - When I think about this organization I cry. That's all there is to it. These people are begging for your old, broken, new, and lightly used carrying devices of any kind. Why? Because a lot of foster kids in America don't even have a suitcase to move their clothes in when they are shuffled from one home to another. Good grief. Please donate!

The Orphan Foundation of America - is an amazing organization started by an adult foster child who has achieved success and now reaches back to help others. This organization has developed an entire support system for teenagers who are aging out of the system and have no one to help them. How much help did you or your kids need at 18? They have a very cool project where you can send a handmade red scarf in with a care package and they will make sure all their kids get a "love box" at Valentines Day. So for all my fellow knitters out there - sign up!

Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator - If you love animals and are terrified by the way our environmental destruction is ruining their world then this is for you. You can become certified to help wildlife in need. What this means is that when someone finds a baby squirrel to be nursed back to life or a deer grazing in the city because their habitat has disappeared a professional will bring this animal to you and you will know how to care for it. Requirements are different in all states and certification is updated every two years. I think people who do this are the cat's meow!

Read This to Me - This is an amazing organization that connects volunteers with people in need from everywhere in the USA. The whole thing takes place over the phone and you can do it from the ease of your own home and wearing pj's. They only ask for a few hours a week and a working phone and internet connection. This is literally the easiest volunteer work I've ever heard of.

Global Servants - This is the organization I have worked and volunteered with for many years. They run a fantastic girl's rescue home in Chiang Rai, Thailand. They offer a beautiful child sponsorship program, team trips to the home and other opportunities to be involved. They also have a book for sale called "House of Grace: A Girl's World" which is a fantastic view book centering around a day in the life of a child at our group home. Through the donation of an amazing sponsor, Sonnie Mayer, they are able to make 100% of the proceeds from the purchase of this book go back to the home. Plus it has tons of darling pics of Thai kids!!

Gardening for Urban Youth - Programs like this help urban, endangered and plain ol' city kids to understand the food they eat, our environmental responsibilities and the pleasure in living and working with purpose. These programs are available in almost every area. The one I have linked is simply a sample from one region to see what it might entail but, if your are interested, please see what is available in your home town. This is a great way to spend time with a child in need and teach a much needed skill to the next generation!

WellMOM - I truly believe in the preservation of the original family. I think this is a goal most adoptive parents share. Adoption should only be considered as a last resort in cases of life threatening poverty, mental illness, addiction, neglect or abuse. As future adoptive parents, Brian and I consider it our duty to actively campaign on the behalf of single moms, teenage parents and other families in need of support. With more help and love, less children and first parents will need to experience adoption loss and adoptive parents will have less fear of inadvertently being involved in an unethical adoption. Please consider helping in your region! This link is a sample opportunity only.

Guardian ad Litem - The opportunity to become a trained volunteer on behalf of scared children who need to attend court is truly an honor. If you get involved in a guardian ad litem program you will be helping children to understand how the court system works and why they are there. You are given the opportunity to help children find safety and support. This is a sample link but if you are interested please find out how to be a part of this program in your state.

Ronald McDonald House - Because not everyone has a healthy child. It's just that simple.

If you still aren't inspired to think of what you can do (and commit to it) then please enjoy this video!

MySpace Celebrity and Katalyst present The Presidential Pledge