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, April 30, 2009

What's on TV?

For everyone who parents with a careful eye to the TV (or no TV) and for everyone else who feels that you really can't go wrong with as many logged hours of viewership as possible - this clip is for us all. Because no matter where we stand in the constant war of "mom vs. cable" we probably all have the same sunshiny feelings about a few kid's shows: Sesame Street, The Muppets and Mr. Rogers brought to us courtesy of Public Television. Because no matter what our kids are watching we certainly can't deny that the images have power.

This clip of Mr. Rogers pleading for funding before the US Senate, on behalf of children everywhere, is moving to say the least. His commitment to taking a little bit of decency into a child's life every day is truly a beautiful thing:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Global Village

I'm always amazed at the people who I hear saying things like "We thought about domestic adoption but we didn't want the birth parents involved so we decided to go the international route." Maybe it's because I've spent so much time abroad but don't people realize that the rest of the world has internet too? Phone lines, cable tv, and airplanes have arrived in every country that has signed the Hague treaty which means that as adoptive parents we all need to understand the phrase "global village" in a new and personal way.

Internet Cafe and bookstore in Bangkok Shopping Mall

One of my favorite essays from Adoptive Families was an adoptive mom's story of how 15 years after bringing their son home from Korea her phone rang and a lovely young woman's voice explained that she was their son's biological mom. She had immigrated to America and now lived in California. Would a reunion be possible? Another blog I read tells of a Chinese-Canadian girl's struggle to reunion with her entire first family in Taiwan via a computer voice translator which takes her words and turns them into Mandarin. Cool, huh? And complicated.

I think both of those stories are amazing in that they are examples of two children from international adoption who are having the opportunity to meet their parents! I truly believe that these stories are going to become more and more frequent for families formed through international adoption and I rejoice in it. Every child has a right to an understanding of their genetic (and cultural) identity.

Brian and I hope that we can make contact with Button's other parents. We hope that we can develop a relationship with them early on while Button is still young. In our ideal world there would be no earth shattering moment in Button's twenties when he would have to go out and find his biological parents. We would love to exchange emails, pictures, letters and visit whenever we are in Thailand. However, we know that adoption is about as far from an ideal world as you can get. We understand that they may not want relationship with our family. They may not have left any contact info. They may not be able to face the loss.

Sometimes I try to imagine what it would feel like to loose a child to relinquishment. I imagine what it would feel like to be in contact with his adoptive family. I do think I would want contact: pictures, phone calls, a chance to explain things when he was older. I also think that I would be really jealous of his mom. I might even hate her a little. I think there would be a lot of days when I was simply incapable of talking to any of them. It might get better with time but it might just get worse. Contemplating these ideas is awful but I make myself do it so that whatever the future holds for my relationship with Button's other mother I can hold my arms out with fullness. Button deserves that and she deserves it too.

- Rosemary

Friday, April 24, 2009

Vocabulary Test 101

I've been thinking a lot about adoption phraseology lately. Even though so very much has already been said about this stuff I'm really taking some time to think about it for myself. Why? Because words matter. They are arguably one of the most important parts of our lives. For example:

"I do."
"I have faith."
"I love you."
"To serve and protect."

Those are just some famous words that mean something to all of us but in reality the little words that float around every day (and they way in which they are said) are much more important than those biggies. I have never really seen the point in sugar coating things. A lot of people might call me blunt. However, I am not tactless. It is important to say truthful things gently but to say them all the same.

I feel like a lot of adoption lingo is designed to sugar coat obvious truths (and lies). What's wrong with being blunt? Remember, I am not talking about being tactless and hurtful. I'm just talking about plain language. I also think it's important to keep age appropriate language in mind. I might have a certain honest discussion with my teenager at a very different vocabulary level than when she was two. I'm certainly not proposing we tell a 4-year-old they're the product of rape. However, I grow increasingly concerned that giving our kids a song and dance full of empty adoption-ese jargon that has no meaning outside of our carefully constructed mini-society isn't going to help them understand their losses any better.

A survey was done some years ago in which they passed out a vocabulary test to elementary age children from fundamentalist, Christian homes. All the kids had to do was define the terms on the paper. The terms were the everyday jargon used at their church and in their homes. Vocabulary like: "Born again" "Washed in the blood" "The Salvation of the Lamb" "The Mercy Seat of God". Only the oldest children (6th graders) scored higher than 30% correct. But after the written test there was an oral exam and when the children were asked to put the phrase in a sentence almost all of them could use the vocabulary correctly. That is a classic example of speaking to children through the vocabulary of a sub-culture that the parent has chosen. Much like a child repeating a dirty word, kids can parrot their adults all day long but it doesn't indicate they understand what it means.

So the next time we're tempted to explain our children's questions away by bantering around an adoptshop slogan such as: "real mom," "Forever families," "Grown in my heart not under it," "Tummy mummy," "gotcha day is my favorite holiday," "adoption is another word for love," and my own personal horror "chosen not adopted". Lets ask ourselves, "Do my kids have any idea how to define these ideas on a short-answer test?" If they can't then maybe we need to use some plain language. It may not look as good on a bumper sticker but it might just clear some stuff up.

- Rosemary

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dream Dust

As I'm sure every waiting parent can bear witness with, when you're in the middle of an adoption there are days when it just feels impossible to keep going. Other days, it seems as if faith swells up inside you and carries you to a place of peace. A gentle golden light assures you that you will become a family in exactly the right time, which is neither early nor late, but will arrive in simple perfection.

As a PAP, I'm doing my best (but frequently failing) to keep my mouth shut when the days are bad (oh so bad) and singing my thanks when the days are good. After all, I want to put something positive out there. I want to be as encouraging to others as they have been to me because I do truly feel that we are all in this together!

Today is a good day for me so I thought I would share something that has meant a great deal to me on this journey. It's one of my favorite poems written by a man who had a lot more to overcome than bureaucratic red tape, extending wait times, and incomplete fingerprints. Hailing from a mixed race family, he had to face ultimate racism during a dark time and still he wrote this:

"Gather out of star-dust
and splinters of hail,
one handful of dream dust
not for sale."
- Langston Hughes

This dream of a loving family for our child has been gathered out of many difficult moments, most especially for Button, but it is not for sale.

- Rosemary

Friday, April 17, 2009

Baby Dream

So I had a baby dream a couple of nights ago. It was one of those dreams that I feel only my fellow adoptive parents can fully appreciate. You know what I mean: weird yet kinda funny and probably not at all what pregnant women are dreaming about.

I was sitting in this giant auditorium jam-packed full of women. There wasn't a man in sight. Then a woman, dressed in a Jacki Kennedy pink suit and pill box hat, walked onto the stage and started talking into the microphone and everyone got so excited that they all started whispering amongst themselves. I became really panicky that I was missing important instructions. I wanted to stand up and scream, "Be Quiet! Don't you know what the social workers will do to us if we don't hear the rules?" But I was too anxious to say anything.

Suddenly a bunch of ladies, dressed in scrubs, stepped out from the wings of the stage - they were all carrying babies. The boy babies were dressed in blue and the girl babies were dressed in pink. The speaker started on the front row of the auditorium and began handing an infant to each woman. First a girl and then the next seat would get a boy. Then a girl then a boy. Everyone was crying and cooing and cheering! Today was the day we were getting babies!! But I couldn't relax I kept looking around for Brian and thinking how awful it was that he was missing this. Where were all the husbands? The baby-giver woman was getting closer when the lady seated next to me said, "Rosemary, look at the rotation. You can tell that when she gets to you you're going to get a girl!" When I looked up at the woman's face I realized, in that dreamlike way, that it was fellow blogger Yoli (who I have never seen) so I said, "But that can't be right. They told us to expect a boy."

Then the baby-giver handed me this tiny pink wrapped bundle and I just felt this sense of amazement like I've never before experienced. Holding my new daughter I turned to the person I just knew to be Yoli and said, "What should I do now?" and Yoli said, "Oh well, you want to get pre-paid college right away."

Adoption nerves? Table for one!
- Rosemary

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here We Go Again

As much as we hated to take a break from this space and all our blogging buddies we really did need to. We have had a very hard couple of months. You can probably all relate when we say, "You know those seasons in life where it seems that every single thing you lay your hand to breaks into a million pieces, the shards fly in your eyes and then days later as you finally attempt to clean it all up guys in hazmat suits rush in and inform you that the pieces are radio-active and you've been contaminated." Well, we've been having one of those seasons. Everything that could possibly go wrong has.

We just needed to put everything that wasn't completely necessary on hold and pull focus. We needed to slow down and give everything we had to getting into a better place. But here we are, thanks to the support of our friends and family, and God's unending love so we're happy to be back at the old blog: typing away into cyberspace. Please allow us to thank all of you who left encouraging comments and sent us kind emails and messages. We truly do appreciate our internet stranger-friends. So many of you have become dear to us even though we don't officially know you!

We're glad to be back. We missed you guys.
- Rosemary and Brian