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

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Country of My heart

If we were seriously wealthy, I would buy a beautiful mountain home on the Maekok river in northern Thailand. I know a lot of people want Spain or Italy for their dream vacation villa but Thailand is it for me. A couple of years ago we were on the river in long-tail boats headed to the Karen elephant camp and I took a picture of this place. Now, I can't stop dreaming of it.

In packing for this move, I found a box of old journals I've kept through my many trips back and forth from Thailand. I was so interested in the record of my early culture shock as it turned to delight in the course of these travels. In one entry from my first trip I wrote "I am amazed at how so many of my friends have fallen in love with Asia. They are dying to backpack Vietnam and Laos. Wow. Give me Europe any day. Every second is just hot hot hot and there always seems to be some inexplicable dust that arrives to coat everything."
In an entry from a different journal, which I was keeping a year later, I wrote this: "It's my second day and jet lag is still pretty strong but it's wonderful to wake up early before the morning cool has all burned off. I went up to Maenoi's kitchen and begged some fried rice. It was so good! After the girls leave for school I'm going to walk down past the wat and out through the rice paddies. I've missed that view."

The country of Button's birth is so special to me. It is a rich and varied culture. The people are full of laughter. It is a place of patience and love. Or at least that is what it has meant in my life and I'm grateful for it. In an experience I'm sure many of our fellow adoptive parents can relate to, I frequently feel angry when I see the Thai people being portrayed in the media as nothing but prostitutes and drug dealers. Its frustrating when someone asks where we're adopting from and upon hearing the answer they automatically say something like "Oh my God, just think about the life you're rescuing them from." I feel compelled to defend Thailand. I feel the need to defend our child's race and national heritage. I feel like it's our job to speak up for Button's other parents who don't deserve to be judged.

I could list so many facts in explanation of why Thailand is a wonderful country. They are an emerging economy in a region that has struggled terribly. They have a wise and gentle king, who just happens to be the world's longest ruling monarch. They bravely resisted colonization by Western powers. They have many excellent schools and hospitals and their national respect for the arts is truly commendable. However, the most important thing I think I can say to anyone, but most especially to Button, is simply: I love Thailand. I am proud of Thailand and I hope to make Thailand proud of me.

- Rosemary

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Response...

Most AP's in our generation are much more informed about adoption and it's repercussions than our parents or grandparents were. Of course, some AP's out there are just blindly stepping into the abyss and I really have no further comment on them. But many of us are working hard to change the landscape of adoption for the better. Devoting time, effort and resources to fight unethical adoption practices. Most of us are deeply concerned about creating a family through ethical means and are only content to work with agencies that reflect that commitment. Brian and I did research for more than 6 months before we chose an agency. We had a laundry list of requirements for the ethical comportment of our adoption workers. Yet, there is a strong anti-adoption movement and these people have a lot of thought provoking things to say. For me, their blogs, zines and chat rooms have been a valuable place to learn about what is and has been morally indefensible and dysfunctional in adoption. I value what I learn there.

However, that being said, we still chose to adopt. At this point in time, some people are really wondering why? But some people won't even do us the courtesy of asking. They will simply assume that we feel entitled to another couple's biological child because we are white, middle class, Americans. I don't feel entitled to any child, biological or adoptive, period. I feel that all children are a gift (not a requirement) for any family blessed to do the hard work of raising them. We fully understand that people suffering from desperate poverty, in conditions that seem to Westerners to be untenable, raise happy healthy families every day! In fact, in many cultures, these families are run by single moms who are not ostracized or endangered by their communities. We fully understand that bringing a child to America from the country of their birth does not necessarily provide them with a better life. "A better life" is a broad and subjective statement that can not be measured.

We chose not to entangle ourselves in a domestic adoption because we wanted to make sure that we weren't involved in pressuring or coercing a woman to place her child for adoption. Although, I want to be perfectly clear in saying that we fully understand that not all domestic adoptions are like that! Instead, we decided to complete an international adoption of a child already in care. We don't yet know who our child is or why his parents felt they needed to relinquish him. However, I do know that it's important we not make assumptions about their motivations, lives or circumstances. I respect my ignorance of their situation by keeping my mouth shut.

Some people will also assume that we chose to adopt internationally because we wanted to make sure we wouldn't have any contact with our child's original family. Nothing could be further from the truth! We are hopeful about having as much contact with our child's other mother as she will allow. We believe that our children have an inalienable right to a full and functioning understanding of their genetic identity and that is not something Brian and I can give them. That is something only our kid's first family can offer. But we intend to give them our full love and active support in strengthening those relationships, if possible, their whole lives through.

Finally, there are always people who say, "Adoption simply shouldn't be happening. We should be doing more to support those families who are suffering from extreme poverty, teenage pregnancy, social injustice, war, famine, and hatred. We should be fixing those problems so that people don't have to make adoption plans for their children!" My response to that is: YES!! That is exactly what we should be doing. We can call it "The Extreme Poverty, Teenage Pregnancy, Social Injustice, War, Famine and Hatred Relief Society. For short though, we'll just print "The E.P.T.P.S.I.W.F.H. Relief Society" on our business cards.

All cynicism aside though, I understand the point behind that statement and I agree with all the passion in my tender heart. I am working, both as a volunteer and in my professional life, to rid the world of as much injustice as possible. However, the boat has sprung a leak and I don't think we can bail water fast enough. So while another generation of kids grow up in extreme, third world poverty, under institutional care, we decided to adopt, create a family, love unconditionally, and allow our child to flourish as whatever amazing person they want to be. To parent, would be our great honor and joy, and we hope we can bless our child's life because they will bless us forever by simply being.

Do we think this system is perfect? Certainly not! Do we think that love will fix all the issues inherent in adoption? Nope, not a chance. Do we think that we are qualitatively better parents than their first family because we are white, American, Christian, or financially solvent? The very question is reprehensible to us and the answer is a resounding: NO, NEVER, NOT A CHANCE!

So what do we think?
I think that the old Leonard Cohen song sums it up -
"Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

- Rosemary

Monday, May 18, 2009


Brian and I have recently become interested in the hilarious, bizarre and sometimes heartwarming world of vlogs. There are a lot of interesting people out there who are putting together miniature films, as it were, and sharing them with the world. I'm late to this trend, of course, but it's an entire tiny cosmos that revolves around your favorite "directors" most recent creation, how well designed it is and what it has to say. My abilities don't reach that level but I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm happy to lurk there... for hours. Yes, I'm a nerd.

So anyway, I am a new fan of Shyaporn Theerakulstit, who is a super cute Thai-American guy living right here in NYC. His vlogs are funny, odd, and intelligent. I love what he has to say about race in America (when he talks about that subject) and, best of all, I love his ridiculous, silly spoofs on everything from Blockbuster films to roommates. Please enjoy this interesting and funny vlog about media representation of Asians. You can scroll to the bottom to turn my music off.

Friday, May 15, 2009


A couple of weeks ago we had some dear friends visiting from out of town and they were thoughtfully asking about the status of our adoption. As I finished explaining our expected timeline my buddy said, "So is your kid already born?" I thought about it for a second and replied "Yes, he was probably born sometime recently." It was a very powerful realization in an oddly casual moment.

I think I always felt peace for Button as long as I could think of him as being with his mom. As growing inside her and being cared for by her in that inimitable fashion. But now I had to realize he had entered a very different time. I suddenly thought "My baby, my Button, has already been born and most likely already been relinquished for some as-yet-unknown-to-me reason. He is somewhere in the limbo of the system without the care of permanent parents. He is, right now as I breathe, trapped between the provision of his original mother and me." Then I panicked. I just couldn't seem to quit thinking about it - worrying about it - obsessing about it. Even though I know all the facts. I know that Holt runs an amazing program; the other families who have brought their children home say nothing but positive things. I know that the Holt foster families are reported to be fantastic! My brain knows all of that. But what does that information matter to me when I have a child somewhere on the other side of the world and I cannot care for him???

I know I haven't spoken much about my faith on this blog but I'm going to now. I have spent a lot of time praying in the last few days. I have been in real need of comfort as I faced these fears for our child. I read my Bible and asked the Lord for mercy but I couldn't seem to find anything that would bring me solace. Then, as I was clearing out my desk to pack for this move, I found an old 3x5 card that I had stuck in a drawer. I had copied this on it: "Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow.' - The Talmud." As I stared at that card an image came in my mind of an enormous angel bending low over a sleeping baby and whispering "Thrive, Thrive".

I know it's just a silly imagination but it has brought me a great deal of peace. I do believe that God is watching over our child and us and his other parents during this very difficult process. Even though it takes a lot of faith to make such bold statements, I also believe that He has placed all the right caregivers in Button's life so that he may thrive. Even if it has to be the unseen and unknown the Lord will provide for him. After all, Bangkok is called The City of Angels.

- Rosemary

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Failblog in Thailand

I thought you guys would find this humorous. Over at Fail Blog, a hilarious site that showcases funny examples of everyday failure, they gave us this strange beach sign from Thailand:

I think it's interesting that the water is orange and the boats are blue. I also think it's weird that their version of why alcohol and water shouldn't mix involves making out with fish instead of drowning. Hey, to each their own, at least they give a warning.

- Brian

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What Day Is It?

Tiny Confession to make - I refuse to go to church on Mother's Day. It's one of my hallmark rules for living a happy life:
1.) Always bake with real butter.
2.) Never date a drummer.
3.) Childless couples should not attend church on Mother's Day.

After they pass out the flowers, candy, buttons or other gifty shpeil to all the moms walking in then they will ask all the moms to stand for a special blessing. Sometimes they even do a little contest for the oldest mother present and the youngest mother present. Then the minister will speak about the power of praying mothers. After the service, people will say, "When are you going to have your baby? You look ready to be a mom to me!" Brian will gently but firmly lead me towards the exit sign.

Do I think churches shouldn't recognize mothers? No! Parenting is the hardest job in the world and they deserve the love. Do I think churches should handle it differently? No! It makes 99% of the people happy and it's important to make so many people feel so good. Do I think that we aught to be expected to attend? NOPE. So I liberated us. Instead I go get a manicure and then Brian and I eat at this super divey (yet delicious) place named "Dukes" where I can assure you no one takes their grandma for brunch. After that we go see a matinee.

Here's the odd thing though. A couple of years ago I found out that I was enjoying Mother's Day. I like the way we un-celebrate by getting away from everyone else and doing stuff we don't normally do. I like having the time with Brian instead of being jammed up against strangers at the only full Sunday morning service all year. So ironically, this is just one more unexpected gift that the long adoption wait has brought us: our very own Mother's Day tradition.

I can't wait to celebrate our family, this amazing thing that Brian and I created, by skipping church with Button, taking him out for greasy-spoon yummies and then off to see the latest cartoon movie. Who knows? Maybe even next year, kiddo.

- Rosemary
P.S. A great big shout out to my old friend and roommate Dee who called to wish ME a happy Mother's Day and said, "your baby may not be in your arms yet but you are working so hard to prepare for parenthood. You are definitely an expectant Mother!" Her thoughtfulness and validation of the adoption process really blessed and encouraged me!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Asian Baby Dolls

Like most of the educated world I am a big fan of kids having positive representations of their own race. I think they have a right to toys and picture books and role models on Sesame Street who look like them. The professionals tell us it is healthy and we can all see how that is obviously true. As mixed-race families we have to work that much harder because the biggest role models our children will ever have, their parents, are not the same race as them. When I think about that for too long it blows my mind. Actually, it terrifies me.

I know that sometimes we all wish the craftsmanship of these dolls was better or different but hey most white dolls aren't authentic looking either. Anybody really looked at the face of a Cabbage Patch recently? I'm not saying that my kids won't own white dolls. In fact, I hope that we'll own white, black, latino and asian dolls because who made this rule that we could only play with dolls of our own race? The idea of that makes me uncomfortable especially when my family isn't even composed of just one race.

In its most recent issue Adoptive Families did an article on some of their favorite dolls representing diversity. So here is a partial list of some of my favorite Asian dolls that are presently on the "TO-BUY" list. What are your favorites and where can we buy them? BTW - you can find all of these at Live and Learn.

This crib doll is simply beautiful and may make it into our first care package!

I think this "learn to dress" doll is really fun.

This is probably my favorite one design wise. I love her sweet face.

This is a prissy little lady for the girly preschooler!

The hip skater girl for your 4th grade demographic. Mom's last ditch effort when they're almost too old for dolls!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Word from Brian

I haven't written lately, so I thought I'd make one of my rare contributions to the blog. The last time I wrote I was talking about our efforts at learning some Thai. Let's just say I know about as much now as I did then. Like Rosemary said, we had a hard month or so, and I couldn't quite bring myself to hit the books. But now I'm recommitted to the effort, and I'm going to be getting around to my "Thai word of the week" posts soon.

But I recently had a baby dream of my own - my first really memorable one. The dream didn't have much of a plot, but did have some very vivid images. I could see us with our son, and on our way to meet a daughter. And then a very clearly remembered vision of my holding her. I guess that's technically two dreams now in favor of our having a girl but we honestly just want our child, whoever he or she is. So, I had no dialogue or other people, or strange "baby rooms" like Rosemary's dream, but I woke up feeling very peaceful, and optimistic that everything's going to work out just fine.

I'm really starting to feel anxious about getting our referral. The wait has been interminable, as those of you who've adopted or are waiting can attest. I guess we've still just got time left to go, though. More time to work on our Thai, right? I'm sure that as we get swept up in the summer, and moving, my starting a new job, time will really start to fly by and we'll be there before we know it.

But for now, I'm missing you, Button, wherever you are.