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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Button Pictures!!

Last night we received our final update of Button before traveling. WOOHOO! We leave the country in 1 week. I absolutely cannot believe it is finally here. We are running around with a million things left to do and loving every minute of it. Being busy for this reason is the most wonderful thing on earth. But I know none of you care about any of that - "The pictures, for heaven's sake, Rosemary, get to the pictures!" So without further ado, here's Button:

Isn't he adorable? Of course, we know you all agree! For all of you waiting parents who are curious about these things, the progress reports have a bit of basic info about height and weight, body measurements, eating and sleeping habits and any special needs that Holt may be keeping an eye on. Some of the reports may take the time to comment on personality and disposition and some of them don't. Our report this time said that Button is cheerful and active and makes many funny gestures and plays harmoniously with other children. We are incredibly grateful because these are far and away the best quality pictures we have ever received of him and they are only 2 months old so hopefully this gives us a clear idea of his little face (and clothes size) as we go to meet him IN JUST ONE WEEK!!! That means so much to us since children change on a near daily basis.

On cloud nine,
--Brian and Rosemary

Monday, February 22, 2010

Feeling the Love

This weekend we have been so touched by love from such dear people. Of course, one never expects love or generosity but there are those in life, who we are closest to, that carry a mutual level of required give and take. Everyone has family members and life-long friendships: the college roommates, bridesmaids and the dude you can call collect from Mexico who will fedex you a pair of mittens, $200 in unmarked fives and a tin of chocolate pudding - no questions asked. These are the relationships that keep us all going on a daily basis and the sort of people who usually come around with baby gifts. And we cherish those just as much but doesn't love melt your heart in a different way when it comes from unexpected places? This weekend Button received some of the loveliest gifts from people we would never have expected to think of us.

The woman who shares our duplex, who we occasionally cat sit for, showed up with this fun book for Button and the note said, "Welcome home! I can't wait to be your neighbor, Love Anne."

Over the past year I have been able to renew a friendship with a girl named Juliane who grew up in the same church as me in Orlando. Our parents are friends and she has followed our blog and sent many encouraging notes. She and her husband have been on their own adoption journey and have recently brought home their beautiful daughter Caroline, who Juliane named for her mother. Button received a fantastic package with scads of bath toys from Juliane and Caroline!

Then as if he wasn't drowning in riches, Button got the loveliest clothes all the way from SOUTH AFRICA! The magical, mysterious Mireille, my beautiful fellow blogger of Funky Doodle Donkey fame, sent the absolute cutest little outfits (complete with hat) from local South African designer

With a grateful heart,

Monday, February 15, 2010

World Elephant Polo Association

Most of the time I am gloriously happy with my life. I have Brian and Button and a content spirit so the whole thing works out pretty well but I have to admit to you, dear internet strangers, that occasionally I happen across something that just makes me itch for a different set of circumstances.

Allow me to introduce you to the ladies of the World Elephant Polo Association. I am not making this nonsense up! These adventurous women (and men) travel to exotic countries, don spiffing uniforms, climb onto the backs of elephants and play polo (on very big fields). Yes, the whole thing does reek of colonialism and while I normally would eschew any club of such an obviously "exclusive" mentality let us remind ourselves that since this is my FANTASY sport we don't need to worry about any of that. My whole life, I've been looking for an activity that would allow me to dress fabulously, keep a pachyderm as a pet, and exercise as little as possible - I absolutely cannot believe I've finally found it. The girls of WEPA actually practice for their matches by riding on top of slow moving Jeep's and hitting soccer balls with their giant mallet-thingies. Doesn't that sound hilarious? This is the sport for me!!

This is a youtube compilation video of some of the highlights from Thailand's King's Cup elephant polo Tournament in HuaHin. Very Interesting!

Now all I have to do is get freakin' super rich, buy an elephant (best part of all), hire a trainer, fly all over Asia for "the season" and get in with the classy WEPA crowd. I'm sure they would just love to have me. Who else is up for it? As long as we can get 6 ladies we can form our own team!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Can this be happening?

In three weeks we will be in Thailand. What a completely stunning notion.

We will have survived the trip. Which in case you are our curious our round trip schedule includes: a 45 minute flight to Charlotte, a 1 hr layover, a 7 hr flight to LA where we spend the night with my dearest friend Brittany to break up the trip and rest a bit (fatigue is VERY BAD for my seizure threshold). The next morning we board an 18 hour non-stop flight to Bangkok.

We have purchased our plane tickets. We have made our hotel reservations. We have emailed old friends in Chiang Rai and told them to expect three! We are making the much dreaded trek to Ikea this weekend. Button has a pediatrician's appointment for the week after homecoming. We have our first post-placement social worker visit scheduled for two weeks after we get home. We have booked the cat-sitter. The Duchess is picking us all three up from the airport and bringing us home to a warm, food-filled house!

The arrangements are all made. Now why do I feel so completely unprepared and confused? I woke up at 4:00am last night. Stress insomnia; my old friend. Before we got married I practically stopped sleeping all together and lost ten pounds for no other reason than forgetting to eat. I wasn't scared to marry Brian - Brian was my person always had been - I just didn't know how to be married. That's how I feel now. I'm not scared to be Button's mom because he is already my son. I'm just afraid I don't really know how to do the job justice.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Everyday Blessings

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
by Myla and John Kabat-Zinn is a very interesting book. This book was recommended to me more than a year ago by Sara Barris at the APC Adoption Conference and I have been trying to get around to reading it forever. Thankfully, forever finally came! This is a very unusual book but I'm glad I read it. I felt it helped me and I think it will enrich our experience of parenting.

Some of the main ideas expressed by the Kabat-Zinns are the importance of daily meditation in the parenting journey, the quest for non-judgemental mindfulness, and devoting oneself to the act of parenting purposely instead of simply carrying through with the motions. I found a lot of inspiration in this book and in the Kabat-Zinn's clear and deep love for their grown children. The book also covers practical daily issues of parenting like bedtimes, nutrition and schooling. Here is a quote from pg. 182 to give you a general idea of their philosophy, "Mindful parenting simply calls on us to pay attention to what we are doing, including the choices we make, and to examine in an ongoing way the effect our choices have on our child. It involves a continual inquiry into what we are doing and why."

Everyday Blessings starts off slow and I nearly gave up on it. It truly took about 60 pages for me to find my way into a real rhythm with this text but once I got there it was worth it. I think the authors have a lot of great ideas and an interesting expression of them but, in my opinion, they could have used a different editor to cut out a lot of bulk that weighed the concepts down and made it a longer book than was needed. I wouldn't recommend this book to people who feel negatively toward eastern ideology.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How We Are Formed

As you all know, I think it is extremely important to learn from the experiences on all sides of the adoption triad. I read as many blogs and forums as I can to be aware of how original families, other adoptive parents, and adoptees are feeling about this huge adventure we are all on. All of these people are my guides and the only way we can learn and change for the better is by teaching each other. There is no one else to do it for us.

I've been interested to come across comments like this a lot lately: "In order to adopt a child you must first destroy the biological family." As a pre-adoptive parent, in my particular circumstances, I would like to say why it makes me uncomfortable to have this idea broadcast as a blind corollary and universal truism.

Of course, I know that there are a lot of adoptive parents who are more than willing to work with unethical agencies and play their part in coercing young/uneducated/poor women into giving up their children when it is not in the best interest of the original family. The "Juno-esq" adoption scenario of meeting a woman who has had no counseling or legal representation, showing a giant house and empty nursery, making her feel bad for not being among the working wealthy and saying, "How sure do you think you are that you're going to give us your baby?" is a completely unethical way to conduct an adoption and should be illegal. In fact, I would say that behavior would definitely fall in the category of an adoptive family building itself on the destruction of a biological family. That doesn't mean that the first mom would have turned out to be a saint or that the adoptive parents are evil I am merely referencing the starting point. However, there are many, many adoptions the world over that are conducted ethically and with the best interests of the child in mind.

Since I started working in my field, none of the kids I liasoned for in US foster care were sent there on the request of an adoptive family, who purposely destroyed the first family so they could sweep in and scoop up the kids. In the past decade that I have been involved in a girl's rescue home in Thailand, I have seen countless children placed by their biological families. None of these children were brought to our gates because an adoptive family convinced/paid/manipulated the desperate mothers. In fact, at our home, none of the girls are even eligible for adoption. And yet deflated mothers still arrive and leave tearful children behind. These women all have good reasons that are mostly beyond the comprehension of our safe, secure, American lives. I know a lot of these families and I admire and love them. Their life choices have been heartbreaking and it sickens me when I hear self-absorbed Westerners saying things like, "It's not that bad to grow up in some poor village in remote Asia. Why don't those women just keep their kids?" They are doing everything to keep their kids safe and trust me when I say that the struggles of their lives defy the limits of my vocabulary or the scope of most imaginations.

I do not think there is a blind corollary between adoption and first family loss because I see children loose their biological families constantly but rarely do they acquire the benefits, and admitted difficulties, of an adopted family. So I guess how I would change the prior statement, ""In order to adopt a child you must first destroy the biological family," in discussing the topic with our son (at an appropriate age) would be to say:
"Many kinds of adoptions exist but they all have two things in common: 1) An original family was disrupted, for any number of reasons, but we all grieve that loss forever. 2) An adoptive family is formed and we love each other unconditionally just as we are."

-- Rosemary
(Please note that I am NOT an adoption worker and the home I am associated with DOES NOT facilitate adoptions!! It is simply a rescue facility for girl's endangered by starvation, abuse, and child prostitution. Children can find safety and possibility at our home and we encourage and help maintain relationships with safe members of original families. I do NOT work in the adoption community in anyway.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Stroller

So in case you can't tell, we are those annoying "consumer reports" people who feel the need to read everything about said product before buying it. We also check public opinions on chat rooms and cross compare various safety features. Yes, by "we" I do mean Brian. The other day, someone who does not know us very well, overheard us discussing a recent baby purchase and (in this extremely condescending tone) said, "Oh my gosh, you guys are like really anxious first time parents! Trust me - by the third kid you'll just be buying whatever is on sale." I looked at Brian and thought "Hmmm, only if that third kid comes with a lobotomy." This is not new behavior for "us". I would love to be able to say that this has something to do with our swelling parental love for Button but sadly... this is how "we" bought our vacuum.

Enter the stroller purchase! I had only three concerns 1.) It had to be parent facing to encourage bonding. 2.) I had to be able to lift it (I'm weak like a smurf). 3.) I had to love the design in every way. Brian had a host of other concerns that I won't bother detailing here because I never understood them. I will say this though: As much as I tease him, I am grateful to the man for making some semblance of order out of the good time parade that is my life!

So the stroller shopping basically started and ended like this:
Roses: Ooooooh, I really want the Stokke Xplory stroller.
Brian: That is an insane amount of money and totally impractical in every way.
Roses: I love the design!! It's so tall and I'm so short that Button and I will practically be face to face!
Brian: It has terrible fold down and very few abilities.
Roses: I love the design!!!
Brian: It is a financial QUAGMIRE!

So after multiple rejections on both sides Brian finally came up with this little beauty:
The Mutsy 4Rider. Ladies and gentlemen, a compromise was reached! It is a very cool (mostly unheard of) stroller that has great fold down, parent facing options, removable wheels, fantastic maneuverability, and the website has all the usual accessories available for purchase. I can personally assure you it is pretty light for a stroller. They all weigh a ton, in my opinion, but I can lift this one so that's saying something.

My favorite feature is that the child's seat sits pretty high which moves Button closer to my eye-level. Brian's favorite feature is that the handle bar moves in and out at the touch of a button so we can each use it at a comfortable height. This is important for us since he is more than a foot taller than me.

So anyway, if you are on a stroller hunt of your own - good luck! If you get the Stokke send me pictures of you and your tot taking it for long walks in the park. I know the Stokke (especially the yellow one) will be happy in a park...

**A special word of thanks goes out to my parents, Button's Papa and Gai Gai, who lovingly bought us our stroller as a baby gift!! Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Crib Bedding!

The crib bedding arrived! I have been waiting forever for this stuff to get here so it's a major deal. First of all it took me months to decide on what I wanted and I annoyed everyone I knew by switching paint colors and refusing to decide on a "theme", colors or bedding until the last minute. Hence, our unfinished nursery now in the final weeks before leaving to pick up Button. If you are waiting to adopt a child learn from my crazy and try not to do this. I spent hours one afternoon torturing my very patient (and talented) Aunt Karen who looked at swatches of everything with me and I still couldn't decide. Then the angels sang and trumpets blared and I saw this by Argington:

I fell in love with the clean graphic print and the bright colors. Plus, Brian and I both loved the fact that it was gender neutral. Beside all that, there was something about the design that kept whispering memories of Thailand to me. Maybe it's the mosaic of tropical flowers or the bird silhouettes flying across the pattern but it says home to me.

So now that it's all here I better get off this blog and hurry up and get the kiddos bedroom finished!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Miss Poppy

A couple of weeks ago I found this adorable book, Ms. Poppy's Guide to Raising Perfectly Happy Children, in a little shop here in town and couldn't resist it's cute title. After reading it I was glad I picked it up on impulse. It is an easy to read, enjoyable book with lots of encouraging tips for managing toddlers!

The book was written by Elaine Addison, a professional nanny with more than 18 years of experience. Not only does she give helpful and direct advice for dealing with the various developmental stages but she also has some hilarious and quirky stories about the different families she has worked for over the years. The book is divided into 3 basic sections: 6 mon - 1 yr, 1 yr - 2.5 yr, and 2.5 - 5 yr, so you can easily skip to the section that applies to your child now. Each section covers nutrition, recipes and "getting them to eat", games, books and toys, health, sleep issues and discipline.

What I liked the most about Ms. Poppy's Guide was that it had very specific hands-on ideas instead of just loose philosophies e.g. if it urged you to play a game with your child before lunch it gave 3 examples and showed exactly how to do them. Some books simply say, "Have more fun with your toddler." Having spent years as a nanny myself, I know that no matter how obvious these ideas may seem the well of creativity does run dry eventually and it always seems to happen on the very day when the kids are sick and screaming and mom didn't get any sleep last night. On these occasions it is so very lovely to turn to a book you trust and pull out an idea for entertainment. These fun crafts and games are the caregiver's curriculum and it really can pull us through the day. I'm photocopying and stockpiling my "lesson plans" as we speak and Ms. Poppy has a boodle of them so I give it 4 stars.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Hyphen is an amazing magazine, dedicated to Asian-American interests, that Brian and I recently started subscribing too. Here's how they describe themselves on the "about" section of their website:
"Because it shouldn't be hard to find substantive and well-researched articles about complicated issues that affect Asian Americans in a single magazine devoted to us. Because we're tired of reading celebrity profiles in publications that tell us what to buy, where to travel, and how to eat. Because we're bored with first-person essays about discovering our roots. Hello, can we stop talking about our roots, which we found a long time ago thank-you-very-much, and move on? Can we talk about people doing interesting things because they're interesting, not just because they're Asian American and always making statements about their identity? Because we feel excluded when reading only about New York and California — what about Texas and Minnesota and Kansas? Because we'll yawn if we see another interview with the same three Asians the mainstream approves of. We want to hear about emerging artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, and musicians. Because we're Asian American, not Asian. Because when we scanned the newsstand, we couldn't find ourselves. Now we can."

This is a magazine designed for adults about adult topics. They have fantastic art, music reviews, interesting interviews and a quirky sense of humor. The writing is solid and we both enjoy reading it. However, we know that some people may be wondering, "Why are you getting this magazine? You're not Asian." A lot of people may feel like that is the sort of thing we should wait and just order for our kids when they are old enough to want to read about "Asian culture" themselves. But we think it's important that our kids see us reading magazines with Asian people on the cover. We think it's important that our kids see us reading books written by Asian authors. We think it's important that they see us listening to CD's by Asian artists and attending movies with Asian performers. We think they deserve to have that be a part of the fabric of their lives. They shouldn't have to demand it as a part of an emerging teen identity. It is their race and it should be respected in their home.

It's equally important that we don't bring home books, CD's, movies, etc, with a sense of false enthusiasm. We're trying to educate ourselves about the wide variety of options out there so we can find racially diverse representations of our particular tastes. We want our choices to be authentic! We don't want to give the impression that in order to fit in as Asian-Americans our children will have to loose their personal identity in support of some wider racial cause. We need to show them that they can find what they are looking for and they can find it represented by their own race. If they don't, then we hope they will be confident enough to become that representation.

We truly like Hyphen - it's an incredibly cool magazine - and it's giving us a great education in the pop culture of young Asia-America. So until we are old, stupid parents "who don't know anything" and have to down grade to the Reader's Digest we are going to enjoy reading Paste and Hyphen because we are an Asian American family and because we like music and literature.

- Brian and Rosemary

Monday, February 1, 2010

The panic monster

Wow! Where have I been? It's crazy that my last post was 9 days ago! We have been so busy and yet I feel like we're just not getting enough done. We were in Seattle for part of that time and then we had some WONDERFUL friends in town for part of that time but where did all the rest of it go? I truly do not know. My friends and family would tell you that my spare moments were probably devoted to the study of panic. I've been doing a little bit of bathroom crying and some late night phone calls to the best friend. I've also been eating a lot of carbohydrates.

Hey, guys, do you have any idea how scary having your first child is? It's incredibly frightening! When you really stop to think about it having children is absurd. It's the end of sleeping late and spending all our money on ourselves. It's the end of afternoons full of quiet solitude and good music. It's the end of romantic weekends. I have an almost visceral dislike for the kids I see running in the mall. Why would any of us do this? I call the best friend to double check my sanity.

Then I'm putting away his little cups and plates in the cabinet and it's as though I really notice their size for the first time. Such tiny spoons. I washed all his socks and they hardly seemed big enough for real, live feet. I look at his pictures again. This specific little face will watch Sesame Street in the mornings with me. Kids are snuggly and they do say cute things. I call the best friend back to confer. She reminds me that babies smell good too. Anyway, Button is our kid and that makes it different. I don't know why but it does. Plus, I'm not going to let him run in the mall.

As long as Brian and I are together we can do anything and as long as we are going to meet Button everything is perfect. Outside of that does anything really matter? No. Not at all.