Monday, March 31, 2008

why Thailand?

People may wonder why we are drawn to adopting from Thailand, especially considering the long and relatively tedious process. There are lots of reasons and I will try to share those in future posts... but there's one that feels very highlighted to me right now. Thailand carries the dubious honor of being called the sex tourism capital of the world. You, like me, may have never heard of sex tourism, but yes - it is a real thing. And a great threat to the children of Thailand. You see, sex tourism hardly just involves adults. Imagine the threat this could pose to the orphans there. There are lots of reasons why we want to adopt from this beautiful nation, one that has much to be proud of. But it would be untrue to say that this not so beautiful fact hasn't played a large part for me. To read more about this thriving industry in Thailand, click here.

t-shirt musings

Last night I was working on some ideas for a t-shirt fundraiser for some of our adoption expenses. This was my favorite design that I have come up with so far...Sean has been trying to help with feedback but that has made it a bit more trying. It's not like I know graphic design or anything. Here are my weak attempts at it.

This would be across the front of the shirt:

And then this would be big on the back:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

baby steps

Yesterday we mailed in our application to our home study agency. This is all beginning to feel very legit other than the major financial obstacles that stand before us. Well, what else is new? God owns it all anyway, and He longs for this child to have parents even more then we long to be them. So I am choosing to have faith that He will make a way. Slow and steady...

Friday, March 28, 2008

bump in the road

I probably could have waited for our first bump in the journey to come a little later but no such luck. Just after I turned in our application I headed out of town for a girl's weekend in NYC with Sean's mom, sister, aunt and close family friend to celebrate Nancy's 60th birthday. As soon as I got back in town I found my email inbox full of posts from the Yahoo Thailand adoption forum that I am a part of with this heading : "Holt not accepting new applications". Gulp. Talk about timing. It seems that just as I was turning in our application, Holt was putting their Thai program "on hold" until the end of the year due to a huge influx of applications (mostly people moving over from China due to the long waits there.)

It only took my a few seconds to rebound and check what other agencies had Thai programs. We had already gone through this process but had quickly settled on Holt both because of it's stellar reputation and because we like that it was a Christian agency.

There are only a few agencies that do Thai adoptions (it is a really small program to begin with - usually less that 100 Thai kids are adopted into the US each year).

I started making calls and things were looking really bleak. Some other agencies had closed their programs for the same reason as Holt. Others were talking about a mandatory letter of infertility. I had never heard this before and felt funny about it since I have 2 biological kids! I was feeling really confused and discouraged. It was looking like Thailand was not going to happen. Both Sean and I were feeling pretty sad about it. I asked him what to do with our ceramic white elephant nad he said to smash it as good closure. I didn't really appreciate that response.

We talked and prayed about it some more and decided to move ahead with Ethiopia. The next morning when I was going to turn in an application to the agency that we liked best for Ethiopia, I just couldn't do it. I decided to call the Thai agencies back and ask some more questions. I could lay this all down, but not before I knew the door was really shut. This was the direction that we felt God was leading and so I had to keep going until I was sure that we were to move in another direction.

I called back WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents), my next favorite agency after Holt, and talked with a woman for awhile. She explained that the Thai government doesn't really understand why people would want to adopt internationally if they were able to have their own children. She said the letter of infertility helps them understand the parents desire to adopt internationally. She asked if my pregnancies were difficult and for the first time I felt really grateful that they were. I also let her know that I had my tubes tied because my pregnancies were so hard. She said that if I got a letter from my doctor explaining this - it would be all that we needed. Isn't it crazy how something that has felt like such a curse can really be a hidden blessing?! God truly works in mysterious ways!

So...we just turned in our application with WACAP. We are so excited that it seems as though the door to Thailand hasn't closed after all. We will tread lightly, knowing that things can change so quickly...but for now we are rejoicing in what might be - a Thai child of our own!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Back in the saddle...

Well - I haven't written here for quite awhile. I realized that we have along road ahead of us and I couldn't let this process consume my thoughts, especially at this point, or I was never gonna make it through this sane. So...I laid it aside for awhile until we were able to actually move forward some. And I just finished turning in our application to Holt International. I am really excited that we are official. Or almost official - we still have to turn in tax forms, photos, a notarized something or other....I can tell that we have quite a paper trail ahead of us. But it's what waits on the other side of that trail that gets you through it. Just wanted to check in and say that we are at last, officially beginning the process.

Even though you probably haven't been born yet - I can't wait to meet you sweet baby!