Welcome - ยินดีต้อนรับ

Hello all family and friends!

With great excitement, we started our adoption journey in August 2008. We are now first time parents through adoption of an 8-year-old son from Thailand. We have chosen to build our family through the adoption of a son from Thailand because this is where we feel God is leading us right now.

It took 1 year and 9 months to bring Ray home and it was totally worth it!

We appreciate all of your love and support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Ann & Bryan

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thai Connection

I found out today that our pharmacist is from Thailand. Who would have guessed that we'd find someone in Door County from the same country we're adopting a child from and who is more than willing to help us with cultural and language transitions. God must really be guiding us through this journey with his helping hands!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thai Fest

We had a great time at Thai Fest on Sunday in Madison at the Olbrich Gardens. It was a little rainy and wet but still interesting. We got to see Thai dancers, musicians, a traditional wedding ceremony and check out the ornate Thai pavilion surrounded by lovely gardens. We ate some spicy Thai curry dishes and met some wonderful people who I've gotten to know via email and Yahoo chat groups. It was inspiring to see other adoptive families with their Thai children and know that it will happen for us too some day.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Home Study Visit Complete

Things went VERY smoothly yesterday. In fact, they went so well that Bryan was almost worried it went too well. I guess he needs to worry about something. I'm very happy with how it turned out. Deb was very nice and, since she knows Wendy Will and the Erickson side from being a regular Shallows Resort guest, it felt like she already knew a little about me. She interviewed us for 2.5 hours about our lives, our childhood, our values, and how and why we want to adopt and raise a child. Then the last half hour we gave her a tour of our house and finished filling out some paperwork with her help.

So, now we need to get physicals and have the doctor fill out specific papers. Then we'll need to start filling out immigration paperwork and cross our fingers that the government processes it in a timely manor. She said its taking about 4-5 months when it used to take 2-3 months. New regulations have made it more difficult to adopt internationally. It's really unfortunate, but we're willing to take on the challenge of waiting. We also need to send in our old passports to be updated...but that shouldn't take too long.

In order to place a "hold" on a specific child, we also need to fill out a Parenting Resource Plan that is quite elaborate and will need some heavy research on our end. It's things like childcare plans, ESL options, special needs resources in schools, child counselors in the area, etc. It makes me wonder why new birth mom's aren't required to do these things...after all, the information will be useful.

Anyway, I think our fears were unwarranted and there really was nothing to worry about with the home study process. It will take our social worker, Deb, about 3-4 weeks to write up her findings and then send them to our international agency, WACAP, for their review. We have to do 18 hours of education on parenting an older adopted child and I'm looking forward to that. The more prepared we are, the better. Then its on to another set of paperwork called the Dossier to be compiled for the Thailand government's review. We'll hopefully have all this finished by the end of the year. Then it's a waiting game. Feels like, hurry up and wait!

So there you have it. Thank you all for the contributions and for your prayers! We really appreciate all your support and love!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Home Study Surprise!

We've just found out today that we can move our home study to an earlier date so we can get the whole process in motion faster to be considered for a specific child who has caught our attention. This means our home study is going to be THIS SATURDAY!!! Yikes...that's fast! We're excited and a little nervous too. Keep good thoughts coming our way and we'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Paperwork Race

We learned today that the child we've registered interest in with WACAP's Promise Child program had another family register interest and they are slightly ahead of us with paperwork as their home study is this week. I'm hoping to get ahold of Deb at Special Children tomorrow to see if she can come sooner than our originally scheduled appointment of Sept. 27th. Cross your fingers!
Why are we adopting internationally and not domestically?
While we think adopting domestically is extremely important, our hearts are drawn to the waiting children in other countries. Some of our closest friends and relatives have adopted, are adopted themselves, or are planning to adopt internationally. This has been a wonderful experience for them, as I am confident our adoption will be for us.

Why are we adopting from Thailand?
The number one reason is simply...that's where our son is living right now. Also, the Thai people are extremely laid back and friendly and the adoption process is very straight forward in Thailand and has been around for decades so there should be no surprises or corruption. After researching our other options, the requirements to adopt from Thailand fit our requirements. If we decide to adopt again, we will reevaluate the different countries and domestic programs.