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

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Looking Back - Choosing Thailand

While trying not to think too much about our waiting, I had some time to reflect on our decision to adopt from Thailand and the amazing links afterwords.

We had the hardest time selecting a country from which to adopt a child. When the whole world has children needing families, it's hard to just pick one country! Because we wanted an older child between ages 3-7, we were told to go international since the US kids in that age range were hard to find as "adoptable." So then came hard choices for us such as: how much could we afford, how long could we afford to be in another country and away from our jobs, what type of interracial family could we parent, how long could we emotionally wait for a child. These were so hard and so stressful to answer only a year ago. Reading books, researching agencies, and looking up country requirements was intense. We prayed long and hard on this issue, too. The best info and support I found actually came from the Yahoo! chat groups of people going through the same things or those that have already gone through the process. I cannot thank you all enough for your advice.

In the collective information, it seemed we had to make a choice between the "chicken and the egg" theory as to whether to choose a country first or an agency first. So then I switched gears and signed up for tons of info packets from agencies...another overwhelming decision...more hard praying. What helped here was our friend, Wendy, who recommended her social worker, Deb, from Special Children for our homestudy. Deb gave us lots of info on other agencies and countries. Then we got several waiting children photo listings in the mail. The one from WACAP seemed the most interesting, detailed, and had the most children listed with correctable special needs. We requested a CD of info on 10 children, without knowing which countries they were from. After viewing that CD, it pretty much sealed the deal for us with WACAP and the country choice. When 7 out of the 10 children we chose for more info came from Thailand, it was pretty clear where we would be going on our journey. And, of course, seeing Ray's smiling face and the name connection with my grandfather seemed like a match made in heaven (and probably is thanks to all that hard praying).

Since then, we've connected online with tons of families adopting from Thailand...all of whom are helpful, prayerful, and resourceful...a few of whom we got to meet at the Thai Fest in Madison last September. We've come to know our pharmacist so much better since he's from Thailand and even visited the TRC for us back in February when he was there on holiday. His ex-wife and kids live in Thailand and they may help us around while we're there. My in-laws' banker is also from Thailand and she has expressed interest in helping me in language transition. My cousin has a friend who is teaching in Bangkok and can meet us when we're there. I just switched jobs in May to a company who manufactures a good portion of their business for a company in Thailand (can you believe that?!?). And our new pastor that arrived this month, just hosted two exchange students from Thailand. I'm SO amazed...especially living in a city of little over 10,000 people...to find these connections! God truly works in mysterious ways.

So, to those of you still in the country/agency decision phase, take heart and know that God is listening and will guide you with a shining light on the path you choose.
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.

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