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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Three Months Home

It is truly amazing how fast young children adapt to their surroundings.  Ray understands almost everything we say to him and can respond to most things in simple yet understandable English.  He is also very good with directions and knows exactly which roads take him home, to grandparent's houses, to swimming, to shopping, to school, to friend's houses, and more.  I am sure this gives him a sense of comfort in knowing where he is so he can feel safe.  And, as long as we give him enough timely reminders of the day's schedule, he flows through the day without too much complaint.  He has gotten closer to his grandparents and cousins enough to spend a few nights away from us even.  Plus, his eating habits are getting less picky and more open to trying different tastes.  Foods that he wouldn't touch weeks ago he now asks for (tomatoes, oatmeal, beans, etc.) and things that he ate all the time (bologna) he no longer wants.  Perhaps his favorite nighttime book "Green Eggs and Ham" has had something to do with that!

We are finally getting on a regular sleep/wake schedule and discipline is starting to pay off.  Thanks to SuperNanny's advice, the "Naughty Spot" has helped Ray understand that we're only disciplining the behavior and not telling him that he's a bad boy in general.  It gives him time to think about what was done wrong (and hopefully try not to do it again) and sincerely apologize.  Of course, we still have to set him on the spot 10-15 times before he stays put...but we are told that will lessen the more he understands that we will not give in.

Parenting is not getting any easier but is at least a little more predictable.  The hardest thing is to blend different family traditions into one and create our own family dynamic and a unified team.  All our free time and energy seems to be reading every parenting and adoption bonding book out there and discussing what is going right and what is not working and needs improvement.  Too often emotions get in the way of constructive discussions.  Then again, we have to remind ourselves that we're new parents and most people with new babies certainly don't have it all figured out in only three months nor do they have to deal with 8-year-old issues right away.  So we try to move forward on a positive path.

One prayer constantly running through our heads is: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

Ray starts 3rd grade on September 7th along with trying Tae Kwon Do at the YMCA.  Scheduling and homework are going to be our next challenges.  Stay tuned!

Ann and Bryan


Jay and Chandra and Penny Regan said...

Oh, I can relate to your feelings so much. Parenting IS hard! And it is normal to feel overwhelmed. We had to cut back on a lot of activities just so that we could focus our energy on the hard new task of parenting a teenager. You're doing great! It will get easier with time. Hang-in-there!

Ellie said...

Sounds like you're busy being new parents!!! How is school going? That certainly adds a new element to parenting! School is tough for any parent, I can't imagine jumping right in when your child is still learning about family life, English, etc... Jacob was 5 when we first got home with him. We put him in preschool, held him back from kindergarten that year so he could adjust. How is school going for your family? Hope all is well with you!

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.