Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's next?

Thank you, everyone, for all your excitement over our news about Asher! It makes our joy so much fuller when we can SHARE it with friends and family--especially since so many of you have been instrumental in our journey!


*


Many people have been asking the obvious question--what now? So, here's the scoop. After getting the OK from our pediatrician, we called Holt and said we'd like to officially accept the referral. They sent us a digital packet of forms, which I printed off--57 pages, I believe! We've been reading over them, getting notarized, etc. We've also been getting together our first gift bag for Asher. The restrictions on these gift packages are pretty stringent! It can only have an outfit OR a toy, and a picture book and a letter. It all has to fit in a flat, gallon size zip lock bag. We're also going to put in a disposable camera and hope Holt will allow it! We want the foster family to start taking pictures as soon as possible for us to have in the future.


*


Instead of going to buy new clothes, I knew I wanted to send Asher some of Carson's baby clothes. It was very bittersweet going through the bins marked "Boy Clothes: 6-12 months" because Asher is probably already too big for some of them. It was also sad for me that out of this huge rubbermaid, I had to choose ONE outfit to pass on. The rest he'll never wear. So after careful consideration, I chose one of my favorite little polo shirts from when Carson was Asher's age. We included some soft denim shorts for the warm Thai weather. We also included a hand-me-down picture book that is meant for babies. It has spots for 6 photos and is soft and slobber-proof. We put a close-up of each of us, with clear labels to be translated, plus one family photo and a cute one of big brother and sister. Here's the shirt we're sending:
*
After Holt receives our acceptance paperwork, they will send it all, plus our dossier and Asher's file to the Thai Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) Adoption Center. Our case is assigned to a social worker, and she reviews our dossier and our child's file. After the social worker has reviewed the match, she "queues up" the case for formal approval by the Adoption Board. This is called "1st Approval" and it usually occurs about 6-7 months after referral assignment. However, this summer Thailand DSDW (and Holt Sahathai) are all participating in something called Nativeland, which is when Thai-born children who were adopted to families in other countries return to Thailand for a visit. This takes the time, work and energy of all social workers, and we've been told virtually no paperwork will be processed furing the month of July. :( So, I'm thinking 1st approval will not be as timely as we hope. But, we'll cross that disappointing bridge when we come to it!

*

In the meantime, we can continue to carefully plan our every-other-month care package to Asher. We'll wait with anticipation for an update every three months. We'll learn some Thai phrases and educate ourselves as much as we can about our son's home land and culture. We'll pray, pray, pray for Asher and his foster family, that they will show him the love, affection and security that we so long to provide ourselves.
*
I got a neat email from a gal who worked in Thailand--both in Bangkok and the more rural areas. She taught school and worked in an orphanage. K sent me a beatiful description of the Thai people, especially those who are not jaded by the tourist industry in Bangkok! She told me what a compassionate culture they have, and wanted to assure me that our son is being cared for in one of the most wonderful countries on earth--with a culture that highly values children and family. She said the Thai people treat their babies like little Princes and Princesses, so she feels confident that Asher is being loved on something fierce! This was a great thought to begin our 9-10 month wait until we can love on him ourselves!

8 comments:

mikkileigh said...

so excited for y'all! I just wanted to say the insight you received about the people in Thailand, is exactly what we encountered during our stay there. I have never seen so many nice and compassionate people. Even though Bangkok is EXTREMELY crowded, we never once heard one person raise their voice or even act as if they were angry. We could learn so much from them as a people, and the kids seem to be given extraordinary care. Not like in Wal-Mart here where kids are screaming and parents are cussing and swinging. I know it sounds unreal, but I don't remember seeing an upset child our entire 2 week stay, excluding the newly adopted ones at our hotel that were
grieving the loss of their foster families. I hope the time flies by for you. He is beautiful:)

Mrs. Cushing said...

Jen,
You absolutely can send a disposable camera, and I encourage you to do it. You will have pictures of Asher's everyday life with his foster family that you will treasure WITH him for a lifetime.

Holt is EXTREMELY accurate about their wait times. We were told we would have to wait 8 months for travel from referral and we traveled 8 months to the day!

Doesn't make the wait any easier, but I love that Holt is so on top of things!

Wendy

Jeska said...

Yep, I feel your pain. I had a similar tub full of hand me downs and the lightening bolt realization hit me that most are too small or will be! Its great our boys are so close in age. I hope someday they will meet! At Holt camp or elsewhere. :D

Jeremy said...

so excited for you guys!! i guess i missed that you had a referral- woo-hoo!! yay!
definitely send cameras, we sent 3 each time... so worth it, great pics to get developed!!! ;)
I'll pray travel time comes sooner than later!!! Kim

mamakallen said...

Have fun getting together that first care package. It is really neat to know your child will be receiving a package prepared with love :) I hope your wait is on the short end of the 9-10 months until travel!

Jo B. said...

I'll have Asher's Minky Blanket ready for the NEXT care package! We are trying to be patient with you, Jen! During your wait time, keep building that strong family that will welcome Asher when he comes home.
Mom

Gem said...

just thinking, the 6-12 months clothes might still fit, my little one has only just got out of size 0 and he is 2 years old, but he was in an orphanage so might explain, but a lot of the kids I know coming back to Australia are generally little.

Coley said...

<3 I hope we all see progress soon!