Friday, July 01, 2011

Asher Update

First, a note to my other Holt Thai mamas who are "waiting to travel" (that's what they call the torturous time between referral and homecoming): we got an update on Asher yesterday, but I heard that only a few files came through so far. The rest are supposed to come by the end of next week. :( I hope this post isn't pouring salt on your wounds/aching hearts!
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Yesterday we received the quarterly update for Asher from March, when he was 6 months old. He seems to be doing well! He weighs 9 kg, which yahoo conversion tells me is about 19 lbs. The reports are brief, but it says that he rolls over, smiles, coos, raises his chest high off the floor. Although I take all personality reports with a grain of salt (what are they going to say? He cries all the time?) the social worker reports that he sleeps well and is a content baby.





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I put the new pictures on our private blog, which you can find by CLICKING HERE. The password is the same--my maiden name, all lower case letters. When you go over there, you'll see that Asher is totally rocking a bright PINK shirt and camo pj pants! I love it. We cherish every little detail of these pictures, and I'm sure we'll recount this one to him for years to come.





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Some people have asked us about the details of Asher's current care and/or why he's older than some internationally adopted kiddos. It's a repeat for others, so feel free to stop reading if you already know this! One of the reasons we chose this particular program in this particular country (other than a strong leading from the Holy Spirit!) is because of the work of Holt Sahathai Foundation (our agency's partner in Thailand). When birth mothers come to them, believing they are unable to raise their child, HSF works HARD to see if the birth mother or her family actually CAN raise the child. Often children are put into a foster family while the birth mother/parents receive support and training to become more stable. If it's a financial issue, often children can be enrolled in Holt's child sponsorship program, when somone from the states pays a small monthly amount--just enough to cover the basic expenses the birth family cannot. To date, 80% of the women who come to HSF have decided to keep their baby.




As a part of the Hague Adoption Convention laws, it is my understanding that before relinquishing a child for international adoption, an effort must first be made to find a family in the child's birth country willing to adopt. Only after family and in-country adoptions are not an option are the children available for international adoption. That's why HSF's work is so large, yet the US program is so small. (The waiting list hardly ever gets longer than 15 families.) Also why babies are often 9 months old before being referred. (For more info on Holt and HSF's work in Thailand, click HERE.)


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The other benefit of HSF's work is that they actively recruit loving foster families in Thailand to care for the babies while their files are being processed. Many times, it is a family with older children who bring in an infant for a year or two. Asher's foster family lives in a rural area a couple hours north of Bangkok. In the home is a mother, father, two older sisters (7 and 10) and the maternal grandmother. Be praying for all six of them! From what I have read, there is a significant difference in a child's ability to attach and bond as a toddler when he has already has the opportunity to bond with one or two caregivers in a home environment, rather than an orphanage-style home. I'm sure with two older foster-sisters and being the only baby, he's getting lots of one-on-one attention and love! The hard part about this scenario is that Asher will grieve the separation from this family much more strongly than if he were in institutionalized care, sharing the caregivers with several other children. We are preparing ourselves for one very upset and sad little man, for an indeterminate length of time. However, we are greatly encouraged by our friends who have gone through this before us, who fill us with hope at the resiliency of young hearts and minds, and the power of unconditional love, educated parents, attachment tools and loads of patience.



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PS: If you do not know the password and would like to see the pictures of Asher, feel free to email me at brazenlilly@gmail.com.

5 comments:

mamakallen said...

Holy BIG boy! I can't believe he already weighs 19 lbs! He's a growing boy! I'm glad to hear he is doing well. We will keep praying for all the kids to bond now and later. Thanks for sharing your update!

Becky said...

Your last paragraph put tears in my eyes. They are so little and don't understand, right away, that they are going home to a loving family. Such a bittersweet experience for those little ones. Mr. Asher has no idea how much you guys already love hime!

Mrs. Cushing said...

I can assure you that they are spoiling him rotten in that foster home...especially his sisters. Lily ruled the roost in hers! They all adored her, but she got away with murder. She was the princess in that house!

The update reports are actually very accurate. Everything they said about Lily was extremely thorough and true about her personality and likes/dislikes. Those reports really helped us know what to expect vis a vis her transition and adjustment to us.

Wait until you see the report they give you when you get there that lists his schedule, favorite foods (as in Lily's case, I'm guessing his list of favorite foods might be substantial! LOL!). It's pages long!

He is so stinkin' cute...
Wendy

Catiejoyce said...

LOVE the update and thank you for explaining everything with Holt so well. I usually refer people to yours so I don't have to explain things all the time! ;-)

I am praying for all our little ones as they adjust to us. I know it will be hard for awhile, but LOVE will win out and they will adjust to all of us. I am confident that God works in our hearts as well as theirs. ;-) Glad I have you to enjoy the journey with!!!

Gem said...

9kg is amazing!! they are taking such good care of him, Conrad was only 9kg when we met him just before he turned 2 years, such a good idea to have foster families rahter than institutiosn, just shows the difference between our boys care in those two figures.