Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bangkok radio

Robin and I each have our own ways of connecting ourselves with Thailand. We have both been looking at books, Robin more than me. I like to skim, she likes to actually read (I'm still a recovering readaholic because of grad school).

My interests have led me to learn more about Thailand through news and radio. I read the Bangkok Post every day. It's not only a great way to find out what's happening in Thailand, it's also a good window into how Thailand views major world events. It says a lot about a country.

More recently, I started tracking down Thai radio stations that stream on the Internet. It's interesting for me to see their programming styles, production standards, and listen to the language. Of course I can't understand what they're saying, but you don't need to speak the language to understand how the programming elements are structured.

Is it too obvious that I work for the media?

-Kyle

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Speeding along

We're getting a lot of good news over a very short period of time.

We got a draft of our home study yesterday and read through it. The study is basically done...in fact, our social worker also forwarded a copy to our agency, which already approved it. The agency is sending us the papers we need to get our dossier moving. To have the home study done only a little more than a month after we started it is great! We're very excited.

Meanwhile, we have most of the papers for our dossier ready...we're just waiting for the official home study before sending it out on its approval world tour.

We're under no illusions about how long this process will take, but our speedy progress still feels good. The faster we move when the situation is in our control, the better.

-Kyle

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Reaction

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was planning to tell my co-workers about our adoption this week. I did, and it went well (maybe the cookies helped).

I was prepared for a lot of questions, and I got quite a few. From what I've read, some adoptive parents hold off on telling people about their plans because of the incessant question-asking that can span for years. Personally, I relish the chance to field questions. I like to fancy myself as an ambassador for adoption, and the more questions I can answer, the more people will be aware of adoption. Some people apologized for asking a lot of questions, but I assured them that I love to answer them and I want them to feel free to ask more questions in the future.

Something I have noticed since starting this process is that there are more adoptive families out there than you think. When my co-workers heard I was adopting, I instantly got a list of people they knew who adopted. Some of them were people I already know, but not very many. Adoption is really not as rare as you might think given how little it's talked about in everyday conversation.

I have heard stories about, and experienced myself, some of the insensitive things people can ask or say when you say you're adopting. I was grateful to get none of this at work. What I'm used to hearing when I mention that we're adopting is someone retelling an adoption horror story that they once heard. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think most people respond to the news of a pregnancy with a horror story about a delivery gone wrong. It's just weird how people respond to adoption sometimes. I'm happy to say that negative responses like these have been few and far between for me, but it still shocks me when it happens.

A few of my co-workers asked me if I would be writing a first-person story for the newspaper. I work for a newspaper, but I've never written for a newspaper. Of course I would welcome the opportunity, but I'm not going to lobby for it. If they ask me to do it, I'd gladly jump right in. I like sharing!

The home study is nearly complete, so we're going to spend some time today wrapping up some of the other dossier work so that when we get the study in hand, we can turn it around quickly. If all goes well, perhaps I'll be driving to Madison in the coming weeks to get the certification process started.

-Kyle

Friday, April 20, 2007

Home Visit

Kyle and I lived through today's home visit with our social worker. It really wasn't a big deal, and we had all the smoke detectors and electrical outlet plugs, etc., covered, so we mostly just sat and went through the foster home application, and finished up a few last details for the home study report. The nice thing is, we cleaned more than we had too, so the house is nice and tidy. Come and visit us before it gets dusty again. Please. Anyone. You're all welcome.

Also, here's another picture from Thailand.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cookies

How do you tell your co-workers about your adoption news? You make them cookies, of course! I got home tonight and made three batches of coconut cookies as an excuse to tell my co-workers about our news.

Since cookies don't seem to be abundant in Thailand, coconut cookies were the only thing I could think of that comes remotely close to being Thai (I know, it's pathetic).

I'm still a little uncertain about sharing my news at work before we have a referral (which is still a ways away), but I can't think of any reason not to...and we're so excited, it's hard to keep it a secret.

-Kyle

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nothing New

Since most of the time between now and bringing home our little one (centuries away, it feels) will be spent just waiting, I thought it'd be fun, when there's nothing else to report, to post pictures of beautiful Thailand and some of the adorable kids who live there.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Home Visit Scheduled

We met with our social worker on Friday for several hours, and got to schedule our home visit for this Friday. Hopefully we're in the home stretch of the home study. Woo hoo!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cult members?

Nothing is new today, except that Erika received a form from our social worker that asked, among other things, if Kyle and I are in a cult. Pretty funny. We're actually meeting with our SW tomorrow and hope to find out how much time is left before our homestudy will be complete. We think we've finished just about everything we can do for our part, and hope that she can visit our home and write the report quickly.

Since blogs with no pictures are boring, here's a picture from Thailand.
Enjoy.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Safety!

Having kids in the house means having a super safe house. We're getting ready, so it was time for a trip to the store for a whole bunch of safety devices (as you see here). I went on to spend most of my day installing all the devices you see here. It took me longer than expected (I miss having a cordless drill).

I installed the thingys that protect the stove controls from little hands, but Robin is having trouble working them. She figures she'll get the kids next door to help her out opening the covers since they have such nice little fingers.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Speedy

Since the arrival of all our paperwork, we have been extremely productive. Earlier this week we mailed the social worker all of our questionnaires (parental, educational, adoption, etc.) We also each completed autobiographies. This was a difficult process, but we managed to get it done. We were told to keep them to about 7 pages each, and that 13 would be too much. I ended up writing 15.5 pages, and Robin wrote 13. It's hard to cram your life story onto a dozen sheets of paper!

We're not sure if we're breaking any speed records with our work, but it seems like we're moving pretty quickly. I'm really glad we've taken the time to prepare ourselves for the process by getting caught up on all the other things in our lives before starting the adoption process. We feel that we can really dedicate a lot of time to it right now. We're also realizing that this may be a "hurry up and wait" process, which we were pretty much expecting.

After filling out all of these questionnaires, we also now realize that this exercise wouldn't be a bad thing for all parents to go through. The actual papers with the writing on them may not even be a valuable as the mere process of thinking and writing responses. It really forces you to think about what kind of parent you want to be. For us it really solidified the philosophies we already knew we wanted to live up to.

We're expecting our home visit to happen in the coming weeks, so my job right now is to get the house ready. Robin has put together a list of all the things that need to happen to get our house ready for children. There are no large projects, just a handful of small ones.

Take note of the adoption blogs Robin has placed on the right of this page. It's fun to read through these to see what other people are going through. It's such an interesting process and the similarities and differences can be fascinating.