Saturday, August 30, 2008

A piece of Thailand falls away

Robin and I knew T's little cloth bracelets on his wrists would fall off eventually, but now that it's happened, it's kind of sad.

T got the bracelets while visiting monks with his foster family the day before we took custody. They were meant as protection for him. He had one on each wrist. He still wears one, but one of them fell off sometime during supper last night.

I'm grateful I noticed. Our worst fear was that they would fall off when we weren't paying attention and we'd lose them. Of course, we could still lose the other one.

We will do our best to remind T of his life-long connection to Thailand, but in so many ways, there's only so much we can do.

-Kyle

Monday, August 25, 2008

Long sleeves?


I think T may have never encountered long sleeves before. It was chilly this morning so I slipped a long sleeve shirt on him before breakfast. He looked at his clothed wrists and tried to keep pushing his arm through the sleeve, thinking it wasn't on all the way yet. He was thoroughly confused about the presence of the sleeves and kept looking at them and poking at them. Very cute.

-Robin

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thai Olympians

Thai Olympians?  But I didn't see any on NBC...
Ahhhh...but NBC doesn't show a lot of sports like weightlifting, taekwondo, and boxing.

Four Thai Olympians brought home metals. Above is medalist Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon who won the women's 53kg weightlifting.

You can read more from the Bangkok Post.

-Kyle

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sticky overload

People who know me well are familiar with my problem with all things sticky. I deplore stickiness. It makes me extremely unhappy and mildly queasy. I know that children are sticky. I attempted to mentally prepare for the Sticky Onslaught in the months prior to bringing T home. But Oh My is he sticky! After his morning oatmeal and banana, especially so. I've taken to spraying him off in the kitchen sink after meals. (Notice the lack of clothing? That's for ease of spraying.)

He will smash his food: in his hair, on his legs, over his entire face, in his ears, and along his arms. At that point, what good is the bib, really? It's just another thing to wash. I am seriously considering putting his booster seat in the bathtub for meals. Then we can just turn on the shower when he's done. Can anyone give me one good reason to reconsider?

-Robin

2 month post-placement meeting

Monday we had T's 2 month post- placement meeting, which was held at a church near the former offices of our agency. It went well, and I think T succeeded in thoroughly charming our social worker. We submitted 12 photos for her to attach to the report for Thailand.

It's hard to get an in-focus picture of T these days. We have to wait until he falls asleep, as he's enjoying his new-found ability to run, run, RUN!

-Robin

Sunday, August 17, 2008

FIRE!

I woke up earlier this week to the news that an office building in Madison was on fire. This normally would not concern me, but the address raised a red flag, and I shortly realized it was our social worker's office, Lutheran Social Services.

Over $2 million in damage. Firefighters were on scene for hours.

Robin and I counted ourselves lucky that we weren't in the stages before traveling, when some important documents may have been in that building. Any of our lost files can easily be replaced.

Our heart went out to anyone who does have important documents there. The news stories profiled a few families who were affected MUCH worse by the loss of files.

Before the end of the week, we heard from our social worker because we're scheduled to meet her next week. She said our papers MIGHT have made it. Apparently the head of the agency went into the building with the firefighters while the fire was still going to get what files she could. Our social worker thinks our files might be among them, but they're being freeze-dried and she won't know for awhile.

Of course, we're happy to do whatever needs to be done to help.

"Sawasdee"

I was going to blog about this article:

Hello-o!? The magic words are not 'hello'

from the Bangkok Post. But when I looked for a photo to go with the post, I came across this photo. So, now I'm writing about the general concern regarding maintaining Thai culture when there's so much Western influence.

The article is about how the government is making an effort for Thais to say "Sawasdee" instead of "Hello", especially on the phone.

I talked to only a few Thais on the phone while in Thailand, but most of the Thais I met in person said "Sawasdee". If there are really more people starting to say "Hello", that's quite the bummer indeed.

As far as this photo goes, it's a rather sad expression of how global Western culture is, but at the same time, at least the corporate logo is trying to fit in the culture.

It begs the question...If you ran into Ronald McDonald on the streets of Bangkok, would he say "Sawasdee" or "Hello"?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Anti-racism resources

I just wanted to share a few links with really good information to help fight racism, and help kids when they encounter it:
  • Anti-Racist Parent is a great blog I've been reading, "for parents committed to raising children with an anti-racist outlook".
  • Tolerange.org has a lot of good articles for parents and a page for kids with stories and games.
  • Tolerance.org's Speak Up web pages offer concrete suggestions for how to respond to subtle and overt bigotry we may encounter from friends, neighbors, co-workers, or strangers.
  • Finally, this post from an adult Korean adoptee does an excellent job explaining why "love is not enough" and why just being "colorblind" does not help internationally adopted kids deal with the racism they will face.
I sometimes feel daunted in the task ahead of us, before we even begin. It's hard to imagine effectively preparing our kiddo to deal with racism that we've never had to experience. But we will do our best. Meanwhile, we'll be teaching him to talk and use a spoon.

-Robin

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Thai Mother's Day

Today is the Queen of Thailand's birthday, and as she is considered by Thais to be the "mother to Thai people", the country honors all mothers today.

T and I will pick some flowers from our garden and put them in a vase today. I think we'll pick 3 - one for his birth mom, one for his foster mom, and one for me. =)

Thanks, Hirally, for reminding me that the holiday is today!

-Robin

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Three quick thoughts

  1. I came home from work tonight to an extra-happy T who was freshly bathed, smelling sweet, and curled up in bed reading books with his Daddy. I can't think of anything in the whole world better than cuddling and giggling with my 2 boys. My heart almost burst.
  2. I started working on a Lifebook for T, spurred by a coupon I got for a free photo book if I submit it by mid September. The wording is proving to be a challenge for me, but I'm trying not to stress about it too much, as I plan to revise and make new versions often as he gets older and his level of understanding increases. My goal now is to just get something on paper. Looking at pictures of his birth mom again today had me teary-eyed. What an amazing treasure we've been trusted with. It' all a bit overwhelming when I think of her.
  3. Someone saw T from a distance and made a bee-line for us at the farmer's market last weekend. I braced myself for the usual, "Where's he from?" and general adoption questions, but was delighted that she wanted only to gush about how cute he is and simply asked his age before moving on with a smile and a wave. How refreshing! I usually don't mind the questions we get in public, and often even enjoy the resulting conversations, but on ocassion, it's nice to just feel "normal". I have a feeling all the comments will get old for T once he's old enough to understand, and he'll want to feel "normal", too. Oh well, that bridge is for another day.
-Robin

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Green card

T got his Permanent Resident (aka Green) card in the mail yesterday.
I must admit, I know there are things we have to do regarding his citizenship, but I've put off even looking at any of it because I think we have to be finalized first. Or not. Perhaps I should check. In any case, I hadn't even thought to be on the lookout for his card, so it was a pleasant surprise.

And T is tickled pink about it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Don't play with your vegetables

Well, in this case go ahead.

Already too attached to technology

Tears as someone tries to take the phone away.