Why not? A lot of people are curious about why we chose to adopt from Thailand specifically. And no, the reason isn’t that Asian babies are the cutest, I mean it’s a perk, but we prayed through this for a while and here are some of the reasons for the choice.
- We are old enough! Surprisingly, in most international adoptions, both parents have to be 30. Interesting, right? In 2015 we pursued adoption through China (that’s a whole story in itself for another day) and couldn’t make it very far due to our age. At the time, this was devastating, but looking back it was all part of the plan that would eventually find our son. When we got back into the adoption process this past spring, our awesome agency had South Korea and Thailand programs that we were a perfect fit for us, even given our age. When they told us about Thailand – it was one of those goosebump moments. We were unaware of this program, but the more she told us, the more we felt it was the right decision. That night was full of googling and searching wikipedia and our heart for Thailand hasn’t stopped growing since. Plus they were looking for young parents without kids!
- Speaking of the program – this specific Thailand program largely places children who are living in foster homes versus institutions and orphanages. It’s comforting to us knowing that he’s being so well cared for by his foster mom who we love so much and even know a little about.
- Why go out of the country? This was a very hard decision. We knew international adoption typically takes longer, and we were/are quite impatient! Obviously there is a need around the world, even in the US, so this was overwhelming. Some people assume we did not want an open adoption (where you send pictures/ give updates/ meet with birth mom), but we are actually very open to it. We don’t know if we will get to contact our son’s birth-mom, but we hope we do since we love her and admire her bravery and love for him. Mostly, we were nervous of the heartbreak of getting matched and something not going through. We met with domestic agencies and were told that many of the initial matches don’t end up going through, but to expect a subsequent match to work out, and for our first child we were honestly just too afraid of that roller coaster. Also, ever since going to China to visit with the sweet orphans at Maria’s Big House of Hope, we’ve just had a heart for Asia in general.
- But the real reason for Thailand is hindsight. As soon as we started our paperwork and appointments, things finally started going our way. We could look back at the heartbreak we had felt in the years prior and realized God’s hand in this incredible plan. We finally felt like we were in the middle of God’s plan instead of searching for it. I appreciate my childhood and my obsession with my sweet cousins who were brought into our family through the miracle of adoption, and how it shaped my life and view of family. I see our strong feelings for orphans throughout our marriage and our interest in the organization Show Hope, who we eventually went to China with (Eric’s idea). I see that life-changing trip to China where we learned about how beautiful these orphaned children are and how incredibly lovable and sweet they are. I see my personal obsession with kids and my enjoyment of playing with our friends and families children, as well as our joy in babysitting as a couple once we got married! And I thank God for the experience we’ve had with Safe Families and learning how to care for sweet little kids for a few days at a time, kids who we have no prior experience with or whose stories we didn’t know. All of these experiences and countless more are wonderful reminders to us that God has been faithful to us and hears our desire for a child, and has a miraculous way to weaving a story that is so uniquely ours. Now if we could fast forward a bit to having him in our arms…