Saturday, July 28, 2007

Zhang Empresses. 10 yr old Chinese adoptees living in Sweden. Their story.

"Growing up surrounded by blond, blue-eyed children in Sweden, Chinese adoptees Alice, Mimmi, Nanna and LinnĂ©a always felt different. The girls were adopted on the same day from the same orphanage but – having moved abroad as babies – they don’t speak Mandarin and have no concept of their native country. Now ten years old, they are returning to China for the first time. What will they make of their homeland? A moving look at identity ..."

I watch the first ten minutes of this DVD on Youtube and as far as I can tell, this would be a useful video for any adopted child to sit and watch when they start to ask questions that we adoptive parents just cannot answer. The DVD was only released in Feb of 2007 so it is quite new.

To watch the first 10 mins of the DVD ... go here
To buy the DVD ... go here

Phu My Orphanage, Vietnam. Now where are my tissues ...

A poignant, happy, sad, fun video.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Questions about the next stages

This info has been found on other websites and is not my opinion or fact - just an overall generality of a situation that can vary quiet widely.

These are some answers to often asked questions about Thai adoptions. I won't say they apply to *all* situations (because I doubt they do!) however the process after arrival in Thailand does seem to be similar, if not the same, for most countries.

Who are the typical children placed? 12-24 month old children or older if requested. They come from various orphanages - some in Bangkok and others in Pattaya and possibly others that I do not know the names. Thailand’s adoption center prefers to look for families or relatives in Thailand to adopt the children, and they typically hold the child for up to a year before moving him to the international adoption list.

What kind of information will I receive on a child? You will receive a photo and some background information, but it is minimal. You will receive medical and developmental information, but it may not be updated. We are working on improving this. The children referred as healthy children are generally healthy, with no known medical conditions.

What are the parental requirements? You must be married; both you and your spouse must be between 25-45 years of age and must be at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted. Families who have no children are preferred, but they have accepted families with up to two children already in the family. Parents are preferred who have a college education.

What is the typical length of the process? The referral of a child can take up to 2 - 2.5 years (for Australians). Completing the adoption will then take 12 months.

Do you submit dossiers direct to the Thai Dept. of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW), to particular Thai child-placement organizations, or to both? Via your local government's adoption services in your state to the DSDW.

Do you work with pre-identified placements of waiting children, or placements of healthy young children? Children are matched by the Thai Adoption services in such a way that the child's needs are placed as a higher priority than the needs of a parent. That being said, the child is referred to the most suitable adoptive parents who can meet this child's needs.

What kind of support do you offer on the ground in Thailand? For Australians, you will find that you meet a Thai Social Worker on arrival in Thailand and accompanied to your child's orphanage for your first meeting. After that, it is generally up to you to navigate your way around for the following 10 days or so. There are several reputable Thai Co-ordinators (Miss Oh is highly spoken of by other Aussie parents who have BTDT) who can assist you whilst in Thailand.

What are the country program fees?
The country fees appear to be non-existent on sending your file to Thailand - we didn't pay an application fee at all. Fees for Thailand start when you receive your referral but even then are quite minimal - you will need to cover any medicals that your child will have and possibly (although I have been told that this isn't necessarily the case always) you may pay for sponsorship of your child (food, health, clothing etc) between referral and bringing your child home.

There is a donation to the Thai orphanage that housed your child. I think it is something reasonable like USD$1000 but again it's not a certainty. Our Tassie adoption services really don't do Thai adoptions often enough to be up-to-the-minute with all fees.

There are really far more fees on the Australian side than anywhere else what with Department of Immigration (DIMIA) and things like that.

You will also need to travel within Australia to the nearest Thai Consulate to register your child within 6 months of arriving home and I know that we signed an undertaking agreeing that we will do so. Post adoption meetings for your SW to see how your child is doing start almost immediately after your arrival home.

What kind of information do you receive when you are matched with a child? Depending on your child's particular situation, possibly medical information (height, weight, etc.), his birth mother's name (this is rare) and the circumstances surrounding his placement for adoption. Oh! And a picture. The picture that we all hope and dream about!

What is it like to prepare the paperwork /dossier? The paperwork was very straightforward. Not a problem at all.

How long in advance do you receive notification to travel to Thailand and how do you prepare for travel? Anywhere between 3-4 weeks and maybe a bit longer. It doesn't seem too extreme.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

EeeBee Baby. The newest craze for babies.

Stumbling around the internet, as I do, I came across

It seems to be quite the hit with babies as young as 4 months all the way up to toddlers and involves older siblings, parents and grandparents in the interactive play, singing, exploring, creating. Using household items, the funny little character, Eebee (pictured above), does everything a real baby does, interacts with other babies, sings with his mummy and his nanny and has fun learning things the baby way.

I've order the three DVD's for our future child .. can't wait to watch them for myself and, going by the feedback from other parents, they should be a big hit with our babe too!

If you'd like to see a short sample of what you'll find on the DVD, click here and on the left side, at the top, under the logo you'll see a circle with "Play Video".

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Heart-kun. Love Puppy.

Chihuahua puppy born with love-heart pattern in fur ...

A PUPPY has been born in Japan with a large, clear, love-heart-shaped pattern in his coat.

The chihuahua was born in May as one of a litter to a breeder.

In pictures: Heart-kun, the love-heart puppy

Shop owner Emiko Sakurada said it was the first time a puppy with the marks had been born out of a thousand she had bred.

She had no plans to sell the puppy, which has been named "Heart-kun".

Courtesy of

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Give that laughing baby oxygen

Yoda's Baby.

Package arrives at Adoption Services, Thailand!

Oh my, Oh my! NOW we're really excited!!!

This here is proof of delivery for our adoption documents that were sent to Thailand via courier ... whoever Kwanta is (see signatory), I'm going to take them a present when we go to Thailand!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Official Parents-in-Waiting

Our marvellous SW advised us via phone this evening that our file has been sent off to Thailand via courier today!

Finally, we are parents in waiting. Now I'm just waiting on an email from our SW with the consignment note number so I can follow along with when the file touches down in Bangkok.

I never thought that we'd get to this stage. It seems so far away when you start the homestudy and attending seminars.

Next stop ... Referral of our baby/toddler!

(It's about 18-24 months away so it will be pretty quiet until that wonderful phone call)