I can honestly say this adoption process has been
the weirdest, most confusing, most challenging thing I’ve ever done.
More weird than when we put a deceased woman into our car and drove her to the hospital because I couldn’t convince the family–either due to language or culture or grief–that she was, in fact, deceased.
More weird than when one of my neighbors tried to convince me to buy an old computer monitor and “turn it into” a television.
More weird than every day in our life of weirdness.
More confusing than living in another culture or learning two languages at the same time.
More challenging than moving overseas at age 22 as a newly-married couple. More challenging than attempting to live between two or three cultures.
We have known so little in this entire process. We have guessed so much.We have hoped so very, very much.
And oh, have we waited.
But it’s here! Or at least we think it’s here, to the best of our weird, confusing, challenging knowledge!
I haven’t known when to say what for years now.
We announced our adoption at Christmas 2016, when we were told we were on the waiting list and might receive a call at any point. That was clearly pretty far ahead of schedule.
We went back to America in the spring of 2017, with hopes that it would be our last trip, and we might meet our child that summer. That was clearly pretty far ahead of schedule, too.
And then we answered questions with very vague answers (similar to the vague answers we were receiving) for a couple years.
And then we started getting pieces of information at the end of 2018. And we weren’t sure what to tell people or when.
We heard we had been matched with a son, but we didn’t have a name or a photo or a file, or really anything that felt too official. So do we tell anyone?
We thought more information was just around the corner, so we’d wait until then to tell everyone.
But it was two months more months of silence. And then a call that went something like this:
Caseworker: Hi, this is _____. Do you remember me?
(Insert emotions of ?!?!?! We wait to hear from you EVERY DAY! YES, WE REMEMBER YOU.)
Stephen: Yes, I remember you..
Caseworker: Can you send me your new passport and work permit and visa papers?
Stephen: Yes, we can email you that.
Caseworker: He looks just like you! (And then other things not understood…)
Stephen: …Who? Who looks like me?
Caseworker: Did you see the photo? I open the photo and he looks just like you and your wife!
Caseworker: The little boy. You have not seen the photo?
Stephen: No. we didn’t get a photo. Did you send a photo?
Caseworker: Congratulations! I’m so excited! I want to tell you congratulations!
Stephen: Uh, thank you…yes…you say congratulations…for what? Are we…moving forward?
Caseworker: He looks just like you! Ok, bye. Send the work permit and visa.
(Just for the record, we have now seen a photo. Most people who have seen it agree he doesn’t look too much like either of us. Which we are okay with… which is why we started the adoption process in a foreign country in the first place.)
But after this call, again: do we tell people? What do we tell them?
There is a boy…he might be ours? He might look like us?
And then a file, finally. With a photo and a name, but still not a lot of specifics: What is next? Can we share this? Is he really ours, or is this a suggestion?
And then it just all started rolling forward.
Can you send a final yes? YES!
Can you send him a book of photos of you and your home? YES!
Can you come meet him next week? YES!
And if things go as we understand from a jumbled phone call, we’ll be meeting our son this week, and hopefully bringing him home to Mae Sot about a week after that!
While we still aren’t very sure of much, we feel it’s all certain enough to tell you: We’re going to have a son!
We have so many questions, partially because we’ve never been parents nor adopted before; but primarily because communication is extremely limited. We are very unsure of how these next two weeks will go. We are making plans to be in Bangkok for…awhile. Our neighbors are graciously rolling with it, too!
We still aren’t sure if we can share photos or names or information, so we’re just passing on that he’s adorable! He’s just under two and half years old.
Our friends are excited to meet him. We’ve been telling the neighbor children that we’ll have a son soon, and that he won’t know Burmese but they’ll have to teach him! They are excited, telling their parents about their new friend.
And we can’t wait. We can hardly believe it.
And maybe we’re a little scared to believe it, to get too excited; considering all the weird, confusing challenges this process has held.
Our current plan: we leave on Sunday! We meet him Thursday! We wait for approval, and then we take him back to our home, with neighbors thrilled to meet him, to a room that’s been awaiting him for months and months.
And we become a family of three 😍