If you're new to this blog and you'd like to read about our adoption, I am re-capping the whole story. Scroll down and start with Part 1. For all of you interested in this adoption story--don't worry, if it seems boring now, just keep reading--it'll get intense. There are even bombs and riot gear involved...
I have so much to learn about being an adoptive mom. I am in process, which makes blogging risky and my regrets public. I am significantly changing the content of our adoption story.
As I set out to share our story a couple weeks ago I was excited about telling all of the details of Rebekah's past because I wanted to humanize some of the statistics that easily desensitize us. I wanted to give God the glory for protecting her and caring for her. I wanted to paint a picture of what many young girls live through daily and how we who are far away and have little seemingly in common with them can actually enter their world and make a difference.
I am convinced now, though, that less is best. The details of Rebekah's past are hers and hers alone. She can share them herself when she is ready. Her story is not mine. I believe I was naive to start out that way and I deeply regret it. So from here on out, I'll share the details from our perspective only of the arduous journey that our family took to be united with our fourth daughter.
As I said yesterday, I began by writing the Thai government. I had learned by emailing several agencies in the States that we could not use their services because Rebekah did not live in an orphanage with which they worked. So I basically Googled a ton and finally found the address of the government bureau that approves every adoption in Thailand.
The letter was kind of awkward. It basically said, "Dear Mr. So and So, I want to adopt this girl in Chiang Mai. How do I do that? Please write me back or call me. Thanks." As I stuck it in the mail I had zero expectation that anyone would actually call me or write me. Then what?
After not hearing back by about September 2007, I began Googling more and digging for the phone number for the bureau. After digging for the country codes to call from Japan to Thailand I dialed and prayed for an answer and also an English speaker. I began to learn that day that phone calls rarely connect in Thailand. Calling no less than 15 times for one successful answer is not uncommon.
Finally there was an answer. "Sawadee Kah....blah blah blah...." Uh-Oh. Thai only. If I remember correctly, I dealt with that by pressing zero a lot. Finally, someone answered and said "Ah-lo?" I explained our desire and was put on hold. "It's a Small World After All" played over and over. I was disconnected more than once. More dialing. More zeros. More sawadee kahs. Another "Ah-lo?"
Uh, "Me again. Can I adopt that girl in Chiang Mai? Um great, could you tell me how to do that?"
"Miss, you have to move to Thailand."
"What? I'm not moving to Thailand."
"Yes, you have to."
"Uh, no. No, I can't. Isn't there another way?"
"Ok. You have to come to Thailand and hire a lawyer. You need Thai lawyer."
"Ok. Thanks." And I cried. Where exactly does one find a Thai lawyer? Flip open the Yellow Pages? So we prayed and I started emailing everyone I knew in Thailand, which at that time, was very few.