Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 83 - Bye, Bye Babies, Duffle Bags & Birth Family Search...

Tear, Tear, Tear, sniff, sniff, sniff...

My babies left today to spend a couple days with their grandparents and while I am sure they are having fun...I miss them!

Here they are this morning, all packed and ready to go!
DSC06518It's only been a few hours since I dropped them off, but I already miss my girl that always has a fun plan and is up for anything :o)
And my little sweetie that always has a knock knock joke to tell me :o)
And this little one that always comes to hold my hand while I brush my teeth and when I cook supper...

My friend, Erin asked me about the girls overnight bags the other day...

I LOVE these bags...they are super cute and SOFT! The brand is "Camp Grandma." If you google the brand name and "duffle", there will be several places you can order them from. The duffles we have are "Tippy Toad" - the ballerina one and "Molly Snurtle" - the one with red shoes. Here are a couple other cute options...

Yella Duck

Plato Pig

There are also backpacks :o)

After I dropped off the girls, Jonah & I went to Hobby Lobby and we spent two hours looking around!!! I haven't spent two hours in a store in a LONG, LONG time :o) He is such a good shopper! He just made sweet cooing sounds and gave me "sweet eyes" the whole time. It is so funny how easy things seem with only one kid :o) I remember when we only had Hillary Ashton and things seemed so hard...haha!

I have had lots of questions emailed to me about our birth family search in Vietnam and I am going to answer most of them here since several people have the same questions :o)

Why did you decide to do the birth family search now? Why not wait until Sophie Le decides that she wants to search when she is older?

When it comes to adoption, each country is different. There is different information provided to adoptive families and VERY different philosophises on meeting the birth family while in country. In general, when you adopt from Vietnam, you are given VERY LITTLE information and you are given NO opportunity to meet the birth family. Of course, every adoption is different, but this is the norm. When we adopted Sophie Le, we were told her current weight (at six weeks), her birthday, where she was born, her birth mother's name and her birth mother's age...that is pretty much it! As you can imagine, this information wouldn't go very far in helping Sophie Le understand her adoption when she gets older. There is a common feeling in the adoption community of waiting until (if) the adoptee is ready to search for the birth family. We didn't feel this was an option for us. We were given so little information with Sophie Le's referral that we were concerned we wouldn't be able to find the birth family if we wanted 20 years from now to begin the search. We felt that if we could make contact now, it would be MUCH easier to find the birth family later. We are soooooooooooooooo thankful that we felt pressed to begin the search now because our guide had a hard time finding the birth family only three years after our adoption...imagine if we waited 20 years!

Are you sharing all of the information you received with Sophie Le?

Yes, some now...some later. Sophie Le is only three years old so we are only sharing very basic information with her now. We showed her all of the pictures and we shared with her what her birth mother does for a living and the fact that she has a sister. We are thankful to have this information to share with her now so it will not be a surprise to her later. Imagine the difference in telling a three year old they have a sister living with her birth mother and telling a 13 year old. There would be sooooooo many more emotions and questions at 13 than there is at 3. The facts we share with her now will just be a part of her story that she will always know. She will never be shocked by them. There WILL be questions later, but not the initial shock to go along with it.

I would LOVE to know how you told the girls when you got the pictures!

Of course, we couldn't wait to show the girls their "new" sister living in Vietnam :o) We video taped each of the girls when we showed them the pictures. I may share that video sometime :o) We showed Sophie Le first (by herself). We just asked Sophie Le a few questions about her adoption and asked her if she would like to see pictures of her birth mother. She said Yes and we just handed them to her. We didn't make it seem like a big deal. We then told her that she has another sister living in Vietnam. {This may have seemed like a much bigger deal to a different three year old, but it is not THAT uncommon to get a new sibling around our house :o)} When we showed her the pictures of her sister, it took a few minutes to convince her that it wasn't HER in the pictures :o) Her sister in Vietnam looks a lot like her. Sophie Le's reactions were very much on a three year old level :o) She commented that her birth mother needed to clean up the blocks outside of their house and that they have a kitty cat just like us...haha! She is at a GREAT age to share monumental information...things just aren't quite as emotional and heavy as they would normally be :o)

Was her birth mother receptive and happy to be contacted?

YES!!! (Insert HUGE sigh of relief!) We REALLY wanted to get information for Sophie Le to have, but we did NOT want to bring up painful memories for her birth mother or create stress for her. She was so relieved and happy to hear Sophie Le is happy with her forever family. She is open to having contact with us and meeting Sophie Le one day :o)

How do you know you found the right birth mother?

This is actually something we were concerned about since we didn't have much information to begin with. However, once we saw the pictures of Sophie Le's sister, there was NO DOUBT these are her peeps :o) There were also several small details that were in our report that helped us KNOW. Before our search, we had lot of puzzle pieces of information, after the search..we were able to put the pieces together and understand the whole picture. Pretty awesome!

How much did the search cost?

I will tell you how much OURS cost, but every search is different :o) Ours costs in the ballpark of $1000. $1000 is A LOT of money to us. However, next to money we paid for adoption expenses, it was the best money we have ever spent.

There are several other questions I will answer later this week. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will answer them :o)


Leigh said...

That PIG is coming to my house for my little piglet! The girl's outfits are precious! And, thanks for sharing the question and answers regarding finding SL's birth family.

Tricia said...

Well, one day down. Only 1 1/2 to go - they will be home before you know it.

Jason and Erin said...

thanks for the answers. I will have Jason read them and see what he thinks. Thanks again.