Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 85 - My Girls are Back & More about our Birth Family Search...

I picked up my babies this afternoon...it is GREAT to have those precious girls back home!! They had lots of fun on their vacation and came back with lots of fun stuff :o) I swear they all look like they aged months while they were gone :o)

I have a few more birth family search questions to answer tonight. I have been surprised at how many people are thinking about searching for their child's birth family. I hope reading about our search will help others decide whether or not doing a search is a good idea for their family. I just want to set the record straight about my feelings about families doing searches:

PLEASE pray about the decision to search and REALLY think about it before jumping into a search. You may find information about the birth family (or their situation) that you didn't want to know. I guess what I am saying is, really prepare your heart before you begin the search. You never know what "can of worms" you may be opening. You also have to consider how doing a search will impact the birth family. How will they feel about you sending a "guide" to their home to ask questions about the very emotional (and hard) decision they made to give up their child?

Obviously, after considering everything, we decided to move forward with our search. I just want sure I am upfront about some of the things we talked about and prayed about before we began :o)

Last night, I emailed several pictures to our search agency for them to pass along to Sophie Le's birth mother. It was so hard deciding which pictures to send! It has been almost 3 1/2 years since she last saw baby Sophie Le. My baby has changed a lot in three years...haha! I really wish I could be there when she sees the pictures! What will she think of the pictures? Will she be happy Sophie Le is smiling in the pictures? Will she be surprised she has two other sisters? What will she think of her new haircut? Haha! Will she think she looks like her other daughter? It took me awhile, but I finally decided on eight pictures to send. I have no idea why I picked these eight particular pictures or why I decided on eight for that matter :o) It is a really weird feeling knowing you are picking out the very first pictures she will ever see of her daughter. No pressure or anything...haha! I will include the pictures in this post between the questions...let me know how I did :o)

Family picture - Saigon, Vietnam (May 2007)
familypicture - Saigon, Vietnam May 2007
Sophie Le - Hanoi, Vietnam (May 2007)
Thiet - Hanoi, Vietnam May 2007

Who did you use to do your search?

We used Trails of Indochina. Their website is: http://www.trailsofindochina.com/ There is nothing about doing birth family searches on their website, BUT their website is AWESOME!!! Another aspect of their business is organizing trips to Vietnam, Bali, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma and Bali!!! Yes, please. I will take one of each :o) Haha! The man we communicated with is Ngoc. His email address is: ngoc@trailsofindochina.com. He is SUPER nice and helpful.

Sophie Le (May 2008)
Thiet - May 2008
Sophie Le (July 2008)
Thiet - July 2008

Were you pleased with the agency you used?

YES, absolutely!! Our search took a little longer than I think it usually does because we started the process right before Tet. If you have ever dealt with Vietnam during Tet, you know no business is done during that time :o) Ngoc was very professional and always responded to my emails in a timely manner. I have a confession...the one email that I thought he didn't respond to was in MY DRAFT folder. So that was completely my fault...not theirs! Once they completed the search, they emailed me lots of pictures, a report and answers to my specific questions.

Sophie Le's 2nd birthday (October 2008)
Thiet - Second Birthday
Sophie Le (November 2009)
Thiet - November 2009

What questions do you recommend asking?

Any questions you have ever wondered about or would like your child to know in the future :o) Here are the questions we asked...

Are there any details about Thiet’s birth you could share with us?
What is your family’s medical history?
What is the Birth father’s name?
Is birth mother still in touch with birth father?
Did birth mother and birth father have a relationship?
Are you religious?
Are you married?
Do you have any other children?
Do you plan on having any other children?
Who do you live with?
Are you close to your family? parents, aunts, uncles, cousins?
What would you like Thiet to know about you? About your family?
What are your hopes and dreams for Thiet?
How did you choose her name?
When during your pregnancy did you decide to place Theit for adoption?
Did you visit Thiet while she was living at the orphanage?
What are your talents/hobbies?
What do you do for a living?
Would you like to meet Theit one day?
Do you have access to the reports we send to Vietnam about Thiet?
Could we send mail to you? If so, what is your address?
How do you feel today about placing Thiet up for adoption?
What is a typical day for you like?

Sophie Le (March 2010)
Thiet - March 2010
Sophie Le and sisters (March 2010)
Thiet and her sisters - March 2010

Should we go through Dillon or just search on our own?

This is a really hard question. I have no idea :o) We originally planned on using Dillon (our adoption agency) to do our search, but it just didn't work out. Dillon is in the process of developing a birth family search program. They are hoping to have it ready to go by the end of this year. I think there will be many benefits of using Dillon to do your search. They are planning to educate and counsel adoptive family before and after the search. That could be very beneficial due to the magnitude of the information you will receive. I have been told that our "happy search" isn't necessarily the norm. You may receive information you aren't prepared to deal with emotionally. That being said, we chose to use Trails of Indochina and I am extremely happy with our decision. The agency we used does birth family searches for a living. They are experts in finding birth families. They are experienced in dealing with birth families. They are prompt, professional and communicate VERY well in English (HUGE benefit in my book!). They have also been very nice to offer to send pictures to Sophie Le's birth mother after the search as well as offering to translate a letter to Vietnamese for us for her birth mother.

4 comments:

Leigh said...

The picture of SL on the gold chair in Vietnam is my all-time favorite! I still remember thinking that she was(is) SO beautiful!

Jessica said...

We decided not to do it now and to allow Emmi to decide for herself when and if this is something she wants to do(of course if she does decide to we are 100% behind her). After all, as much as we feel attatched to them it is her birth history not ours. HOWEVER, if adoptive families are concerned that the b-mom may wonder how the child they gave up is doing they DO have access to the post placement reports should they so desire. I foudn this out from Jynger at Dillon.

ourfamilyfun said...

Seeing the picture of the 4 of you brings back wonderful memories! Isn't it amazing how much has changed in 3 years!!

Neil, Amy and The Girls said...

Jessica - We were also told that our birth mother had access to the reports when we adopted Sophie Le. However, I always wondered about that so I ASKED THE BIRTH MOTHER and she said NO. OUR BIRTH MOTHER had NO IDEA about the reports. I contacted Jynger this week and she told me where the reports are kept and I passed that information along to our birth mother so NOW she knows.