We are so excited to announce that we have been formally matched with a 6 year old boy from Thailand! We can’t share his legal name or photo of his face publicly until the adoption is finalized, but we can share that his nickname is Sunny. It seems fitting since, in almost every photo we have, he is beaming with a mischievous smile from ear to ear. Sunny was part of Holt’s Special Needs Project, which is the waiting child program for Thailand. These children usually have a range of special needs and can vary in age from 2-15 years old.
Sunny is an animated young boy that lives in an orphanage in a rural area of Thailand. He was born prematurely and spent the first year of his life in the hospital facing significant pulmonary issues, some of which he still deals with today. Despite a difficult start, Sunny is happy and sociable. He enjoys KFC chicken, playing with his friends, and studying math in school. Despite being matched, we will still have to wait 7-12 months before First Approval and then another 3-5 months before travel. It’s a long wait, but he’s worth it. We are so excited to meet Sunny and bring our son home.
With the official match comes the impending program fee invoice of $13,360. We have applied to Help Us Adopt and Gift of Adoption Foundation for adoption grants and will apply to A Child Waits, JSC Foundation and Show Hope grants in the new year. We hope our grant requests will help us cover some of the program fee and allow us to better prepare for follow-on costs for travel, post placement fees, and finalizing our adoption (all of which usually totals $10,000-15,000). If you feel called to help with this next financial hurdle, you can make a donation at our GoFundMe page or AdoptTogether site. Any support, financial or otherwise, is very much appreciated and we are so thankful for our family and friends who have been so supportive already!
We have also submitted our I-800A application through USCIS earlier this month, which is the beginning of our paperwork process with the US government (all of the paperwork prior was for our adoption agency). Once we receive approval, we will have to complete our fingerprint appointment and move on to our I-800 application. We’ve discussed the daunting task of collecting documents for our home study and dossier already, so you can imagine our dread when we see a looming pile of more paperwork on the horizon!
However, in better news, Thailand has recently opened up again for international adoption travelers so many of our fellow Holt adoptive families who have been waiting to meet their son or daughter are just now beginning to book flights to bring them home. Many of these families were close to travel this past spring before the pandemic hit, so the already-long adoption process got delayed by up to 8 months! Even with the extra obstacles, we continually see these families share positive stories of care packages and ZOOM meetings, encouraging each other to remember the reason for the wait. The more seasoned families who have already brought children home a year or two ago often chime in and post photos of their adoptive son or daughter sharing some sweet family moments like celebrating a birthday or going on a vacation – experiences these children were never afforded before their adoption. These stories give us hope that despite our long road ahead, we too will be one of those families booking flights to meet our son, Sunny, in the end.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” said the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11