If you are reading this blog for the first time, I am in the midst of retelling our faith journey to adopting Rebekah. She has been our daughter for two years now (our 2nd Gotcha Day was just a couple days ago!). Bringing her into our family was truly a work of the Lord and I wanted to share the story with you. I know many readers are in the pursuit of adoption and my hope is that our journey will encourage you. Scroll down and start with Part 1 if you want the whole scoop.
As I mentioned yesterday, I finally spoke with our lawyer, Kuhn Joe, a few months after our initial contact with him. He shocked me when he told me that Rebekah had already been told about our adoption wishes, when we were only just beginning to determine whether or not we could even pursue it. While that news was in itself hard to bear, his second announcement was even more troubling to me. He informed me that legally, Deer's grandmother had to give her consent for us to adopt her.
I was truly shocked. Her grandmother had brought her to the orphanage when she was five years old and Rebekah had not heard from her nor seen her since that time. The orphanage had told us some things that caused me great anxiety about her grandmother's condition and willingness to consent. She hadn't been in Rebekah's life for over five years. Because Rebekah's mom and dad had passed away, and because her grandmother hadn't been involved in her life, I just assumed that her biological family didn't actually have a legal voice in our adoptive pursuit. Boy was I wrong.
Kuhn Joe told me that he would have to find her and meet with her and begin to explain our wishes to her. We had no idea where to find her. The orphanage knew the area of the country in which to look for her, but no one had an address or phone number (did she even have an address and phone number!?). Similar to wondering how in the world we would find a Thai lawyer, I wondered how we would find her grandma.
And finding her was only the beginning of this hurdle. She then had to be told news of her granddaughter, news of this random American family wanting to adopt her, and then somehow someone would have to communicate to her what the legal process was like and what role she would be asked to play. Kuhn Joe was very concerned about extortion, which is exceedingly common in Thailand.
He closed the phone call by saying in broken English that he would go look for her soon and contact me after he found her. I hung up and burst into tears. It felt like too much. I couldn't imagine that he would even be able to find her. And if he did what would he say? What would she say?