Did you re-adopt your child in your home state? Can you please talk about your decision to do or not do so?
The Engelbrecht Family – We are in the process of re-adopting. This was the best way to change her name in our state.
Christina – Yes, we re-adopted. We wanted our kids to have an American birth certificate because it helps with other citizenship documents and also itâ€™s amazing how many times you need to show a birth certificate (like signing up for soccer or baseball) and we didnâ€™t want to hand over Zeebâ€™s only copy from Vietnam. Also, it gives us peace of mind that he was officially adopted in America as well as Vietnam so heâ€™s covered by the laws of two countries.
The Mynes Family – Yes we did. We always knew that we were going to do that. From as far back as our home study. We wanted Lelandâ€™s name change to be a legal one and thought that it would be easier on him when he became an adult. I also remember our social worker saying that some states donâ€™t recognize international adoption unless the child is re-adopted. The process was very easy and Iâ€™m glad we did it.
The Micheline Family – Yes, we just completed our re-adoption here in Florida.
How have you tried to instill Vietnamese culture in your childâ€™s life?
The Engelbrecht Family – I have many books and toys of her culture.
Christina – So far itâ€™s just been small things. We went to the Tet celebration at the Seattle Center. We have books and dvdâ€™s about Vietnam. We have some friends who are Vietnamese that we visit with sometimes. On the average day, there is not much â€śVietnameseâ€ť in his life, but we will continue to look for ways to incorporate his birth culture into our lives.
The Mynes Family – We talk about, look at pictures, and read books about Viet Nam. I have items in his room that we have bought from Viet Nam that we look at on a daily basis. I have pictures of Leland and his care giver on his dresser that we talk about and look at all the time. (I donâ€™t know how much he gets because heâ€™s so young ) Leland just had his adoption day and we threw a huge party at our house. We had an Asian theme with dragons and the colors of the Vietnamese flag along with a Vietnamese food table for our guests to try. I also started teaching Leland how to use chopsticks. I bought these very cute zoo sticks online and believe it or not he can use them. Itâ€™s so cute to see him eat his mac and cheese with them.
The Micheline Family â€“ Gracie is still a baby, but we talk about Vietnam a lot, and look at books and maps and photos. We also talk a lot about Italy (my heritage) and Scotland (my husband’s heritage). I think my being Italian has made me very heritage-conscious. I love researching traditions and history and starting our own traditions. There’s lots we are planning to do- travel, connecting with local families, attending events, etc.
Have you connected with any other adoptive families? If so, how did you meet them?
The Engelbrecht Family – We belong to an adoptive families group that was introduced to us by another adoptive family. There are children from China, the Phillipines, South Korea, Guatemala as well as from the US.
Christina – Yes, weâ€™ve connected both locally and on the internet, through blogs and yahoo lists. Locally weâ€™re part of a Families with Children from Vietnam (FCV) group that meets occasionally. Also our neighbors have a daughter from China and a son from Cambodia and they are in the process of adopting from Vietnam. And one of my close friends recently adopted from Guatemala. So there are other adoptive families in our circle of friends. In addition, my sisters and my cousin were all adopted, so we are sort of a second-generation adoptive family.
The Mynes Family – We did join our areas FCC group. (Families w/ children from China & Asia) There have been 2 events so far this year but one was canceled due to rain and we couldnâ€™t make the other one. There is a picnic on July 15th and we are very excited to meet some on the families that we have been talking with online. (Some of the families do have children from Viet Nam and I canâ€™t wait to meet them)