Itsara

June 18, 2015

Actual News! Asia’s Adoption!

Filed under: Our Work — Adam Heine @ 3:40 PM

Some admin stuff first: obviously this blog is not being maintained much (as seen from the date of the previous post, approximately 1.6 years ago — the content of that post is pretty ironic). I will still update this blog when there is major news to report like this, but:

(1) Posts from this blog will not always go straight to Facebook or Twitter. If that’s how you follow this blog, might I suggest the subscription link or the RSS feed in the sidebar over there. Then you’ll know when there’s a post.

(2) Minor news tends to come over Facebook. Follow me there if you’re interested (but you’ll also need to be interested in quotes from our kids, updates about the game I’m working on, and whatever other nonsense I choose to share).

(3) We are still writing our newsletter every three months. There’s a link in the sidebar for that too.

To the post! As I said, it’s ironic that the last post, dated Oct 2013, describes hope about Asia’s adoption. Fast forward more than a year and a half, and we have finally met with the adoption board. Cindy, Asia, and I flew to Bangkok (Asia’s first ever plane ride, which she handled great — she also enjoyed the taxi and skytrain, until it got way past her bedtime and she started to melt). We hung out at the adoption center for a few hours, along with several other prospective adopters.

There were about twenty other couples there with their soon-to-be-adopted children. For most couples, they had just met their child a few days before meeting with the board. We had gotten special permission to have Asia in our home years ago (and thank goodness we did; I can’t imagine meeting Asia for the first time when she was seven!). Meeting with the board is mostly a formality, since they already have all of our information. They use the time to get to know us, to see how the child is taking to us, and to ask any questions they still have from the papers we’ve given them.

They expressed a minor concern about our finances (although I think this was due to a misunderstanding — thanks to Torment, we have enough to be comfortable — but anyway they said yes, so *shrug*), but otherwise they were pretty happy meeting us. Asia was a little shy at first, but once she got talking, she was quite happy to tell them ALL about the airplane and the taxi and the skytrain and the special lunch we were going to have after and the donut she had for breakfast (yeah, they made a comment about that too ;-). The board just smiled and laughed.

After talking with them for about twenty to thirty minutes, they said we were a good home for Asia — a very good home, one of the board members added, which made us feel good. I mean, we think we’re a good home for these kids, but it’s nice to know it looks that way from the outside too.

We still need to wait another six months before things are final. Standard procedure is a six-month home study after board approval. A social worker will come to visit our house every two months to see how Asia’s doing. For us, this is also just a formality, since Asia has been in our home for over four years now. But they gotta do what they gotta do.

Apparently, we were also suppose to have taken an adoptive parents’ course in Bangkok last April, but nobody told us about it. So we may have to wait for next year’s course before the adoption is really final (we’re not sure whether they’ll finalize it without the course or not yet). Though the board did say that, having so many kids already for so long, we probably already know everything the course could teach us. “Maybe you could speak!” one joked.

“Yeah,” I said, trying to hide my instinctive terror. “Maybe we could.”

October 21, 2013

Progress in Asia’s Adoption

Filed under: Our Work — Cindy Heine @ 8:47 AM

We’re moving forward! For the first time in a year, we have news that Asia’s adoption is progressing! Our social worker informed us that they have finally found her birth mother and she has given up all rights. That was (we think) the last step before presentation to the board for approval. As we’ve heard, things may still take a long time, but at least we know it’s going somewhere! Pray it goes quickly so we can move on to adopting the rest of our lot!

For those who aren’t privileged to know how AWESOME Asia is at piano, here’s a little snippet of her playing one of her own compositions. She usually changes keys at least 10 times, but I figured you’d get the idea after 4 or so!

August 15, 2013

Family Vacation to Mae Ping National Park

Filed under: Our Work,Personal,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 3:10 PM

It was actually almost a month ago that we took our family on vacation. But hey, it’s hard to upload a whole bunch of pictures, pick some for you to look at, and then write something about it! Sorry about that. But I do have like 50 pictures for you to look at, if you want.

We actually knew very little about where we were going. Cindy managed to find the number of a “resort” (really just a couple of houses and rooms rented out by the German-Thai couple who own them). We’d heard there was a lake and a waterfall and houseboats. We figured at the very least, so long as we had a place to sleep (and a swimming pool, they said) most of our kids would be happy.

I can’t call it a failure, because it was so much fun. But it was nothing like what we expected.

So, there was a lake, but when we got there, it looked like this:

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I drove “near” the bridge and Cindy started screaming at me not to drive over it (I wasn’t going to, but it was fun freaking Cindy out). We walked over it and found a bunch of day-trippers having a tailgate/swim party in what was left of the lake (they had, apparently, driven over the bridge).

Ten minutes later it started pouring rain.

I saw it coming, but there wasn’t much I could do, and some of my kids had run down to the “lake,” so I couldn’t leave them anyway. We got soaked, then one of the day-trippers loaded us in their truck bed and drove us back to our truck.

The next stop (we figured) was a waterfall we’d seen signs for. It sounded cool, so we followed the signs. It took a while to get to where the road ended. In front of a dirt track through the jungle was a sign that said the waterfall was only 12 km ahead.

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“Really? Is this the way?”

“There’s nowhere else it could be. Anyway, maybe the road’s paved farther on.”

It was not. It took us nearly an hour to drive those 12 km, going up and down steep ditches, across more rickety bridges, nearly getting stuck a couple of times, praying it wouldn’t rain again (which would for sure get us stuck), wrecking our truck’s bumper, and trying hard not to think about how isolated we were and what would happen if we did get stuck.

And what do you know, we made it.

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Of course there was no waterfall, but the pool where it used to be was super pretty, and the kids had a great time swimming. I even got a rare picture of Lu actually doing something.

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Then we did some other stuff (went home, got dinner, swam in the pool, slept, etc), and in the morning we checked out and went to a cave.

The cave was actually what we expected (well, what I expected at least). Caves here aren’t like they are in the States. In the States, caves are kind of sacred. You don’t touch them. You only go in with a certified tour guide. You never go off the path. You are never unattended or alone.

Caves in Thailand are sacred, too, but in a different way. They fill the thing with shrines and stairs and lights. And because it’s Thailand, nobody cares if you go in alone or what.

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So there’s the short version of our trip. Thanks for reading.

July 9, 2013

Life at Home

Filed under: Our Work,Parenting — Adam Heine @ 1:46 PM

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything. This job has got me pretty busy.

On the plus side, it means we’ve had the funds to, for example, increase Da’s pay for the first time since she started working for us. She’s pretty excited about that. Heck, I’m excited about that. I feel terrible that we haven’t been able to do that for her until now. She more than deserves it.

The boys are all at school now, along with Pan, Lu, and Sarah. They’re doing really well. Even those I was afraid would have trouble in a long-term, sit-still-or-get-in-trouble kind of setting are doing really well. Nathan, in particular, is trying really hard to be on his best behavior, and he’s EXCELLING at it.

So the house is much quieter — mostly. It’s just me, Anica, and Asia most days, and while Asia is usually content to swing outside or play on the piano, Anica wants my attention.

ALL of my attention.

It makes it harder for me to get stuff done, but mostly I don’t mind. Not only do I get a ridiculous amount of FB/Twitter material from her, but look how cute she is on the throne she made for herself:

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Yeah, I’m screwed.

February 12, 2013

Family Pictures

Filed under: Our Work,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 4:29 PM

You might have seen a couple of these on Facebook. These pictures were taken with the skill and epic patience of our friend Kevin Landwer-Johan.

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January 16, 2013

God-Given Work

Filed under: Our Work,Personal,Religion — Adam Heine @ 4:24 PM

A couple weeks ago, Cindy mentioned I got some paid writing work. What’s going on is I’m writing and designing a successor to the computer game I helped make 14 years ago. I’m SO excited. But what’s really exciting about this gig is how God brought it about. Let me explain.

A few months ago, we were especially low on funds. Normally, missionaries in this position have to go fundraising. And we were going to go fundraising, because God’s given us a pretty sizable network of online friends, many of whom would gladly help us if we asked.

At the same time, God has always taken care of us. In the past 8 years(!), we’ve only asked for money twice, and both times were very much: “We’re going to do this whether we get support or not. But if you’ve got a heart to help, here’s your chance.” (And even then, it was only because a bunch of people were like, “You better tell me when you move to Thailand/build a house!”)

So I was praying about our funds and I basically told God I wanted him to do something amazing, to provide for us.  I understood if he wanted to provide via this ridiculously awesome network he’d given us, but I wanted to give him space to do something more . . . miraculous than that.

I gave him a month (being the amount of time I thought we could last without extra cash). If nothing happened in that time, and our next deposit from Coast wasn’t unusually large, I would go to the blogs, Twitter, and Facebook to give you guys a chance to help.

The month went by. Some things happened (we got a significant discount for one of our kids’ schools, for example), but nothing hit the target number we needed to reach.

Then THE DAY I HAD MARKED AS OUR DEADLINE, I got an e-mail from a friend I used to work with asking if I wanted to write for this new game. For actual money.

I might have danced that day.

Does this mean we don’t have to worry about money anymore? Heck no, but it definitely helps and has the potential to continue helping down the road. Mostly, though, it reminds me that we serve a God who takes care of the people he calls out to do stuff.

I mean, I know missionaries who go back to their home country every year or two to raise money, and sometimes I wonder if we should be doing that. But I think that’s just the path God called them to. I would be terrible at it, and I’m pretty sure it would be terrible for my family. I like this path, and I’m thankful for the reminders that God really did put me on it in the first place.

January 10, 2013

A Rare Picture

Filed under: Our Work,Personal — Adam Heine @ 8:22 AM

Sarah and Lutiya, feeding the birds at the Night Safari. It’s very rare Lu lets us get a good picture of her, so I’m taking advantage. Sorry, Lu! I love you!

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January 2, 2013

God’s Provision

Filed under: Our Work — Cindy Heine @ 3:47 PM

Sometimes money gets tight, but it’s been amazing to see how God’s providing for our family.  Here’s what’s happened in the past couple of months…
1.  A few weeks ago, my friend won a $250 gift certificate for a grocery store here.  She asked God who to give it to, and He said our family!
2.  A former co-worker of Adam’s asked him if he could do some paid writing work, possibly long term.  Adam’s very excited about this!
3.  My blender broke.  My friend who’s moving back to the US was trying to redeem her points at a store before she left, and the only thing she could get was a blender.  So, she gave it to us!

These were all things that we didn’t ask anyone for, but God is just showing us He will provide.  Thanks God!

December 4, 2012

Painting

Filed under: Our Work,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 2:29 PM

We do it sometimes.

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Clockwise: Me, Anica (with a skirt on her head), Sam, Abigail, Sarah, Eli, Isaac, Joel, Rachel, and Josiah.

November 27, 2012

Mountain Village Pictures

Filed under: Our Work,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 8:46 AM

Sorry for slacking on the posts lately. Life has been ridiculously busy here. I’ll try to make up for it with pictures. These are from our recent trip to Prang’s village.

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See more (with some basic captions) here.

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