When I am here in Thailand you might expect that in every baby I see I potentially see the face of my future baby.

But actually I don’t really feel that way.

Of course most children I see here are with their parents, or grandparents. Children here (as in many places) are so cherished and adored that there is no sense in me that they could be my child. You don’t see the children who are in Thai orphanages – those orphanages of course are not places for the public to drop by and so I have not been there.

It reminds me of when Husbot and I were on our honeymoon. We were in Dharamsala, India. This is where many Tibetan refugees live, where the Dalai Lama lives. Husbot had not spent so much time in Asian countries as me and he surprised me by saying “Do you think Tibetan people love there children more then other people?”. No! I said laughing, everyone loves their children. But he explained that he had never seen people being so affectionate and caring to children so openly before. The way people carried children in their arms or tied to them, the way they held hands with little toddlers and walked slowly with them talking to them, listening to them babbling away. The grandparents who were all waiting for their grandchildren to walk them home from school etc it is actually really beautiful to see. It is mindfulness parenting, it is what we aspire to do.

I understand that he was comparing to the west where we so often have babies away from us (in public) in pushers, separate, at arm’s length. So that they don’t slow us down or because we are worried they might be tired or because it is what we are taught to do or whatever.

Thailand is another place where you see people adoring their children. Holding them in their arms, letting them toddle along the paths and shopping centres (in their squeaky shoes!). Where parents and grandparents hold hands with them as they walk and chat to them.

These are the children I see. And while they are beautiful they are also so clearly part of a loving and happy home that they are not my baby. I cant imagine that they would even need to be in state care or in the care of a new family – and I hope that their circumstances allow them to remain so adored by their families.

I have been to orphanages in Thailand. As I discussed here but these orphanages are for Burmese children, who are the orphaned or unaccompanied children of refugees or Burmese migrant workers (working refugees) .

I DO see my future child in the faces of these children. I would love if one (or two) of these children were able to become a part of our family, that would be our dream. But alas, these children are not able to be a part of the DSDW program currently. They do not have official status in Thailand so it makes it difficult. My heart weeps for them and their situation.

It would make sense for us too because even though I am in Thailand most of my time is spent with Burmese (Karen, Shan etc) people, as that is who our aid programs are assisting. In Australia too Husbot and I spend most time with both the Tibetan community and the Burmese (Karen, Shan and Mon) communities. Not as much with Thai. These two things are making our language progression difficult (hahaha).

I know that it might be possible still that our child might have a Burmese parent or something but we understand that this might not be the case too.

We joke that our child will be really confused when each year we celebrate Australian (western) New Year, Tibetan New Year, Karen New Year, Shan New Year and Thai New Year. Our child will be like ‘How often per year can it be New Year??” and “which one is the REAL New Year?” hahahaha.  What is the answer? Um…. Just pick one? Whichever one you like? Hahahaha Or… They are ALL the real New Year! Yay!

The real answer is “who cares? Just keep going to the celebrations and eating the yummy food!! :-)”

Who knows where my baby is now. What parents my baby has, what circumstance they are in and what is happening that will mean that our paths will one day meet. It is hard because I know that something difficult must be happening for their family, for their birth mother – otherwise our paths would never cross. I wish that the difficult thing doesn’t happen. But the sad part is that life is full of difficult things. I only hope we will be able to overcome it, altogether as a family.

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