Friday, April 15, 2011

We are home

We made it home today! Siri did great on the flights. She slept a lot and when she was awake she was happy. On the longest flight they even gave us a bassinet for her to sleep in.

We landed in Springfield at 1:30 (only 37 hours after we left our hotel room at 6 pm) and Dale and Jack greeted Siri with a welcome home sign. I swear those boys have gotten so much bigger in the two weeks we were gone!

Siri did great. At the house she ran around and played with the boys. She likes her room but she loves the boys' room. Anything that moves or makes sounds she loves. She played spaceship and monster truck with Jack. Dale tried to get her to sit on his lap and read a book, but she wasn't ready to sit still.

Around five the lack of sleep hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt like I had been drugged. I just couldn't stay awake. So we all piled into our bed to watch Bolt. Everyone was out but Dale. He woke me up after the movie wanting to play. Somehow I talked him into one more movie. Next thing I know it is one in the morning and we have all taken a really long nap. We got up and had dinner then played for the next several hours. Finally at three the kids were worn out, so we put them to bed and started unpacking.

It's now 4:30 and we are catching up on American Idol reruns. This keypad may take awhile to catch. Up on. And I can't believe it, but Siri is sleeping in her own bed!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Hi Boys -

We spent today visiting Khao San Road...the street where they filmed the movie, The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio. It's changed a bit since then. Not quite so seedy as it used to be.

Tomorrow is the Thai new year celebration where everyone totes squirt guns and drenches everyone walking on the street. Evidently they decided to start the tradition a little early on Khao San Rd. Didn't get squirted, but saw several who did.  You boys would love it.  You can just walk around squirting people with your water guns.  And they sell some big water guns.

Getting on the plane tomorrow!  Love you and see you soon!

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Monday, April 11, 2011

Siri gives kisses

Hey boys, it’s your daddy!

We had a great day on Monday. Along with all the other mommies and daddies that adopted kids here, we hired a driver to take us to the floating market. The market is about an hour and a half drive outside of Bangkok. Once we got there, we hired a boat driver to take us around the city that lines the canal.

Along with people who just live along the canal, there are tons of floating vendors selling all kinds of goods. While the boats and the canal probably haven’t changed a whole lot in the past several decades, the vendors have. You can find many traditional vendors selling fruits and vegetables in the waterways, but the vast majority have tried to take advantage of the large amount of tourists who come to take in the experience. We thoroughly enjoyed the boat ride and the scenery, but we didn’t do much shopping. The merchandise being sold was 3 times more expensive there than in the markets around town.

Another highlight was when our boat driver docked and let us walk around a Buddhist temple. We took lots of pictures while a monk worked tirelessly making candles and bundles of incense for worshipers to burn.

Siri loved the boat ride. As we passed different vendors she’d wave and yell, “Bye-Bye!” Thai people find it so strange that we actually have a Thai baby with us. Many have stopped to talk to her and have told us how much she looks Thai. They’re really shocked when we tell them that she is. One lady, not trying to be offensive I’m sure, asked us if she was Thai, then proceeded to tell her how lucky she was. I was glad that she had no idea what she was saying. We just kept telling the lady of how lucky we were to have her. Wherever we go though, she attracts a lot of attention.

Oh, and today she gave me my first kiss on her own! It was a great day.

Hope you all have a wonderful day. Can’t wait to see everyone!

Love you,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday With Siri Mae

Hey Boys!  It's Daddy!

Yesterday we spent much of the day wondering through the HUGE Weekend Market.  The market is said to be the biggest flea market in the world and after experiencing it, I believe it.  It's a maze of tightly clustered vendors that covers about 10 acres of space.  It was easy to get lost and lose your bearings once inside.  The key was to locate the tower in the very center of the market so that you could figure out where you were in relation to where you began.  So after spending so much time walking, sweating, and haggling with vendors over prices, we decided to keep today a little more low key.

We began the morning like we normally do, with breakfast downstairs in the lobby.  They have a great buffet comes as part of the package with staying at the hotel.  It's been fun seeing Siri try out foods that she's never had before.  Her foster family was very poor and no doubt probably had very little meat to eat, so she's very suspicious of eating meat.  Coming from a Muslim family, we knew she had never had pork before, but just like the rest of us Andersons, she loves bacon!!
Next, we decided to walk down to the MBK Mall and just take in the sights that we came across.

First we took a stroll through Lumphini Park.

As we got closer to the mall, I noticed that we were very close to the Erawan Shrine.  The shrine is a Buddhist place of prayer, located in the center of town at the base of an upscale shopping mall.

As we were about to depart, we noticed some really loud music and a bunch of commotion going on in the street.  When we got to a better viewing point, we saw the Red Shirts.  We read some about the Red Shirts before we arrived.  Evidently, they are a group that doesn't like the Thai government and periodically form protests.  This time last year, the protests turned violent and the largest mall in the country was nearly burned down.  It's just now reopening.  After talking to some bystanders, this was the anniversary of their protests a year ago and 75,000 Red Shirts were descending upon downtown Bangkok for another rally.  As you can see from the video I shot, the police were on hand in big numbers, but stood by as Red Shirts jumped out of their vehicles to conduct the traffic themselves.  Protesting the government in the US is nothing unusual, but in Thailand, it's against the law to say or do anything that paints the Royal family in a bad light.  As you can tell from the video, not all Thais feel that the government is doing a poor job.  This one old man was letting the protesters have it!!

Even though I was curious and wanted to check out how it all went down, we didn't feel like hanging around a potentially violent protest with our new daughter was such a great idea, so we headed in a different direction.

But the best part of our day was watching Siri continue to make such big strides, like she has everyday.  Today, her and I played a ton, and she laughed more than I've ever seen her laugh before.  She let me pick her up and hold her for 5 minutes today, and really likes for me to pick her up and toss her in the air.  We closed out the afternoon by the pool and she tried to swim to me.  She likes the water, but can't help but try to drink it.  She's adjusting amazingly!!  After she goes to bed and mommy and me spend time on the sofa talking, I usually say something about how much progress she's made each day, but conclude by saying that I wouldn't look for her to make that much more tomorrow.  But each day she becomes noticeably more social and open....especially towards me.  At this rate, it's not out of the realm of possibility that I could be carrying her off the plane! 

Thank you to all those who've been praying for us.  I couldn't ask for a better transition, or a better tempered daughter.  I've told everyone that this girl is tough as nails!  She can fall down at a full speed run and hop up with nothing but giggles.  There hasn't been one time that she's fallen or banged her head that she's ever cried or shed a tear.  No amount of heat or lack of nap or lack of food has ever caused her to be cranky or whimper.  She's just so easy to take care of. 

It's been 9 days since we first met, and I wake up each morning excited to see what new things I'll discover about her.  In the beginning, all I could see were the differences between her and our other two kids.  But the more I'm around her and get to know her, the more I notice how much she's just like our boys, and the better I feel about her integration into our family.

Take care.  Love you all!

Daddy (David)

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Hi Boys -

It was god to talk to you this morning.  Hope you have a great day at the ball park with Nana and Papa. 

It is raining here tonight.  Our first big thunderstorm.  Siri is sleeping.

We had a good day today.  We took the metro for the first time.  Siri seemed to enjoy riding the train.

Siri is also doing well.  She is even learning to say your names.  She likes playing with Daddy, and guess what Jack, she loves playing cars too!  She pushes it around and says Brrrmmmmbrrrmmmm.

She loves shoes.  She will put on Daddy's shoes and try to walk around the room.  She also loves to say cheese for the camera, she can say bye-bye and she can blow a kiss.

Four more days till we get on the plane to come home.  I sure can't wait to give you both big hugs!  Love you bunches and tons.

Love, Mommy and Daddy!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Hi Boys -

It's Momma.  Sorry we missed our morning call this morning.  Siri was having a hard time going to sleep and I lost track of time. When I called you had already left for school.

Daddy, Siri and I had a good day today. Siri woke up in a great mood.  She really wanted to try on the outfit our social worker, Pat, got for her.  It is a traditional Thai outfit, and it is too big for Siri to wear, but she was determined so I left her put it on.

She also loves trying on shoes.

After breakfast we took a taxi to the Pahurat Market.  Siri rode in the backpack carrier, remember, the one I tried out on you two.  She was unsure at first but then loved it.  It was a hot day and we all got really sweaty, but Siri was a trooper.

Hope you have a great day!  We love and miss you.  Talk to you soon.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I see your true colors shining through

Hi Boys -

It's Momma.  It was so good to talk to you this morning.  I hope you have a fabulous day today.  Siri had a really great day today.  She is really starting to talk and play.  Here are a few pictures and videos from our day.  Here is Siri reading her family book.  She loves to sit on the floor and crinkle the pages (thanks Jess and Nancy for the book - she loves it!)

Here is a picture of her napping.  She likes to sleep holding the bottle in her mouth.

And here she is trying to wear Daddy's sunglasses.

Guess what boys, she loves to draw, just like you do.  You know all those pictures you drew her?  Well, today, she drew you one and she is excited to show it to you!

She also loves to use the TV remote.  I know two other little boys who love to do that!

Today we also got to talk to Aunt Sarah's class in their classroom via Skype.  It was a lot of fun.  They wrote us letters and asked lots of great questions.

Well boys, we are off to bed.  Not to much longer and we will be tucking you in ourselves.  We love you and miss you!

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Day at the Dusit Zoo in Bangkok

Hey Boys!  It's Daddy here. 

Today we had the day off from any appointments or meetings and decided to spend the day at the zoo.  Mommy and I were just talking about how sissy doesn't like hanging around the hotel room, as it probably reminds her of that horrible day when she was taken away from her foster momma.  So the more time that we spend out and about, distracting her from thinking about her former home and having fun, the better.

The zoo was fun.  We feed some goats a bottle of milk, sissy pet a baby cheetah (great parenting move on our part), and we got to see a sea lion show. 

As I've said several times before, sissy is taking her time getting used to me.  While it kills me not to be able to love on her, I just keep reminding myself about all she's had to go through in her short, little life, and that this process is not about fulfilling my needs.  It's about tending to her needs and satisfying those by any means necessary, even if it means that I can't have those precious father-daughter moments right now that I've envisioned.  I'm still forming a relationship with her.  I'm just starting from a different point than Danyel is right now.

Today at the zoo, Danyel was holding her hand as we walked by the guinea pig exhibit.  Siri was distracted so I took the opportunity to get Danyel to switch hands and let me hold her hand without her knowing.  It worked for about 1 minute, until she happened to glance up and see that it wasn't momma holding her hand anymore.  Still, I hold on to moments like those and others that show me that progress is being made, slow albeit. 

She loves to feed me when we are having a meal or snacking.  She great at sharing and seems to get enjoyment out of watching me eat from her hand and seeing me get excited.  She also loves to splash and play with me in the pool.  Even though momma still has to hold her to do so, she likes to take little cups and pour water on my head.  She makes the funniest face when you offer her something she doesn't want.

While my goal of having her be calm with me holding her by the time we get back on the plane is growing dimmer by the day, progress is still being made, and everyday I see her smile a little bit more. It's signs like these that overwhelm any part of me that is saddened by her lack of affection towards me, and still make me the luckiest dad in the world.

We love you and miss you so much.  It was so good to talk to you today.  Hope you have a great day at school and we can't wait to see those school pictures!

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Hi boys -

Sorry we didn't post yesterday.  It was a busy day and we were all tired  This is going to be a short one, cause I am typing with one hand.  Little miss Siri won't let me put her down.

So we started the morning at the Thai court hearing for Siri.  They asked lots of questions about you and if you were both happy to have a new baby sister.  We told them you very very excited.  Here is the judge that we spoke to.  She was also a pediatrician and studied at Barnes Jewish in St. Louis.  She had even been to Springfield, MO, can you believe it.  Here is a picture of all of us.

Then we went shopping.  We needed formula and dish soap.  There happened to be a McDonalds near by, so Siri enjoyed her first Hot Fudge Sunday.  She was a mess, but she loved it!

Daddy can still only hold her when she is sleeping, but he loves that sweet time with her.

We are headed to the zoo today, so I'll be sure and post pictures when we get back.  Love you boys, hope you have a good nights sleep.  Love Mommy and Daddy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

We have Siri

Hi Dale and Jack -

This is Mommy.  It was so good to talk to you this morning!  Hope you had a great day with Grandma Goldia.

Today Siri is ours!  We have or meeting with the Thai courts tomorrow.  Here is the picture from her passport.  Isn't she a cutie!

We have no new pictures from today.  It has been a rough day for her.  She knew as soon as she walked into the hotel that she wouldn't be going back to her foster family, and she was not happy.  She cried and cried.  We brought her up to the room and pulled out all the treats.  She wasn't interested in any of them and just kept saying bye bye.  So, we went bye bye.  We went on a walk and she calmed down right away.  We passed an A & W and got a root beer.  She enjoyed that.

Then we came back to the room.  She played for a bit then and is taking a nap now.  Here is a sweet video from yesterday when Daddy was tickling her, and she was laughing.

Well, I miss you boys.  We will call you in the morning.  We love you and miss you!

Love Mommy and Daddy!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More Siri videos

We had a hard time loading videos last night, so here are some from yesterday.  In the first video Siri is arriving at the hotel.

Here are two more videos from Siri's foster house.  In one she is playing with a container and in the second, a shoe.

Second Day With Siri

Hey Boys -

It's Dad writing again.  We got to see sissy for the second time today.  About 10:30 in the morning her van pulled up to the hotel and all the children were led into the lobby for a group picture, before heading to the Central World Mall to spend some time in public, bonding and shopping.  Here is a picture of the entire group, there are four families in the group with us.

We also had lunch there together.  Even though we had French fries and chicken, she opted for the fried rice and egg.  I don't think she's used to some of our same favorites yet.  But she really liked drinking my coke and momma's mango smoothie! 

It was a little frustrating today to see the other dad's holding their new little ones, but so far Siri has decided that she feels safest with momma.  Even though I want nothing more than to just squeeze her and give her kisses all over, I don't want to pressure her and force myself on her too much.  I think she'll come around to me in her own time.  One of the social workers said that she didn't think Siri liked going to men at all, which discouraged me a bit, but I had renewed hope when I saw her interact with her foster dad when we visited them today.

It was neat to see Siri in a more comfortable environment.  Her personality seemed to change a bit.  Still, she seems to be a tough little girl with lots of attitude and spunk.  Her social workers like to talk about how low her voice is compared to other girls her age, and about how when they took all the babies to get vaccinated, she was the only one who didn't flinch or cry at all.  She's so animated with her face when she doesn't like something, and when she smiles or giggles, you know she really thinks somethings funny.  She doesn't hand out smiles and grins at just anything.  She's pretty serious a lot of the time and I think she'll have a lot in common with her Papa Paul! :)

Her favorite toy is a ride-on tractor which she was sure to show us right away.

The foster family lives about an hour and a half outside of Bangkok.  When we arrived, we were greeted by the mother and father, and asked to come upstairs to have a talk on their porch.  The heat and humidity were high, so they they were already prepared with three oscillating fans on the porch to help keep us comfortable.  One of the nephews brought out some bottled water and some fruit for us to snack on while we talked.

I was quickly informed not to hug or kiss our foster mom.  Evidently this is a no-no in Muslim culture.  We had a wonderful conversation with the family through our interpreters.  We asked them all kinds of questions from, "what kinds of things does she like to play with?" to, "How does she let you know when she needs to go to the bathroom?"  And the foster mom probably asked us just as much.  It was evident that she cared deeply for Siri, as she seemed to be interviewing us to make sure we were fit to take their little girl home.

 One question she had for us was, "Why would you want to adopt a little girl with this kind of deformity?"  When Danyel's answer was interpreted, her body language communicated that we had her approval.  Danyel told her that, "God told us that we would one day adopt a child that would have a special need, and need a special kind of love.  When we saw Siri's picture, we knew that she was the one."  The mother, seemingly a highly religious woman, began to grow teary-eyed and put her hand over her heart and repeated something 3 times in Thai.  We waited for the interpretation to come through, wondering what she was trying to communicate.  The social worker turned to us, smiled, and said, "She says, Now, I am happy." 

As our visit came to a close, we handed out our gifts to the entire family, took a tour of their home, watched Siri dance on the aged wooden floor while a holding my music playing phone, and tried to express how deeply grateful we were to her family for taking care of our little girl until we could come and get her. 

As we said our final goodbyes, I think it hit everyone involved that this was real and that tomorrow she would be brought to our hotel to stay with us permanently, and that this night would be her last with them.  It also hit home that an hour and a half conversation didn't seem to be long enough to convey all the feelings and emotions of the moment, especially when it had to be relayed through another individual.  But as I shook the hands of the foster father, I turned to see Siri's two mothers exchanging their final goodbyes.  I saw two women who live in countries about as far apart as you can get, who speak different languages, believe in different religions, and who live a lifestyle that neither one could imagine living the other, put all aside and embrace each other with tears flowing, because the one thing they had in common superseded anything else....the love of a child.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Superman Was Adopted - Shirt for Siri

Don't forget, today is your last day to order T-shirts. We'll be deleting the links tonight. With all our amazing friends and family we have sold 120 shirts!! God has really blessed us with some wonderful support, thank you all!

Meeting Siri for the first time

Hey boys! It's your Daddy.

Well, we met your baby sister for the first time this morning!! She was so cute when she arrived with her pig-tails sprouting up.

You'll be glad to know that she's a big eater just like us. She ate snacks all the way down to Bangkok from her foster family's house and was pretty sleepy and ready for a nap when she arrived.

When we first saw her we played with cups and the telephone for awhile, and she also likes playing with balls and balloons, which we tried out later on.

She REALLY liked Mommy today. After a few minutes of playing with her, she immediately sat on her lap and liked Mommy holding her.

When it was time for a bottle, she let me hold her, which lasted for about 5 minutes, then she let everyone know that she was ready to have Momma hold her again.
Like we expected, she was pretty shy at first and still doesn't seem to know how to take all of this change. Even though we've called her Siri since the time we knew we were going to get her, she doesn't really answer to that name yet.

Her nickname that was given to her by her foster mom is, Mae (pronounced, May) and she answers to that better than Siri or Sirithorn. We also found out that her given name is pronounced differently than we thought. The "h" sound is silent and is pronounced, Siritorn.

Her foster home is about an hour and a half bus ride north of Bangkok, and is called, Ayutthaya. It used to be the capital city of Thailand and has a ton of historical temples and sights. In fact, we were told that we could take a boat ride up the river to make a day trip of sightseeing with her on one of our free days after they release her to us. It looks like you can tour her town by elephant and checkout all the landmarks and the famous rice fields, that Ayutthaya is known for.

We had lunch together and she ate lots of rice and papaya. I think she actually ate so much of it that she didn't even care to eat the frosting covered cupcake that I got her for dessert....(don't worry boys, I didn't let it go to waste!)

After lunch, we spent some time back in our hotel room where Siri took a little nap.  Before she did though, we gave her the card that you boys made her with the Hello Kitty stickers.  She didn't say much, but I'm pretty sure she like it. 

Then, she napped soundly until she awoke to see some big ugly guy laying next to her.  Momma had to take her out on the balcony to console her and she quickly fell back to sleep.

 All in all, it was a perfect first meeting! Although she's still pretty unsure about me, I was still able to get her to crack a smile right before she got on the bus to head back to Ayutthaya.

Oh, and as she was leaving she did the cutest thing that I wish I had recorded on video. As her social worker spoke to her in Thai and said what I believe was "Tell mommy and daddy goodbye," she looked at us with those gorgeous dark eyes, clasped her little hands together across her chest, and nodded her head, with a traditional "wae," as they call it.

The gesture was the perfect ending to our first meeting, and seemed to be her little way of letting us know that things are going to be ok.

We love you and miss you!