From WACAP’s President and CEO Lillian Thogersen
Just over a week ago, I travelled with WACAP’s Thailand Program Manager Liz Richards to meet the newly appointed Director of the International Adoption Unit of the Department of Social Development and Welfare in Thailand. WACAP has worked in Thailand for 30 years, serving children in need of families. Each time we return, we are the recipients of recognition and appreciation for our years of work for Thai children.
On this trip, we visited several orphanages in Bangkok, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani, gathering updated information on children already matched with families and meeting new children for whom we’ve been asked to find an adoptive family. It’ been over 20 years since my first trip to Thailand, but there continues to be so many orphaned children.
While we are unable to share pictures of individual Thai children, here are a few pictures of rooms where orphans are resting during nap time. Over 50 children are sleeping in cribs in one of the images below.
Not all of these children can be considered for adoption; many have birth families who will hopefully return for them before long; some are in the process being adopted — just waiting for documents to be completed; and a few are close to going home to an adoptive family in a foreign country.
Then there are the children with special needs. Children like the 7-year-old girl who, we’re informed, has a slightly misshapen skull. As this small child tentatively smiled up at us through long lashes covering soft brown eyes, we immediately made a tacit promise that WACAP would find her a family. Another promise was silently given to the 6-year-old boy with a deformed foot whose prosthesis was broken, who has to limp on legs of two different lengths, but who still walks, runs even, and rides a bicycle. And yet another for the 10-month-old baby whose mother is mentally ill but who had the clarity to relinquish her son so he might have a more stable life.
These, and so many more, Thai children are why we keep returning. We know that WACAP’s work in Thailand, and in the other countries where we work, changes children’s lives forever.
Lillian Thogersen, WACAP President and CEO