Adoption Interview with Vicki Taufer
There are other photographers that are doing a lot of beautiful things and one of them, I wanted to invite you to join us. Her name is vicky ta for vicky and jed talk for they are both also building their family through adoption. They've had some pretty cool experiences that she's going to share with us on dh. They are also using a lot of their efforts to try to make a change try to make something happen. That's really lovely on dh then we're going teo sniper in for a little bit and then come back and have my family here that we're going to the rest of my family and the vicky is on skype and ready to go on. Vicky and jed both have been instructors here on creative I've so excited to see vicky baskets, but don't go far because you're coming down. Thank you, steve. All right, she's joining us in this way. Yes. Hi. How are you? Could hear you. I am doing good things for kids who are watching a movie in the other room. Don't come and in their interrupt us think it right. But, you know it h...
appens working mom, were you able to see anything of what led into this? Just the last few minutes. Okay, so good already seen me cry few times that I know that you have shed a few tears with some of your experiences the challenging and the emotion of it and such can you start from scratch and tell us a little bit about your experience building your family through adoption? Yeah, how that relates to philanthropy? Yep. Eso you're my husband and I actually when we started dating in high school knew we wanted to adopt that was ah big that was a big deal to us that we knew someday when we get married that's how we wanted part of our family to be we just had a big heart for you know those who are less fortunate that didn't have homes and we started that process gosh, what seven years ago with nepal and it took a couple of years and when we found out about our daughter we were able to travel within a couple months and think that we were going to be bringing her home in a month after we got to know paul and I have been stuck there for six months on dh so it was yes very emotional I would never tell me when the adoption is easy but it's I would do it all over again, you know? I mean it's absolutely been life changing it changed my perspective on so many things I'm just becoming a mom, you know, regardless of how that happens but also the process of you know, just really the perspective of everything with my business and bouncing life and family and really experiencing the country of nepal for a longer period of time and seeing how many people just the need that's there and we all know obviously in the last two months with the earthquakes and things that have happened, how that need has been create increased, you know, it's in the even greater greater issue and so that that was a little bumpy but we got her home and she's been home now five years just turned six last week and it's been amazing way just added to our family and we just got back from thailand a couple weeks ago with a two and a half year old little boy so our daughter neiman now has a little brother and I'm a mom of two and it's going amazing and his process was completely different we had to wait a year from after we found out about out about him to go get him so that was very hard but it was also known that that was part of the process and now that we've been home I mean the transition's been amazing, it really has and I experienced another country, another culture we were only there for three weeks, but again, you see the needs their you know he was with a foster family where is my daughter was in an orphanage and but either way, you know, we saw how these people loved on these kids but they just there's some of sage physically lack because of because of money you know they're able to give them love they're able to take care of them the best they can but there's still so much that a very little goes a long way over there so I think that's what inspired my husband and I to do something about that and that's when we started a fund after we got back with paul and very simple just a donor abides fun it's not a nonprofit I heard about the idea from another retired for sarah petty and it was just a simple way to funnel money that my clients knew where it was going like fifty dollars from a session we'll go to the ash refund or, you know, selling jewelry made in nepal to the astro fund or I find our prince that I created in nepal the money will go to the asha fund and so because we created that fund we were able to give thousands of dollars after the earthquake you know, two different places that needed it were able to help find a home for five boys who needed it so the funds are there as his opportunities come up but you say the name of you said it really quickly yeah, the astra fund it means hope in nepal so eh s h a fund yep dot org's perfect order yeah, so I think though that was a very simple way that really it was just contacting the lawyer and getting something very simple set up with the community foundation in our town that really anybody could really do it was that simple or really there's enough people you know, I know what you're doing a beautiful together and other people have started things that you know, if you believe in what somebody's doing you khun obviously donate funds that way from your business to other people who already proactively doing those things yeah that's actually one of our goals and beautiful together is this one we're directing it, but we want to be able to get to the point where we find organizations that are ready thicken it, they hit the ground running, they know what they're doing and then just fund their projects as well. That would be one that was to go what we're kind of dean with ours we have to give our money to non profits that are already there obviously I am not in the hole now no, I don't know where the always were the most needed but I know people I trust who are there then they know I have to say and I remember this so vividly when you were in nepal I remember that when you know jet he was just going back and forth and back and forth and then when he was coming back on a plane is when you got confirmation right? You want to tell that story because it's you know, dramatic yeah so yeah, the hardest thing ever was twice judd had to leave a name and I in the fall and we were hopeful the whole way until he left. Maybe I'd get to come home with him right now with our daughter and so it was after christmas he had come over to visit and we still didn't have the way had to say goodbye to him again. We literally saw his airplane go like from our balcony and then we got the phone call we were getting the visa, but I couldn't contact him, so I threw it on facebook we all know social media could become very viral and I had people contacting me e mailing me my brother's a pilot, my someone so works for delta we're going to try to tell him we were trying teo give him notice while he was still on the plane andi were able to make that happen, but it's pretty funny, jed said when he landed literally you know how everybody turns their phone on like his phone exploded it was everybody else in the world knew that we were coming home but I am yeah phone just like emails and voicemails and messages and we were waiting and tracking this flight so we were able to call him right away and then we came home that next week so yeah I mean I was one of those people who are just like just in tears and I saw your message and I'm like he doesn't even know I and I think the thing that also is amazing and I remember you wrote a beautiful letter for us you know we got to a point where we were contracting congressmen and different people in government trying to get home and I think that's just a testament teo just the photography community very pass people on dh I think we really have each other's backs you know it's a small enough community you know what's going on and with social media it's so easy to get that help and it was literally within one day we put out there that we needed help and when we were calling the united states government we were actually getting a voicemail safe this is in regards to the top or family or any other families stuck in nepal because they got so flooded by it was mostly retired birds I mean it was family and friends and people from our community and church but photographers really just stepped up and helped us we'd photographers fly into the studio to shoot sessions for us while I was gone because that's you know, a whole other part of the story and it was a challenge to run the business and and not either and that no, I wasn't going to be there it wasn't planned right right and that's amazing because honestly I think if you are in social media and you see a lot of the kind of what you see on the internet right some of the ugliness and the haters and this and that sometimes that can overshadow the fact that there's so much love in this industry there really is there so many people who are rooting for you and I are rooting for family, you know, rooting for this and I I like I said, I remember being one of so many people that was like I am crying right now just it was such a relief because you didn't know how long it was going to go and it was such a weird thing because it wasn't until you got there that you found out that you couldn't just turn around and leave right was a right beforehand no no it was when we got there so like we thought we were in a pall a month and then end up in six months but yes, even when it was the six months it could've been two years you know? We just didn't know that was the hard part we always said, you know, you know, none of us know the future I mean, regardless of whatever it is your business biologically having a child adopting but you have your plans and you have the way you think it's going to be and I think, you know, really it just made a stronger and I said it changed some perspectives on things and, um and just have the support, the love that we just felt like I will never I feel like for the rest of my life like I I won't even build describe that like, the love that I just felt from people that is just challenged me to give back and when I see opportunities, you know, people going through other things that I do have a strong desire to figure out ways to help because so many people even people I didn't know, you know, jump, you know, stepped up and helped us out yeah, yeah, I've experienced that you remember when we were coming home from ecuador with our daughter, we were only there two months, but I felt like there was there was more challenging than I had expected because I've been a little spoiled with caleb our son it was five months start to finish the whole adoption like we live in a walk down to our mailbox and we put a letter in that says we want to become a doctor parents that's amazing I didn't know that five months later walked off the plane with him and so also like just seamless and then yeah fast forward to three years later without only said it you know that was nineteen months altogether unexpectedly on gyu said this last time around once again it was different for you because in thailand it was transparent and you knew what was gonna happen the whole time yeah, pretty much everything they said and the time frames were all pretty much what happened so we actually though for a little jaded every step of the process that happened in thailand right now this is it. This is what's gonna happen we're going to get stuck here, you know, meetings at the embassy we kept thinking oh, something's gonna happen routes and it didn't and you know, the airplane ride is going to be terrible, you know that it's like everything he was amazing. He hacked on the plains that airplane watched movies slept most the time it really was it was amazing it really was amazing it's funny completely well totally relate to this but on a different topic what I've been talking about a lot with this photography course is about if you can lower your expectations what a better experience you'll have but that's not just for a shoot that's not just a photographer take one it's always me tell people under promise and over deliver now even just what you are with your clients and that same thing I think we went in I felt like very prepared in knowing what could happen all the things that could happen and whether it's our son attached to us or didn't more part of the process you know and just living I mean, it was different we took our daughter with us, you know? We went to go get me my was jed and I and our new baby but we took, you know, a five year old over to thailand right? Here you go three weeks on dh she did amazing too, so but we don't know what to expect. We had lots of theories of what could have happened and really we were pretty blown away. It was pretty smooth that's so I think we made up for it the first time. Yeah, yeah, you got it back. Will you tell us a little bit more because you were saying with your funds that you that one of the upsides is your clients can have an idea of where their donation is going, but it sounds like you're also can be really specific with us about how you work things with your client so that you can have a benefit to the fund to help other people like how exactly does that work yes so I have done everything from afar is raising the money with clients so based on my my fun has a web site so we always will direct people you know where the website was asha asha fun dot org's asha so they can read more about it specifically there and we have you know, little brochures and cards printed up most of our clients is I'm sure most people know what they're quite state they're friends they're not just clients so they know what's going on in our lives they're familiar you know that we've adopted to grow our family and what we've got and I run into but no I'm saying very commonly what we've done you know like you know, an adoption awareness month we've done things where every session you know fifty dollars will go to the osha funds we have a woman we have contact within the paul who she helps underprivileged and rescued people who rescue from tough situations gives them an opportunity to create jewelry work at the coffee shop and give them a opportunity to get out of there bye styler situations they've been rescued from and we sell that jewelry than in the u s or handbags and things and one hundred per cent of that money will go into the fund um but I mean, you could get creative with this, I mean, I actually, you know, we sell items, photographers, so we'll do sales on our gallery haven site and say a percentage of every single sale goes to bash chiffon and that's been for years, ten percent of everything on our cyprus harper's always just goes to the ash opened every year, so we've been able to grow it, you know, slowly, but really without I mean, the most in effort has been has been an email, you know? I mean, like like, you know, I feel like we haven't done it hasn't been a lot of work hasn't taken a lot of effort, but we've really been able to help others with that, so I don't you know, I want people to feel encouraged, you know, how I really could be and you know, it even before was the asha finder, our business really grew from the marketing standpoint by tying in with charities, you know, could have been, you know, raising dog food with our pet promotion, you know, a local family who maybe lost their home in a tornado, you know, I know photographers, you see that all the time they're tynan ways to help people, you know, what, their businesses or silent auctions. Things like that in the fine art that's been actually with the nepal earthquake that was away be raised quite a bit s o I took images and we were able to sell them, and it was so slick we actually just did it through pixie said they put up the white house and shipped directly to people, so I was like, hands off, people place the order, they worship their prints, I was able to send the money to the ash a fund? Yeah, and that's great, because, again, we're both touching on this repeatedly because I think the biggest barrier to people making a difference in areas they care about is it just feels like has so much it's going to be big it's gonna take time and you're saying, we've been doing this for five years old? Yeah, for a little bit less than five years. Yeah, and even though you've been able to make real impacts with it, it hasn't been something that's overwhelmed you at all. No, no, and I don't know when the goal I think, eventually is to do something bigger with it and that's the beauty of this eventually this money we could hood as long as the goal of this, it has to fit the criteria we set it up with, which is helping children and families in need so you know, as long as that is where the money's going, it doesn't have to be nepal, it could be in the u s it is going towards helping children and families in need, you know, that could evolve over time into something bigger, you know, as I do have more time or when my kids are in school, you know, because that's just obviously it is one more thing, the balance, right? You know, I have two kids of business, I don't even live in the same state is my business now and e mean it's crazy, so it's great it's doable that and then so when people ask you questions about adoption, do you find yourself fielding a lot of questions about adoption from photographers? I d'oh d'oh, and I think you know what you know about it, but if you haven't adopted, there are a lot of things you don't know that until you go through it. I mean, there's a lot of paperwork, there's a lot of I can't tell somebody exactly what it's going to be like because even my two experiences were so different. Andi, I think the biggest thing is, you know, you really have to know if if we're talking internationally, you do have to know where you're going to adopt from first because every country is different right on dh so I do feel a lot of field a lot of questions I think my heart breaks because I think there's a lot more interest from people who are willing to do it yes but the processes can be a challenge that sometimes people are discouraged or don't know where to start or they listen to that negativity it there's this it mirrors creating some you know, being able to contribute something that you care about it zee that same kind of feeling of like it's so much yeah, but I think it's just like anything that you two really you just take one step at a time and I think that you know, if it's something someone really wants to dio you'll get through it and it's the fourth every you know I would do it all over again I would do it all over again even if I knew I had to get stuck into paul for six months you know it takes some time and some effort and some money but you know, people are creative too with that like I know people who haven't had the money to adopt internationally but they've been able to raise funds you know, to help offset that there's organizations that exist you help people with that we're planning in the future to be one of those that was one of our goals is to be able to provide grants to absolutely people who their heart is there they want to do it the children were there they want a family and the only thing that's preventing them is the actual funds for the transaction that these that you need to pay to be able to process in adoption and so I think you know I don't want people to be discouraged and not at least look into it further because those things do exist yes yes I totally agree thank you so much for taking the time to join us I so appreciate it on and I didn't interrupt us teo and so to summarize people can find out more about you at asha fun dot or ge and then on your web site the gallery dot net is that right? You got that right on social media be topper not that they need to know more about you your crew revival of every knows about you but um the just beat offer yet be talk for you all right perfect. All right, well thank you so much really appreciate it. I'll talk to you soon. Bye she's awesome. So cool. I love that she reiterated exactly I mean it's a consistent theme that feeling of like there's a lot you just kind of have to take one step by step and suddenly you've done this you've done that it's funny she was like I would do it again I like me too oh, I am and now the world knows and now the world knows yes, that was very thanks again teo vicki for coming on she taught a whole bit about creating programs that people can do was a lot of people like you said what we're talking about here is people who are family photographers people are always wanting to figure out a way to give back and it's just kind of the logistics about how do I do that and where should I focus so really appreciate bringing it all together yes, absolutely so I get to we'll be able to show some of those images of her by the way way can oh yes thank you just two seconds just what we close out real quick are they going through? Oh yeah, thank you alright, good so there's some really sweet ones of her and paul and then her with her babies on dh, then with her youngest little one who she can't actually show because of the guidelines of thailand can't actually show photographs of him for up to a year every country's different others don't have that concern at all and right out the gate go for others have varying things not until you get your adoption finalized or your visa or whatever the case might be on this her her two little ones together now um and from her time in thailand there you go