Raising a Vietnamese/ExPat Child

I'm wondering if we can pool our constructive opinions about the unique challenge of being an expat and raising a child in Việt Nam?

If there are female expats who have born a child to a Vietnamese national, your input is welcome.

I'm just trying to create something positive here for the sake of the kids, who are too young to have any ulterior motives other than to survive and thrive.

We have far too many troll threads generating ad revenue for this site, while dissecting Vietnamese women and tattooing them with scarlet letters.

I won't be fathering any new babies, but the 35 year-old woman I'm seeing steadily has three children; divorced by the father of the 15 year-old boy and abandoned by the father of the 8 year-old boy and 6 year-old girl.

All of them currently live a pretty stable life in the home of the sister and brother-in-law of my sweetheart.

No one asks me for a single đồng.

Even though I always offer to pay when we go out, they usually insist on picking up the check.

So I share money "for the children" on a regular basis, which is the only way my lady friend will accept money from me.

This is a very humble family, not given to the fancy and ostentatious trappings of Western living.

The highlight of every day is when we gather in a circle on a straw mat on the floor and have a mini feast.

The young boy is very affectionate and speaks English well enough for us to talk about his day at school.

The girl is playful, and will sing her ABC's to get my attention, but (as she says to her mother) she is otherwise "taking it slowly"...  :cool:

The eldest son is a peaceful young man; a mirror of his mother's temperament. He seems genuinely happy to see me on a regular basis.

All of the children appear to enjoy seeing their mother with me.

Obviously, the future holds various possibilities. I feel I've discovered a new purpose in my life, and the physical activities are very satisfying, apparently for both of us.

I was a stepfather previously, and I was good at that. The most painful part of our divorce after 4 years together was saying goodbye to my 7 year-old stepson as he and his mother moved to another state.

So for now, I'm being a beneficent "Uncle". Perhaps that will be the extent of our relationship.

But I'm taking my contact with the children seriously.

If nothing else, I'm giving them regular English conversation lessons.

No plea for help, but there are some wise heads in this forum, so feel free to comment.

Don't over think it.

I think you have the situation well described.

But as you get closer to the children, you do need to consider that your relationship is becoming permanent, otherwise you are just like the father who abandoned them.

Sounds to me like the family is devoted to you. I think it's time to be devoted to them. Get married. Don't look back.

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I disagree.

Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey...

Be happy you are not a monkey         :shy
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Wxx3 :

Don't over think it.

I think you have the situation well described.

But as you get closer to the children, you do need to consider that your relationship is becoming permanent, otherwise you are just like the father who abandoned them.

Sounds to me like the family is devoted to you. I think it's time to be devoted to them. Get married. Don't look back.

Bazza139 :

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I disagree.

Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey...

Be happy you are not a monkey         :shy
.

I agree with both of you.

On the one hand, this is a serious commitment to three young human beings and their mother.

Not a time to be narcissistic or a neurotic. It's time for sober decisions.

On the other hand, jumping in without a reasonable time of getting to know each other (the mother and me) would be irresponsible.

I've taken the first step by moving across town to be closer to them. Although the younger boy wonders why I don't sleep in their home, he and his siblings are definitely encouraged to know I'm only 10 minutes away.

If all goes smoothly, I have no doubt we will marry.

It just isn't going to happen tomorrow.

Besides, from what I've read in other threads (about marriage in Vietnam) it's going to take me a while to get the documentation I'll need from The States.

Time to grow firm in our commitments to each other.

Please pass the bananas...

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