Showing posts with label Korean Adoption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Korean Adoption. Show all posts

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Daughter's of the American Revolution

Okay, I thought this would be interesting.  It's neat that a past can go so deep in your family.  I did my ancestry for a project for Chelsi and found that my dad's side goes back to Charlemagne and that I can get into DAR  if I chose to.  Chelsi's gifted teacher didn't think they would exclude her because of being an adoptee, so she said I should pursue so the kids would have the possibility of the scholarships, etc., that go with.  

I emailed our local chapter because they were having a how-to meeting soon.  I asked if there would be any issue with the adoptions and they said "I’m sorry adopted children would not be able to become DAR members through you, unless there is a direct blood relationship.  Thank you for your interest in the DAR"

How sad is that?!

I responded "There is no interest.  I am sad that in today's society any organization built on the ideals that the US is built on does not support adoption.  My children are mine.  I am a direct descendant and therefore, my daughters are just as much entitled as my biological sons.  This is THEIR history as much as mine and it is their children's history.  I would never want to be a part of something so stuck in history that they can't see a future."

I just can't get over how sad this is.  I posted to our adoption group and one momma had a great point.  What about all of the aunt/uncles, grandparents, etc. who raised children as their own.  They may have been blood, but could have been blood from another side, not truly making them allowable by DAR.  Or what about all of the secret adoptions where the child never even knew.  They weren't related by blood, but they raised them as blood.  They qualify for DAR, but my kids don't just because we're forthcoming and it states they were born in Korea on their birth certificates with our names as their parents.  

Guess what DAR.  You are a sad, sad organization, well behind the times and they are my kids, we are their parents and our pasts and ancestors are theirs too.  They don't have access to their blood ancestors and we have no problems sharing ours and our lives with our 5 kids!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Such an awesome gift!!

Korea found a baby (younger) picture of Jaemin.  I've never had one until he was 5 months old and sitting up in Seoul.  Nothing prior to Seoul.  I had asked before and they said they had nothing.  But, I asked again and they found this.  It looks to be newborn and he looks so much like Chels (side by side).  He IS SO cute and looks just like the Jaemin I love today.  My heart just beats.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Adoption Article

I found this interesting.  It's a daughter, by both adoption and birth, meeting some of her Korean birth family and having her two mothers together.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day Jaemin!

We don't really celebrate Gotcha Days.  We always do the kids' first, but that's it.  Today was Jaemin's 3rd Gotcha Day!  Hard to believe it's been 3 years, but yet it's been a crazy 3 years, in ways, because of him.  I can't imagine him not in our lives.  He's here to remind me everyday, that we're done having kids and that I love this kid so intensely, it's crazy!!

Many more Gotcha Days little bubsy.  I love you!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fun for all

We had 3 things going on in one day, so we just had Chase decide what he wanted to do since it was ON his birthday.  The family thing, we didn't realize was today until after the first two things came up and Chase had already decided we'd go to the adoption picnic.  This is a place we can go where none of our families are stared at or talked about.  This is a time when we can be with families that look like us.  There were only a few families there, but it was still great food and great company.  The boys did some fishing and Jaemin finally got to use his fishing pole for the first time and fish.  He really did enjoy it, but doesn't quite have the patience for it...yet.  I think he actually could though.  The boys weren't really catching much, but did some frog hunting for fun.  I brought a birthday cake so we could go ahead and celebrate there.  It was fun and Jaemin was pretty well behaved.  I think they all had fun and Chase caught himself a nice bullfrog.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Voice of Love

All families who have adopted from Korea were asked to make short videos for the Voice of Love project. They are planning to send the videos to the South Korean government in an effort to allow them to hear from adoptive families and adoptees as to why adoption is important.  The Korean government has been reducing the numbers of children allowed for international adoption for some time.  I believe it's around 10% every year.  This doesn't mean there aren't any children that need adopted, it means they're trying to curb the numbers.  The only problem, is now the children are waiting longer and eventually, they could potentially end up without families at all.

This is our little video.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Personal Exploration of an Adult Adoptee

First Person Plural is the personal exploration of Deann Borshay Liem to find her Korean identity.  I'm not sure it was completely uncommon for things to work the way it did in her case.  I've heard, not countless, but other stories on the internet from those early years of Korean adoption where identities were exchanged in order to complete a promised adoption.  For her, she was able to track down and still find her original identity and birth family, but I wonder about others.  Maybe some accepted who they were told they were?

I want to believe that with all the laws that have changed over all these years that this no longer happens, but it's hard to say if that belief is true or if we'll ever know.  I want to believe that what we were told about our children is true, mostly so they don't have to be confused by their own history.  Your own, personal, story shouldn't be puzzle pieces to put together because of adults.  I can't help but watch this video and slightly wonder what the birthfamilies of our three children are like and wonder if we'll meet them?  I pray that should our children choose to that their prayers are answered and that they will allow us to participate.  I already feel love towards their birthfamilies as if they are an extension of our family.

This is part of the reason I want to visit Korea as a family in a few years, so badly.  I feel that visiting beforehand, before they may choose to investigate their beginnings and having an understanding of their birthlands may make their experiences a little easier.  I want us to have this experience together first, as a whole family.  I know we could go to Disney or Hawaii as our one big family vacation and for a lot less money, but this just seems so important to me and something that we can't put off until it never happens.  Does that makes sense?  I hope that because I ask from time-to-time how the girls (since they're older) feel or if they I have questions I pray there's not that miscommunication or misunderstanding that makes them afraid to discuss their Korean-ness or their Korean families.

If you have almost an hour to watch this video, do. It's very interesting and gives you a lot to think about, especially if you are a family member to an adoptee.  It gives you some insight into how they may, one day, feel.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This is what my 4 yo said to me as I walked out of her room last night.  So proud of her.  A lady at a local Chinese restaurant, who was born in Korea, taught the girls how to say goodbye.  Chelsi asked me if Ok would know, so I told her to ask her.  And, of course, Ok obliged.  The girls and I always tell each other saranghaeyo (사랑해요) at bedtime.  Last night she said goodbye to me in perfect Korean.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So that's what it's going to be like

I think Brian had one of those 'ah ha' moments last night.  You know..the ones where you say something and then you go 'ohhhhhh'.

We went to a work barbeque and were talking to one of the clients he knows.  He's 1/2 Chinese descent.  So, on the way home he says (paraphrasing) 'you know, every time I talk to S I expect him to speak with an accent even though I know him and then out comes this gruff voice'.  See, S was born here and has been in the US all his life.  I looked at him and he was just puzzled why I was giving him the duh look.  I told him...what do you think your 3 youngest are going to hear one day?  When we're not around and they're older I'm sure at some point in their lives someone will tell them how great their English is and without any accent....other than a little southernish twang.  He never even realized it.  You can definitely tell who browses the internet and who only gets on when ABSOLUTELY necessary.

I think mostly I've thought about it because I'm the one most likely to approach an Asian person to find out if they're Korean.  But, as we've gone further through our adoptive lives I've done it less and less as I realized how invaded they may feel or offended or how hard it is to phrase it since they could be newly here and truly immigrants or they could have been born here or adopted.  There are just too many options, so I have learned to quietly smile and walk on.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rock Star!

You would think my two littlest were rock stars. 

Last night we went to a sushi place that happens to serve some Korean on the side, for Jaemin's 1st Gotcha Day.  I noticed the name tags were in Korean, so I asked if there were in Koreans that worked there.  A few guys walked out and then a couple of ladies.  One of the guys and one of the older ladies (ajumma) knew English the best.  Ajumma has been in the US for 30 years.  They loved Chelsi's face.  She must have a preferable face to Koreans because she often gets her face touched and told how beautiful her face is.  She's always been this way.  Jaemin just flirted with the girls with his great smile.  They loved it every time he turned around in his seat to smile at them all as they spoke in Korean.  He LOVES being around Asians.  He doesn't want to be held, but he loves being surrounded.  We were the only ones there, as it was an early dinner, so we were there for 1 1/2 hours talking.

Then, right before we left they brought out dessert.  One of the younger guys had taken an orange and an apple and made these elaborate creations.  He cored out the orange and slided the core into tiny circles.  Then, they had one big crane or swan out of the apple and tiny ones in front separated by fruit dipping sauce.  Then, on the orange he took the peel that he had cut off, that was circular and scraped it and made the whole orange into a bear.  It was so cool...I wish we could have taken pictures.

I asked if there were very many Koreans in the area that they knew of and Ajumma said about 15 or so.  WOW!  That's not many.  I so wish there were more.  It was fun to talk about Seoul.  The younger lady has not been away from Korea long, so she couldn't understand as much of what I said, but we chatted about Seoul a bit.

Wish we could afford to go out more.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

crazy, crazy life

My goodness our lives have changed a lot since we married 15 years ago.  Who would have thought all this could happen in such a short amount of time, really?  We've been through 2 births, 3 adoptions, 1 loss of a child, Cole's open-heart surgery, other various surgeries between all of us, Brian's accident and of those 3 adoptions our surprise baby Jaemin.

Just several months ago I was worried about his attachment.  It wasn't what I was wanting to see yet.  I knew that could still change and come with time, but I was worried.  The girls were past that point by then, so that didn't help my worry.  I was in new waters.  He just fought us so much in the beginning and honestly wore me out.  I trudged on through the hitting and scratching and slapping as he tried to push me away.  I think it was Jaemin's reaction to being scared someone he loves might leave again.  I kept this in my mind each time he did it and each time I got down because I worried we may never get there.  Where there is, I didn't know, but I knew it was a better place and would feel right when we arrived.

I can now say I feel we have landed at our destination.  Just like, one year ago today, the four of us (Chelsi, Kaelin, Lois and I) stepped off that airplane with 5 instead of 4.  The night before we left Korea Jaemin was so upset with the new transition that he threw up a couple of times.  He also threw up on the plane.  Now, granted, he has a weak gag reflex and does this easily anyways, that's how upset he was.  I've had so many fears over the last year and I've been SO sleep deprived.  We are just now getting to the point that we get several good nights sleep in a month between all 5.

So, was it worth it.  It's ALWAYS worth it.  Even if you have your doubts from time-to-time in your journey, they're usually in the worst, most vulnerable moments.  It's always worth it.  Everything in my life has been worth all we've gone through above.  Jaemin IS worth everything!  So, one year after stepping off that plane after a 15 hour commute (in the air), my son is here with us and it's like he was never missing.  He's always been a part of our family in my heart and soul.  We love you Jaemin and you are what life is about.  You are our little boy and we love you to no end!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


One year ago today, I met such a handsome little fellow.  I fell in love immediately and I love him even more now.

One year ago in Korea.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

So super sweet

Kind of personal, but I was writing my annual letters to send to Korea for the foster moms and birth families and Kaelin wrote to her foster mom.  Her foster mom has requested her to write her own letter this year, so she wrote a few short sentences, I had them translated and then she wrote them in both Hangul and English...thank you Denise.

So after she writes them, she brings me the papers and the whole bottom half of the Hangul letter is decorated.  In one corner, though, is an outline of her hand.  Inside she wrote "This is my hand.  And this is how big it is.  This is my left hand."  Is that not super sweet and enough to cry?


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Adoption Plight through the Years

I'm not an enormous fan of the New Yorker, but I did enjoy this article....though a little too long.

It actually talks about how adoption began and is still brought to other countries because of the plight of orphans and a human need to save.  It discusses how it went from saving children to the children becoming a commodity for parents who cannot conceive.  It discusses how Korea was the first country to begin international adoption due to Harry and Bertha Holt and how, later, other countries followed.  I'm sure some due to the push from US citizens. 

I can't help but wonder why there's not more of a push to internationally children from the US out of the US?  I mean from other countries.  Most articles and media show that non caucasian children remain in foster care due to their race.  I know that intercountry adoption from the US to other countries does exist, but I think it's very few.  Maybe these children would find homes if there were more of a push?  I don't know, but I do wonder.  In the end, isn't this what most are saying is the argument for adopting out of country is that it doesn't matter where they're from, just that they find their forever families?

I can't help but wonder how many children have not been truly relinquished in intercountry adoptions when it's due to war and disaster?  When the Korean War and Vietnam Wars ended, kind of not really, I think so many people and children were displaced that it was hard to prove whether children were truly orphaned or not.  What about Haiti too?  How many children may end up in orphanages to be placed with US families, but are not truly orphans or relinquished?  I know children need families as soon as humanly possible, but I can't imagine the loss of a child just due to separation through something like this.  Flip the coin and think if something happened here and they just started placing children assuming you were not coming back.  I know when the tsunami hit years ago families were coming out saying they wanted to adopt from India.  People are work were even talking and asking why I wasn't for people rushing into adopt these children.  For one reason...the chance that their families are/were displaced and just haven't had enough time to find them back yet.  I don't know what that time allocation should be, but I would move Heaven and Earth if my child were separated from me and when things like natural disasters and war occur there are not always choices to move as quickly as one would like.

But, nonetheless, it's a great article. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sounds crazy,

and I think I eluded to it in a previous post, but I almost feel like I knew about Jaemin.

I mean after each kid, starting with Cole, I always felt like there was something more.  I horded my leave at work and never took anymore time than I absolutely needed to.  You have to know me.  Leave time is money, so I had to always know I had enough there in case I needed it for maternity leave.  This feeling and anxiety kept coming back after Cole was born, Kaelin came home and Chelsi came home.  Though, I convinced myself that Chelsi was it because I didn't think we should adopt again.  We should just stop and be thankful for the 4 kids we had and just live our lives.  But, I still felt this anxiety.  I don't know how to explain it and I know it sounds crazy, but I absolutely felt a real anxiety about the possibility. 

When we got the call for Jaemin it was so surreal and so stressful, yet it felt somewhat right and familiar because I felt like it was that something I had unconsciously planned for.  Now that he is here with us I no longer have that feeling.  I don't think I ever will again.  I finally feel like I can go with the kids on their school field trips and not feel bad taking off work to come home early for a birthday party.  It's so good to feel this way too.  Feeling like you just know your life is complete with the people in it. 

Now, I do not believe that God intended for my son's Korean mother to be pregnant with him and place him for adoption just to fulfill my life.  He happened out of human, free, will and somehow God knew this was going to happen and he ended up with us.  I can't help but wonder about how things work and why they work like they do.  I don't believe, ever for a second, that either Korean mother gave birth for us or that God planned these children for us.  I mean He didn't intend their creation for us, but knew they would be created in their circumstances they were in and then planned. 

I can't help but think back to Chelsi's adoption.  We went back and forth with a couple of agencies.  When we finally settled on the one we did it was out of specific circumstances why.  Afterall, it was not the same agency we used the first time.  Then, right after the home study process was done and almost written we found a little girl online waiting for adoption with another agency, in Korea.  We applied for her and ended up turned down.  I remember feeling so sad.  I really felt like she was meant to be ours, but after we found out she would not be our home study was ready to be sent to Korea by our original agency.  But, they had two waiting children that we could review.  We immediately felt comfortable with Ms. C's needs and she felt right out of the two little girls.  And you know the rest of the story with her.

What I find is amazing is that we ended up being led right down the path to her even though we tried to detour more than once.  Sometimes we look at Jaemin and wonder how we got so lucky.  Things could have been so very different for us and we're thankful they are not.

Christmas in May!

That's right, it only took the agency 5 months to get Jaemin's Christmas presents from his foster family to the US.  I won't complain thought because a) we're lucky to correspond with his foster family and b) if they put getting those kiddos home first, that's okay too.

So, we got a Christmas card (and translation) written by Youn Su, Jaemin's foster sister.  The letters and emails from Youn Su are always so sweet.  They sent him a Jenga game (written in Hangul), a Hangul learning poster and a Pororo airplane toy.  They actually sent two Hangul learning posters, so the girls now have one hung in their bedroom and I wrote the letter sounds so they can start learning a little.

For those that aren't fluent in any Korean culture, Pororo, the penguin, is HUGE!  He's kind of like our Mickey Mouse, etc.  Jaemin loved his Pororo toy.  We turned it on and he started getting so excited and waving his hands.  He's almost worn the batteries out already. 

Youn Su, if you and your family are reading I truly hope you know how much your correspondence means to us and Jaemin.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Korea mail coming!

Okay, I think I posted this a couple of months ago, but can't remember and am too tired and lazy to look.

I got an email from J's foster sister asking if we received the Christmas present they mailed us from Korea.  I have been so sad and completely worried because it's, well, May and we never got it.  Today, we got an email from the US agency.  They have it!  His foster family sent it to us through the Korean agency who finally sent it to our US agency and it's on it's way to my man right now.  I can't wait to see what's in it for him.  How exciting when my babies get Korea mail.  I LOVE it!


Pictures from this weekend and connections

or disconnections?

I'll finish with some of the pictures from this weekend. We went to a Korean Children's Day celebration which was as awesome as usual and then spent the rest of the day at the zoo with friends. We always hang out with Jane and Jared when we're in town. Gotta love the energy of Mr. Jared.

So, today I took Ms. C to the pediatric nephrologist. While we were waiting we were writing on the chalk board in the room. She wanted to write everything in Korean. So I wrote all of our names in Korean and then she wrote them all. By the time the doctor walked in she had it all done. As soon as he walked in he says "well, she knows English and Korean". I was a little surprised that he recognized it. To most it probably looks like a lot of other languages' characters. He took to Chelsi and she to him right away. For now he said we're doing everything we can, but he took some blood just in case and is doing another u/s. He doesn't want to repeat the VCUG done in 2006, which is fine. So, we'll do a couple of other things he asked us to do and then f/u in a couple of months. He also gave us some info on how to help out with her eczema.

BTW, we also found out they found their replacement pediatric cardiologists...yes two. YAY! Looks like Cole will have a doctor and not have to do major travel to one.

Little Miss did so well when they took blood (she's never had to do that before) that we went out to eat afterward. It was past suppertime at home anyways. We just stopped at Wendy's real quick and a lady walked up to us and said how cute she was and that she could have another about her age. I didn't quite follow her and then she asked what province she was from. That's when it dawned on me. She thought she was Chinese. In her defense most of the Asian adopted children in this area are. Our kids are 3 out of probably 10 in a 40 mile radius. And what I mean by in her defense is that I don't just assume kids are Korean, usually assume Chinese, but never define it when asking because I really don't know. I told her she was Korean born and she just told me that she had a Chinese daughter and left. Oh well.

Okay, here are the pics from the weekend.  We so enjoy this every year.  We are treated so wonderful by this Korean church and we get to see so many other Korean adoptive families and well, the AWESOME!
One room.....7 people.

Done with swimming, getting ready for bed.

Swimming at the hotel (our free night be the great is that?).

Learning taekwondo at Children's Day.
Korean cooking.

 Mommy and Jae.
And our wonderful Korean church hosts.  I'd love to post the pics of the three little girls who sang a beautiful Mother's Day song, but since they're young I won't.

 Zoo time.
The extra little boy is Jared.

My budding photojournalist...National Geographic maybe.

 Don't they all have to try picking the gorilla's nose?