Sunday, November 13, 2011


This post will wrap up our Korean adventure and for some reason, I've struggled with what to write. Since this blog will be "out there" forever for Graham and Amelia to read, I want to be completely honest for them...

I know that culturally, adoption isn't something generally accepted by the Korean community. Korean culture places huge emphasis on bloodline and adoption doesn't allow for a "clean" family tree. This isn't something that I believe to be true, but in doing any research on this topic, one would find such statements. Each time I've traveled to Korea, I've visited with this knowledge. But, on this visit with our Korean born children, these beliefs hit me hard. I felt like I we might as well have been carrying signs that said "Yes, our family was formed through adoption, and yes, we're proud of it!" Never in my life have I felt so vulnerable and "out there". Never in my life have we been stared at like we were stared at. Never in my life have I had people so blatantly converse about my family within inches of us. It was a very strange experience and I'm just thankful that Graham and Amelia weren't old enough to understand that our family make-up was causing such discussion.

On the flip side of that though, I left Korea, with it's millions of people and jam packed subways, with an intense gratitude. Graham and Amelia are miracles. The fact that any pregnancy in Korea ends with an international adoption plan is amazing all on its own. The fact that not once, but twice, we've been blessed with such gifts is miraculous. International adoption is quite the journey and I can't put into words the gratitude I feel to know that despite the odds, our road thankfully led us to Graham and Amelia and that their road led them to us.

Eastern Social Welfare Society is the Korean adoption agency that partners with our stateside agency. Over the years, 'Eastern' is a place we've become very familiar with. It's a place that holds much emotion in our hearts. It's the place we first laid eyes on Graham and Amelia and it's also the place where many tears were shed as the kids unknowingly said good-bye to their lovely foster families-the only family they had ever known.

I wasn't sure how the kids would react to being back at Eastern and having the chance to visit with their foster mothers. I was so excited to bring the kids back and show everyone what amazing little people they have grown into. I know Graham and Amelia were so loved by their foster families and I knew how excited their foster mothers would be to see them in person. The foster mothers spotted Graham and Amelia as they walked up the stairs and immediately began calling out to them in their Korean names. It was an amazing feeling to watch the foster mothers, with huge grins on their faces, run up to the kids. They were clearly beyond thrilled to see the babies they so lovingly took care of now 3 and 4 years old, walking, talking, with big personalities!

Graham took the meeting in stride. He seemed pleased to have his foster mothers undivided attention as he flipped through the photo book we made for her. She doesn't speak any English, but that didn't stop Graham from talking a mile a minute with statements such as "This is me at the lake house!" and "This is me on the Mickey Mouse boat!" His foster mother was so sweet and just beamed as she listened to Graham talk. Thank goodness for translators!

Amelia on the other hand, had a tough time with the visit. Amelia's foster mother was equally as sweet and wanted so badly to cuddle with Amelia. Amelia wanted no part of that though. She spent the better part of the meeting crying hysterically for me to hold her. I wish I understood more about young children and memories because Amelia was clearly working through something. Ever since we've been home from Korea, she's needed MUCH more reassurance than ever before and she's been my little shadow. Each day gets a little better for her though, and we'll continue to provide her with as much reassurance as she needs!

After we said our good-byes, we walked around the building a bit to show the kids around. Our first stop was the nursery. Both Graham and Amelia spent a short amount of here after they were born and before they moved in with their foster families. Surreal doesn't even begin to describe the emotion I felt as I watched my babies watching the babies. Again, miraculous. We offered to help feed the babies but because it is flu season, we couldn't enter the nursery with the kids so we had to settle for just observing.
Our last stop at Eastern was a visit to the infamous red throne. Does this look familiar to anyone?

Wow, are they growing up fast, or what?


Jim Olson said...

The love in your eyes is a reflection of the love in your hearts. Every time you hear the words “Mommy” or “Daddy,” it is their way of saying “I love you.”
Savor every minute of their childhood; they grow up way too fast.
Halmoni and Haraboji

Jon said...

wow, i love the pics of them with the throne! it's funny how much emotion can be tied to one simple thing like that red and gold chair!

ElleMura said...

Wow, Melissa. BEAUTIFUL post.