Friday, May 25, 2012


Thanks to everyone for their comments or thoughts they've sent my way. I am definitely out of my comfort zone, so your encouraging comments have really helped me keep going!

...and please remember how unique everyone's adoption story is.  How my journey played out was right for me at the right time. Many times I wonder how Gavin and my nephew will feel or care about their own adoption journey.I realize that Gavin may not care at all about his adoption story or he may have questions at a very young age. So, it will be important to respect his perspective and to not impose our own thoughts upon him.

I know that at this point I haven't  processed everything, but I'll share with you what I feel right now...

Acceptance was important on both sides of the table.
While we were waiting to travel, one fear I had in my head was what if they don't like me? What if they look at me and they say no she is not ours? What if I was a disappointment? My wonderful social worker and Kelly Fern kept reminding me, look at your letters from your birth father, of course they want to meet you. They also reminded me that they are feeling the exact same way you are right of the questions that my eomeoni asked me was if she died would I return for her funeral, my answer was yes...this brought tears to her eyes...I think my answer showed her that even though I had been relinquished I still loved and cared for her.

I know that I am more complete.
When we first started the process I remember a post from an adoption forum. It was about not romanticizing your birth mother's love for your child. The comment really took me aback. I thought well of course my birth mother loved me. If she didn't she wouldn't have done the necessary steps to make sure that I was adopted.  There were so many other choices she could have made. However, I understand that this is not always the case. Learning that my abeoji named me in hopes that someday I would return...Hearing that my eomeoni wanted me back, but it was too late and that she was praying for me every day for the past 35 years...Seeing their sadness and tears, as well as hearing other regrets is enough for me to know how hard a decision this was for them to make......and to me, it confirms that I was LOVED, and it made me feel whole. Even though I didn't search actively, or had questions that I needed to be answered while I was growing up, having the information I do now has "made my bucket overflow."

The biggest challenge is the language barrier.
I suppose what makes me the saddest is the language barrier. From talking to student's parents where their child is bilingual or friends who are making sure their children know more than one language, I know that you have to be able to converse non-stop at home in the "other" language for it to stick...and I know my parents would have sent me to classes if I had wanted to learn, but there would have been no one else for me to converse with. Matt is trying to find a church that might offer classes, so we can start conversing/learning and Gavin could retain a little bit of what he already knows.  ..and yes it makes my heart hurt for Gavin that he will be losing what Korean he already knows, which is probably why I can't stop calling him by his Korean name.

Without support this would have never happened.
One of the best aspects of the process has been the support from Matt, my family and the handful of people I shared this info with. Knowing that Matt would back me in any decision I had during the process was key. Matt would LISTEN instead of trying to empathize...and he was great about only giving advice if asked. My family and friends were respectful of my requests for privacy...and understanding that I would share when I could. In addition, my parents and siblings were very supportive and excited that I was going to meet my Korean family.

-One day my mom mentioned how nice it was that now I have two families. That's the best thing she could have ever said. 

Of course, I've wondered what it would have been like if I had grown up in Korea and not been relinquished...however, like some other adoptees have said, they would not trade what they have now to go back in the past...and lucky for me I get to have both.

What's next?
I hope that we will build whatever relationship we can even though there is a language barrier and the thousands of miles that separate us. As of now, thanks to "modern technology ;-)" we exchange pictures, video clips or attempt to write each other on a daily basis. My 1st sister has already sent us a box which included books to learn Hangul/Korean, some really tasty food that she made, and chopsticks for Gavin. I know that it may slow down, but I'm really loving it right now. When I thanked her she said that's okay that's what the oldest sister made me smile, since in my Korean family I'm the baby and in the US I'm the oldie sister.

Thanks for following me on my journey...the posts will go back to looking at pictures and videos of our sweet boy.

...but  just in case you need one last look. 

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