Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I'm the other half of 'K76-613' (meaning: I'm Sara's sister - see garates.blogspot.com if you have no clue what I'm talking about)

I really enjoyed reading the highlights from Sara's adoption file, so I figure I might as well share some of my infomation as well.

But first I want to clarify what made me 'sad' about our foster parent's home being 'located 50 minutes away by bus from the office'. I'm just hoping that they didn't actually have to ride a bus 50 minutes to get to the office, back in the 70's. I can't imagine that being comfortable, and having to bring 2 small children. And then I can't help hope that they didn't have to BRING us to the office - period. It's not a huge stretch to think that they would have to bring us to the office for their final 'farewell' as we leave for America. And many adoptive parents will tell you that when they went to Korea to escort their children home, the foster mothers would be in tears having to say good-bye, and some might even be considered hysterical. So thinking of the 'attachment' that the foster parents have with the children they care for, can you imagine having to say good-bye to 2 small children, that you love, that you cared for, you have no other children, and now you have to take a freaking 50 minute BUS ride home and dwell on it?!?! Honestly, it sounds horrible to me. Almost cruel.

When Bob and I were considering adopting from Korea (oh yeah, we changed our minds on that in case you didn't know) that was one of the main reasons I did NOT want to go to Korea. I didn't want to have to face a Foster mother at the point where I would take 'custody' of the child. I totally and completely respect Foster Parents. I can't imagine going through the heart ache of saying good-bye to these little babies over and over again. (and a little FYI - Korea doesn't have orphanages, they have an incredible foster care system)

But enough of that... here's a glimpse into my adoption file:

Fusses with displeasure when being bathed (runs in the family apparently). Does not like her diaper being wet. Relatively mild in disposition, fussing little as long as she is fed when she is supposed to. (I think that's still true)

Has normal stools 1-2 times daily. (hahaha. Just had to throw that in, like you care)

Likes to be carried on the back or cuddled in one's arms. Is shy of strangers. (totally grew out of that last one)

Another interesting fact is that Sara and I have 'notes' that pinned to us when we were 'found'. Here is what a social worker had to say about that:

When we offered Sara and Rachel, I referred to the note found with them that was mentioned in the older girl's initial social history. As it turns out, there are two pieces of paper, one for each child. The girls' worker had kept them and has written in English underneath the Korean script. The papers simply give the girls' names and dates of birth. One is signed Chung Hyang Hee and the other has Holt Children's Services written on the back. The children seem to be have been well cared for and the idividual who left them, probably their mother, appears to have some education and to have felt concern, instinctively if not intellectually, about the 'who am I' that adopted children often wonder about as they grow up. How wonderful that these children have something tangible about themselves, which very few of our children have.

Here's the thing, I've never wondered about 'who I am'. I've always known. By the grace of God I was born in Korea to woman I know nothing about. Through God's sovereign plan my sister and I were left at a police box at the Cheongyangri Railroad Station. From there we were immediately put into foster care, and 5 months later we became the daughters to Dean and Bonnie and sister to Amy (and 5 years later to Andy). I don't like tea, hate spicey food, love cheese, obessive compulsive about crafting, and I really like buying shoes. That's who I am. And that's who I WANT to be.

I'm thankful for the notes, that we have our birthdates, birth names, and even this information on our foster parents. I NEVER thought I'd say this, but I hope that Sara and I are able to go to Korea and meet our foster parents - and maybe even track down our birthmom. I've contacted Holt USA, (and they can't contact Holt Korea until mid-September some time due to them temporarily 'shutting down' during the summer months as there are so many adult adoptees that travel to Korea at this time), about tracking down the foster parents. So we'll see what happens.

For those of you reading this that have had the wonderful experience of adopting their kids, I just want to say that when your kids grow up and become adults, and if they decide to 'search' for birthparents, know that they might just be curious, or they might have questions, but regardless of all that, YOU are their parents. YOU are they ones they consider 'mom' and 'dad', and nothing will ever change that. Take it from me. I should know.

My Note

Me and Sara

Sara's Note


Nancy said...

What wonderful memories your Mom preserved for you and your sister. We have some of Soowan's paperwork. What his Mom gave to us is not very much and we're not sure if she had more or not. She says she doesn't remember. But she's different (we've talked about that) so we have to go off of what we do have.

Soowan's history in Korea is quite different than you and your sister's experience. He was left out in a field with his name and birthdate written on a piece of paper, pinned on the inside of his shirt. We don't have the note though. Soowan's paperwork doesn't state when he was 'found' but it does say he was near death when he was. Unfortunately he did live in an orphanage in S. Korea, 3 of them to be exact (or atleast that's what his paperwork states).

Soowan came home to LAX at the age of three, completely malnourished and would hoared food. This lasted for over a year his Mom said. :0(

Our daughter Amanda was loved a cared by foster parents while in Korea. She was cared by them since she was 10 days old. They have been foster parents for Holt for over 11 years. I can't imagine how many times they have had to say good-bye to babies they have cared for. And I'm sure it never gets easier with time as well. Her foster family loved her to pieces, and sent home with her several gifts from Korea.

Thank you for sharing such a tender part of your life with others. I will be interested in seeing what God does once you get in touch with Holt Korea! Please keep us updated!

Bonnie Orr said...

Hi Rachel
Dad and I just finished reading your blog on your adoption - it made me teary to read the account written in your words. Dad and I always felt being able to have 2 children naturally and adopting you and Sara was the ideal....we got the whole full experience and wouldn't change a thing. God really knows how to put families together - He is so creative and good. I have often thought of your foster parents and how they must wonder what became of you and Sara - it would be so neat if you could meet them - I'd love to meet them too.

Kirsten said...

Hi Rachel.
I loved reading about your adoption. I have friends now who are going through the process or who have gone through the process and it is interesting to hear it from the adoptee's POV. You found a wonderful family and your mother did what was best at the time. Amazing how things work out.

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