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Leap of Faith: Korea

 

Adoption requires a leap of faith. After all the research and careful planning at some point you still need to just go for it and trust that everything will work out.

Journey is personal and varied. We adopted our little boy Austin from Korea in 2000. He has filled our lives with such joy it’s hard to put into words.

He was truly God’s plan for us.

The beginning of our story:
We were married in 1984 we were young and naive and took having kids for granted. By the mid 1990’s we realized we might have a problem. So our infertility journey began. Not knowing what to do or knowing anyone else in our situation we went from doctor to doctor and test to test. Finally ending up at an infertility specialist. Well we did one treatment and it didn’t work. This was a very hard time for us besides the infertility my husband was going to specialists for an unrelated medical issue. To keep my spirits up I read about adoption. Internet sources were still limited at this time and I had limited access. After our failed in-vitro attempt we started looking at adoption more seriously and started making many phone calls. Adoption was never a second choice for us we needed to go into it without any second guesses. That is the main reason we chose to go through infertility process first. It saddens me when I find a friend struggling and they are not willing to consider adoption. I know to well the emotional pain, risks and rejection of the tests and treatments.

As time went on I did more reading and made enough phone calls to narrow our search. At first we was open to anything but found domestic agencies discouraging. Many had very low age requirements, no guarantees, specific religious requirements and so on. So we started to look at 2 local international adoption agencies. I know some couples at this point already know what country or sex they are interested in. We had no preference and looked more at the childcare, travel time, services offered and speed of the process. We went to the Dillon International workshop on my birthday. I took this as a GOOD OMEN and was it
ever. It was a very emotional day for me my desperation had reached its max at that point. When we heard the care Korean babies got and the waiting time for boys was much shorter that was it. I also want to add that during this time my husband was still going to specialists. Finally we met a compassionate doctor that wrote a letter for our adoption process. When
Dillon receives a letter with their pre-application they forward it to the country for pre-approval. It was a great relief to know early in the process that this would not hinder us. He is still undiagnosed today but it has ceased to be a priority.

I won’t bore you with all the paper work and waiting I’ll get to the exciting part. We got the call on a Tuesday it was all I could do to keep from crying. I was able to hold it together enough to make the flight arrangements and tell my boss that my last day was Thursday. I have never had such painful butterflies but once I held my baby boy they went away. I thought I would cry but I didn’t. Everything just felt right and the butterflies instantly disappeared.

For anyone out there considering international adoption I would like to share some philosophies we hold dear. Becoming an interracial family has been a blessing and we look forward to sharing more as our son grows. During our Adoption Workshop one speaker asked this question: Can you imagine yourself being attracted to a Korean/Indian/Chinese man/woman. It may seem strange but it is a good self-examination
question. But know matter what the child’s race or ethnic background you will be an interracial family from now on.

One thing we happened to luck out on was cultural support. Our community is blessed with a large Korean population. This is something we did not even consider at the time. However, if we did it all over again it would be a strong consideration. I would suggest searching for ethnic communities in your surrounding area. You will find it to be very fulfilling even it you have to travel some distance.

Joining a support group can be very enriching. We didn't become active in ours until our son was about 2. We joined because we didn’t want Austin to think his family make up was unique or odd. We wanted him to
know there are many other families out there that like his. I also don’t want to focus solely on the Korean culture. Our group has a multi cultural mix so he won’t feel isolated because he’s Korean. We also do several strictly Korean events during the year. We also work hard to help our son build relationships with other adoptee children. This way when the hard questions and feelings come he will have friends to share them with. It’s easy to think you can be all to your children but truly I don’t know what it’s like to be an adoptee.

Once you make adoption just another part of your family fabric it just begins to become natural and you don’t even realize your doing it. Reading adoption books, sharing your child’s story with them and making
a life book is all part of the wonderful journey. Fantasy versions work great when they are very young.

One thing I’ve learned is the “Adoption Community” is really cool. You’ll find strangers and friends will go out of their way to help in any way they can. Find strength in prayer, church or other adoptive families you meet on the way. I hope you enjoyed reading our story. Our little boy is now 5 and on the verge of starting school. It’s hard to believe we will be celebrating his 5th gotcha day this summer.

Becky Thrasher is a painter and owns, Topographical Treasures,
" Original Birth Country Paintings. "Celebrate your multicultural heritage and International Adoption with Topographical Treasures
"


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