Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Wish for You

Dear Birth Mom, 

I wish you knew that even though I know nothing about you or the world you live in, you are in my thoughts every day. I wish you knew that my heart is full of love for your child - and you. We may never know each other, but we will be family. Your child is loved by us already, and it will know that it is loved by you, its first mother, as well. If only you knew that even if others may belittle and berate you for the choices you have made, to me you are the bravest person in the world. Thank you for giving life to your child, all the while knowing that you will not be able to witness how this life is lived. The greatest sacrifice you may ever have to make is also the greatest gift you could ever give. 

My wish is for your life to be happy and full, and that you will find peace with the decisions you have made.

Waiting to Wait

We're still waiting to officially wait.

There is one clearance missing before we can finally start the homestudy process. They've cashed the check weeks ago, so I would assume that someone somewhere is working on something. It is very hard for me to not obsess about when this clearance will finally arrive at the agency and we will be scheduled for our first homestudy visit.

On the brighter side, this week we went to our first Waiting Parents meeting at our agency. That was the highlight of my week. It is such a wonderful feeling to be in a building full of people who are in the same place as we are. We were able to speak with people in other programs and hear their stories, their heartbreaks and successes, and we were able to meet others who are waiting for their child from Korea. It was encouraging just to be around people who simply understand, and for whom clearances, social workers, visas, foster families and foreign travel are just a normal part of becoming a family.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Learning Hangul

As of last week, we are attempting to learn Korean! 

While they say the Korean alphabet is one of the easiest in the world to learn, the sounds that go with the letters sure don't seem easy to me. 

Hubby is doing really well with his letters, as he loves all things logical, but I still don't know my alphabet. Could it be that he is also more disciplined and has studied more?

So far, I am really happy we chose to attend Korean class, even if I never end up being able to say more than Hello and Thank You. There are some great benefits to attending the class other than learning the fundamentals of the language; we are also learning about Korean culture from a Korean, and we've met other adoptive parents that have adopted or will adopt from Korea. 

Here are some great links to learn some basic Korean at home:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Pickle on the Christmas Tree

One of our goals as international adoptive parents is to raise our child with a sense of awareness of its birth country. We've already blended two cultures in our daily lives, how hard can it be to add another?

Oh wait, here is the problem: We know next to nothing about Korea!

Having lived in several foreign countries myself and being an immigrant, I know how skewed our perceptions are of cultures we have not been fully immersed in for at least several years. 

Reading books and travelling are great ways to scratch the surface, but is there any way to go beyond this superficial knowledge of a country?

We all see the world through our own eyes, and our eyes have been shaped by the culture we grew up in. Germans are seen as neat and organized, unfriendly, but efficient, Americans as outgoing but superficial. All may be true to a degree, but there is so much more to a culture than those labels. Will my child form a view of Korea based on the prejudices prevalent in the society he will grow up in? How will we ever be able to provide our child with a true view of its birth country and the way of life there? 

I worry that I will give him a false sense of what his country and his countrymen are like. Will I be like one of those people who firmly believe that Germans put a pickle on the Christmas tree?