Special Needs Adoption
, Family Adoption Stories
, Travel and Birthcountry Tours
, Heart Defect
, Korea South
We walked into the small, overheated room and 11 years melted away. Our daughter’s foster mom looked at the 11 year old standing in front of her and started to cry. All of a sudden we were one giant group hug. I could only think to say, “She’s ok, she’s healthy.”
I have spent most of my career as a baby nurse. I have had to send many babies home after getting to know their families and it always leaves me a little sad. Yet, I can barely imagine caring for a baby for 6-7 months and then sending them halfway across the world with parents I have only met once. It must be agony.
11 years ago we brought home our wonderful, courageous and very ill baby girl. She needed open heart surgery and everyone was very anxious for us to take her home and get her the care she needed. We had just one short meeting to reassure her foster parents that we would get her the best care possible. Her foster mom was very proud of how strong she was despite her illness. I kept her words in my heart for all these years.
Our girl had her surgery after we got home. She was very sick for a while but has gone on to live a normal, healthy life. As she has gotten older she has had many questions about the family that cared for her. We assured her that they loved her very much. We showed her the pictures they sent home with us. But, this is a poor substitute for meeting face to face.
We decided to join Tour Korea as a way to help bridge the gap between past and present. It was one of the best decisions we ever made.
That meeting in the overheated room will forever be in my top ten emotional life moments. We finally had a chance to share our daughter’s life story with her Korean family. Our daughter was able to feel the love that her foster family had for her. We shared anecdotes from her life and were able to share how right her foster mother was about everything from her basic needs to her personality.
When the meeting was over we had a lot to process. All the emotions felt very raw. We were very thankful for all the wonderful friends we met on our trip. These are people who all had their own adoption stories. They all had their own emotional journey. We were able to share our feelings in a safe environment and our kids had other kids to talk with who could understand their life story.
Back home, our lives have returned to “normal” but they’ve also been changed in a very positive way. We’ve established a correspondence with our daughter’s foster family; the ongoing communication has helped to bridge the divide between her past and present. Plus, we have cherished and shared memories of the meeting in the overheated room and the friends who helped us on our journey. They will stay with us forever.
About the Author: Kara adopted her daughter from South Korea in 2007 and returned to Korea as part of our Tour Korea birthland tour in 2018.
Children's Home Society of Minnesota
487 Waiting Children
8 Adoption Programs
1605 Eustis St. Minnesota
With a combined 275 years of experience, Children’s Home Society of Minnesota and Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota serve children and families through adoption, child welfare, and family preservation. We are driven by the understanding that a child in a safe, nurturing home is a child who thrives. We work to give every child security, opportunity and a loving family. Through our partnership, we offer the following services to families nationwide. We encourage you to visit the Lutheran Social Service Rainbow Kids page to view additional country programs.
International & Domestic Adoption — Respected for our legacy of excellence in adoption services, Children's Home and Lutheran Social Service believe that every child deserves a permanent, loving family. Today the need for adoption is most urgent for older children, sibling groups, children with a history of abuse and neglect, and children with known medical and special needs.
Post-Placement Support & Connections — Children's Home and Lutheran Social Service are committed to supporting all members of the adoption circle throughout their lifelong journey. We are proud to offer educational and cultural events, travel, search and background services, and opportunities to connect to the larger adoption community.
International Child Welfare — Children's Home and Lutheran Social Service recognize an inherent responsibility to improve the quality of life in countries where we facilitate international adoption. We support targeted, community-based projects that provide care, protection, health and education to vulnerable children around the world.