Archive for December 2008
Excerpts from the two page (yup, that’s it) guide to taking care of your new adopted child from Korea, circa 1966. (from my own personal files) Bold added by me for highlighting. Portions omitted are about plane arrangements, clothing to send, documents which will arrive, medical exams and immigration. Sarcastic comments are fully mine.
Dear Expectant Parents:
This letter is to prepare you for your child’s arrival. First of all, be sure you have all the fees paid…We must have this money before your child comes.
Because it’s all about the child’s welfare…
As soon as we know when and where the plane will land, and who will be on it, we will let you know. We will call you “collect”…
Because you owe us money…
There are a few Korean words that are necessary to know. “Aboji” – father. “Amoni” – mother. A-sound as in father and accent is on first syllable. “Moga” long O and accent on first syllable – to eat. “Ojum” – to urinate. “Dong”- bowel movement. “Mul” – water. “Mul-kogi” – fish. “Pop” – rice. “Hongkuk” – Korea.
That’s all they included. I guess nine words is all any child almost three needs to communicate…and actually, the last three weren’t really needed, since we never ate fish, rice, or talked about Korea.
We pray that you will raise your child in the nurture and admonition of our Lord. There will be adjustments for both you and the child and it may require patience and understanding and prayer.
At least they’re up front about their motives.
Please remember that the child has missed out on part of his life. Many of them have never known parental love and affection.
Never mind that the part of their life they had missed out on was due to their time in the orphanage, because the orphanage existed, and that they had a life before the orphanage. Never mind that they had a family before the orphanage. Never mind that from this day forward they will be severed from Korea, their culture, and their language.
They may be suspicious of you and everyone else,
Could this be because the adoptive parents are TOTAL STRANGERS?
or they may not let you out of their sight for a moment for fear that you, too, will desert them.
Or could this be FEAR they will end up in yet ANOTHER totally FOREIGN situation to adjust to?
They may demand all of your attention and be envious of any affection you show toward other children. It is better to know this ahead of time, so you can expect it. This is not because he is Korean; it is because he is an orphan, learning for the first time what parental love is.
Note here how they perpetuate the myth that we never had parents. Note also that the child’s anxiety is blamed on the first parents’ lack of love. There is no mention of the Certificate of Orphanhood they must apply for in order to turn children into orphans.
These children are usually more affectionate than our children by birth.
What the? Some last minute selling, just for good measure?
Because the children do come from Korea, many of our customs will seem rather strange to them. For example; they are not used to sleeping in beds and normally sleep on the floor. It may therefore, seem strange when you present him with that “odd thing” on which he is expected to sleep. Just bear in mind that our “ways of living” are new to your child and that he will adjust quite rapidly.
What other choice does the child have?
If you have any troubles with your child, please let us know. We want him to grow up in a Christian home for our Lord’s glory.
So if you have any troubles, you must not really be Christian…nice way to only get positive feedback.
Please pray urgently for the plane, the pilots, the escorts, the children’s health, for the safe take-offs and safe landings and for traveling mercies on the way.
Gratefully in our Lord’s service,
HOLT ADOPTION PROGRAM, INC.
Mrs. Susie Nelson
Supervisor of Adoptions
“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deut. 33:27.
ASK, Adoption Solidarity Korea, is an organization formed to do just that:
from their website’s JOIN ASK menu option:
Join ASK :
ASK is part of a growing community of adoptees and supporters who advocate for the discontinuance of intercountry adoption from Korea and hope to see it replaced with social welfare services which will give families the option to stay together. Whether you would like to be directly involved in the current activities of ASK and participate in planning meetings, get updates and stay in the loop, or somewhere in between, please join us today.
Membership is open to all Korean adoptees who support the mission and work of ASK. Membership fees are 15,000 won annually, or the equivalent after conversion. Members receive regular updates and are invited to participate in all levels of the organization. Click here to join.
*We encourage people who joined ASK using our old site to become members using the new system. Please click the link above to join.
Supporters are community members who are not adoptees themselves, but want to support the mission and work of ASK. Supporters receive regular updates and are invited to participate in many levels of the organization, including volunteering. By volunteering for ASK, you become an important link between ASK and the Korean community. As a volunteer, you can help with translation, interpretation, research, and other activities according to your interest. Click here to join.
It’s not enough for us to cry and moan about what was done to us. We need to spare future generations this grief by setting up alternatives to the ineffective, poorly managed bandaid solution that adoption has offered.
I’m proudly going to try and involve myself in this organization during my stay in Korea. And even if you can’t get to Korea yourself, please lend your support to this effort, which offers REAL change and REAL solutions.