Sunday, March 7, 2010

Korean Adoptive Family Celebration

Last night was such a wonderful treat for our family! A few weeks ago we learned of a Family Celebration for Korean Adoptive Families hosted by the Korean United Methodist Church in Brentwood, TN. We emailed the contact and Ms. Virginia sent us an email welcoming us to come to the event and sending us information about the Korea Cultural Program they host.
We arrived at around 4:45pm after a visit to Opry Mills for a quick browse through the mall. Our youngest began to feel a bit under the weather, but he was a trooper! As soon as we arrived we were welcomed by many people, signed in at the welcome desk, then went into the fellowship hall filled with tables. The smell of freshly made Korean dishes wafted through the air, and the beautiful faces of children filled the room!
The people we met at the church were so welcoming, they made sure to include our boys each time they introduced themselves and ask about our journey. After a brief introduction and information about the nights events, they passed a microphone around the room and each family introduced themselves. There were families that had adopted, adults that had been adopted, families in the adoption process, and all of the many members that hosted the various programs at their church.
We met two families that we talked with. The first family had a three year old bio son and eighteen month old adopted son, who had just arrived home three months prior. The father travelled to Korea and picked up the son. It was nice to talk with them, and as the mom put it, "he is still getting used to the idea of all of this." He was adorable, but you could tell they were all still adjusting to the change. It is good to see families living the different stages of the process that I am sure we will experience.
The second family had a six year old adopted son and a thirteen month old adopted daughter, who had just arrived home six weeks earlier. Their little boy shook Nate's hand and their little girl smiled and waved at us. The family had just such a joy about them. We were able to talk with them and learned their daughter was chosen from a Waiting Child photolisting after they had turned down two prior files. Although she had medical issues/risks in her file, they worked with the team at Vanderbilt in their International Adoption Clinc. Their little girl is healthy and such a sweet little girl!
During the family introductions by the whole group we quickly found that Lily was the most popular girl names, their must have been 8-10. Liam was the most popular boys name with 3-5. One family had adopted four children, and two families were waiting to travel to Korea after receiving sibling calls (their adopted child's birthmother had another child, who they are now adopting).
The meal was wonderful, we dined on bugolgi (my favorite), kim-chi, salad, seafood pancakes, gimbimbap, Japchae, bibim naengmyon, and fresh fruit. (At least I think these are what we ate based on the on-line descriptions of the dishes! Nate tried the spicy dishes, our oldest really liked the seafood pancake, and I liked the gimbimbap and bugolgi the best. It will be so wonderful to taste all of these dishes in Korea and it will be a must to get a great cookbook while we are there (that is in English of course)!
After the meal, we transitioned to the sanctuary, where we watched a video on Korea, were taught a song in Korean (This is the day that the Lord has made), watched a dance by the children, and then the young girld did a fan dance. They said they were going to call the group doing the fan dance trouble, because that is what their parents would experience when the boys start coming to visit, because they were so beautiful. The fan dance brought tears to my eyes, it was such an honor and was so beautiful, it was a dance they would do for high guests.
The gentleman that was the emcee for the night was so funny! He did a wonderful job putting us all at ease and helping to convey the honor of their traditions and the line that connects us all as in adoption our families become connected to a new family in the bond that we share. Ms. Virginia found me and welcomed glad that we came, our oldest and her youngest boy share the same name. It was so nice to meet her and to know someone else there, even if it was only through email.
The night really made me think about how interesting it will be when we travel to Korea and everyone speaks a language that we will not understand, yet knowing it will be okay if everyone is as kind as they were last night. It also made me reflect on how it will be for our daughter to be in a country where the language, the people, the sounds, and smells will be so foreign to what she loves and knows. It will no doubt be a difficult time for her and she will greive these things. The gentleman that taught us the song, said it is hard to tell you what I want to say in English, it is hard for me to speak English...he did a wonderful time and as difficult as it was he was so gracious to speak English to help us feel welcome and to teach us something new.
We can't wait to meet our daugter and hopefully take her next year. We also will be learning more about their cultural activities. They teach adults Korean culture and cooking, the kids can learn Korean language and Tai Kwan Do. This church has such a sweet spirit and wonderful ministry and we thank God that we were able to experience their love. As we left last night a lady handed me a small gift bag with something we will put up for Annalee, then she and another lady in their Hanbocks (Korean Dresses) hugged us and gave a farewell blessing...what a perfect end to a wonderful evening.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like such a wonderful night. I wish we lived closer so we could have gone. One of my college friends who's adopted from Korea twice was there and blogged about it today also. I'm glad you and your family had the chance to go. Thanks for telling all about it!!