My Adoption Story
Today is National Adoption Day: a day to recognize those who are currently in the United States foster care system or have been adopted in the United States. I have been personally affected by domestic adoption, but that is not my story or mine to share. While my story is of international adoption, the beauty of finding a family and redemption through adoption is still shown.
My biological family was happy in South Korea. My birth father was working as an engineer, my birth mother was a stay at home mom, and I had two birth sisters ages six and four. In May, my birth father was killed in a car crash and the strain on my birth mother led to an emotional breakdown. In August, I was born prematurely due to the stress on her body. Not knowing how she would support her family, she selflessly decided to place me for adoption with the hope of a better life for me.
A family in Michigan had been praying for a baby girl to complete their family. They were told that since they already had two girls they would have to adopt a boy. One day they received a phone call that a baby girl was available and would they like her to join their family? In April, I made the journey to America and became a part of my family at eight-months-old.
A packet came with me containing the names of my birth parents, their birth dates, death date, heights and weights, and general information pertaining to my adoption. This information gave me such an appreciation for the sacrifice made by my birth mother. I am so very thankful for her selfless decision to try to provide a better life for me. As a mother now myself, I am not sure I would be able to make such a selfless decision in the same situation.
I was reared in a wonderful, loving home where opportunity abounded. I felt like I had such a full, complete life knowing that my birth mother loved me and that my family was a safe and supportive place. From a very young age I was told that I was adopted but was always meant to be a part of my family. It didn’t matter that I was born across the world or looked different. What mattered was the love shared between my parents, sisters, and me.
As I grew, I always planned to try to connect with my birth family at some point. I wanted to hear more stories and know who they are now, but I wasn’t sure when the time would be right. When I was 20-years-old, I received an email from the adoption agency about a letter from my birth mother. The letter was addressed to my parents, but since I was a legal adult it belonged to me if I was interested. I was so surprised, but also thankful that my birth mother took the initiative to contact me first. Since then we have continued to write (through the adoption agency and translators) and here are a few excerpts from the letters I have received.
“I have never forgotten Eun Jin (my Korean name) even a day for the 20 years, but I couldn’t meet her so that I would pray for her and cry.”
“My loving Eun Jin! I feel thankful that God have you a good husband. I wish that both of you will be forever happy with constant love and your home will be filled with love and sound health like heaven until the end of this world.”
“My poor baby! I’m a guilty person. I have been crying for 20 years but now, I am shedding tears of happiness after finding you out and looking at you healthy and beautiful. You gave me a peace and smile. I’m so grateful to God. Also thankful for your parents, family, and your husband, Matthew. Eun Jin, thank you and I’m sorry to you.”
“Life doesn’t always have happiness, and even though you face some hardships and troubles in your life, I hope that you can overcome it wisely with your husband.”
My strong birth mother. She lost her husband, she lost her daughter, she may have lost one of my birth sisters along the way as she has never mentioned her, she lost all of her belongings and her home and business in a fire, and she has struggled. She wrote that she and my eldest sister have tried to live earnestly so I would not be ashamed to meet them someday. How could I ever be ashamed to meet them? This woman sacrificed a piece of her heart so that I might have a happy and full life. She put my needs over her wants. What better kind of love is there?
There is one better kind of love. My whole life I can remember praying that my birth family would come to know Jesus. I would pray for them and their wellbeing often, but most importantly that they would hear about Jesus and devote their lives to Him.
These many years she prayed the same thing for me.
She was not a Christian when she lost her husband and placed her third baby for adoption. But Christ sought her and she accepted His grace and love. What an overwhelming thought! Across the globe, birth mother and birth daughter became sisters in the body of Christ. We have not yet met in person, but we know that we will spend eternity together with our Lord and Savior. This is the best kind of love, the love of Jesus Christ.
So today, on National Adoption Day, I would like to say thank you to my birth mother. For loving me so much that you provided me with a wonderful life with a loving family. For never stopping loving me and for never ceasing in your prayers over my life. Thank you for being such a strong example to me and for seeking me out. Thank you to all the orphanage workers who cared for me, for the social workers involved in my case, and for the woman who traveled so far to bring me home to my family. Thank you to my family for choosing me and loving me always.
Thank you to all involved in foster care and adoption around the world. You are like earthly angels caring for the least of these. May God bless you profoundly as you share His love with the world.