Saturday, February 27, 2010


no, this post is not about the board game, although i do love me a good game of taboo...especially when it's korean/english taboo with my family! ask me about playing last christmas, it was quite a hoot!

actually, i wanted to use this post to talk about adoption and how it is often a taboo subject in korean circles. traditionally, there is so much emphasis placed on the idea of carrying on one's family name and the confucian ideal of filial piety is one of the virtues that is often held above all else. because of this, infertility is so often hidden and rarely made public because in some ways, many traditional, old-school thinking people find it shameful.

i don't know too much about it, but historically, there have been many instances of "secret" adoptions in korea. in other words, parents who couldn't have biological children would secretly adopt a child, pass it off as their own biological child and then never tell the child they were adopted. i imagine that these families did this to perserve their image and family name, but how horrible and sad for these children to grow up under false pretenses not knowing who they really are!

recently, the korean government has tried to erase some of this stigma around adoption and has encouraged domestic adoptions. a few well-known celebrities (cha in-pyo and his wife, shin ae-ra among them) have adopted children in korea very publicly, sharing openly about their adoptions and encouraging others to also adopt.

for the past several decades, most children up for adoption in korea were adopted internationally to families overseas. in 2007, korea passed new laws that prioritized domestic adoptions over international adoptions. this made international adoptions from korea a bit more difficult, but at least it is helping to change societal views regarding adoption in korea. in fact, all babies under 6 months are first up for domestic adoption, giving preference and first pick to families in korea adopting domestically. again, this means that international adoptions from korea now take longer and that the children are older when they are welcomed home to their families overseas, but again, this is great news for helping to change the social stigma of adoption.

we hope that as we bring our little one home, we will be able to share openly, honestly and proudly about our adoption. we plan to raise our little one so that he or she knows from the start where they came from and who they are, and how their journey helped build our family. we know that we are only one family, but our hope is that we will be able to use our journey and our story to continue to erase some of that stigma and help others to see adoption for what it is: a joy and a privilege! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

the next step.

so, after we were in a place where we were emotionally healthier and at peace, we decided to pursue adoption. adoption was something that we had always envisioned for our family because we feel it is such a real life extension and picture of God's grace and love for us. we had always wanted to adopt, we just didn't know we would come to place where it was our only option. we came to grips with that reality and went forward, optimistic about growing our family through adoption.

we chose to adopt internationally from korea. being korean-american, it seemed like the right choice to adopt from the motherland :), and we had heard many great things about the adoption program in korea. part of us wanted to adopt a child in foster care here in the DC area, but after thinking about it, we felt that living as an adopted child is often challenging enough and to throw interracial and cross-cultural adoption into the mix would just make things harder.

we knew that the adoption process would be a long and arduous one, and as we started our adoption journey, the road ahead of us seemed daunting and overwhelming. we pushed ahead with our application; getting clearance upon clearance, getting fingerprinted, writing personal statements, asking for references, copying documents, writing checks, etc, etc, etc. when all was said and done, we printed and compiled everything to find that our application was 85 (yes, 85!) pages long. we submitted it to our agency, signed up for a pre-adoption class and waited to hear from our social worker.

because we are korean-american, our adoption process became a part of the korean heritage program, a program that places children from korea in homes where one or both of the adoptive parents are of korean heritage. it has a bit of a faster timeline than the traditional timeline because the korean governtment gives some preference to korean-americans adopting from korea.

we were assigned to and worked with a great social worker who completed our home study (a document that gives our background and information -- pretty much a check to make sure we would be fit parents) and was a wonderful support. our koream heritage liaison gave us some great information and was also a valuable resource.

after our home study was complete, we entered into our waiting period to be matched with a child, which is where we still are today. along the way, our social worker and our liaison left the agency, which was a bit disheartening because we were then passed on to others who didn't know our background as well. but, 'tis the way of the wait, right? as we wait, we are faced with more unexpected obstacles that continue to test our perseverance and shape our character...

at this point, we are expecting to be matched with a child sometime this may be sooner, it may be later (of course, we're hoping for sooner!), but regardless, we will continue to wait with hopeful and excited hearts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a little background...

for those of you that may not know where we're coming from, here's a little history for ya...

we were married back in 2005, at the tender young ages of 24 and 26 (seriously, we were babies!). when we got married, we consciously made the decision to wait on trying to have children for 2 years...the extra time would give me (grace) time to go to grad school and we would have at least 2 years of marital bliss (sidenote: isn't funny that "marital" looks so much like the word "martial"?). we felt we were too young to be parents and wanted the freedom to still enjoy our mid-twenties.

fast forward to 2007. you know that phrase, "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."? true.

here we were ready to add on to our family, thinking it would be so easy and effortless, no worries at all. and then, 3 months went by. and then 6. and pretty soon an entire year went by. infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 1 year, so over that 12 month mark, we headed over to the doctor, nervous, but hopeful that we would be faced with something that was semi-easily fixable.

unfortunately, the news we were met with was not hopeful news at all. in fact, it was something we had not expected nor wanted to hear. ever. after undergoing different tests, we were told that it would be absolutely impossible for us to conceive on our own. in addition to that, we were told that there was a very invasive surgery that was an option, but even with that surgery, it was not guaranteed, and actually not even very likely, that we would then be eligible for procedures like IUI or IVF. ultimately, it meant that the chances of us having a biological child were slim to none.

after hearing this, we were devastated, heartbroken, and so, so, so, so sad. we cried and we grieved the loss of this dream that we had counted on and built in and our hearts and minds.

this period of grieving really consumed us for the better part of a few months. we were so seized by this sudden and unexpected turn of events that it was hard for us to keep our heads above water. it was a time of much crying and questioning, a time of sadness and anger.

eventually, and truly by God's grace, we were able to come to a place of peace. when we couldn't pray for ourselves, others did, and we are so thankful for those prayers and those friendships that helped lift us up. there are still good days and bad days, but we are still hopeful in knowing there are better days ahead.

i'll leave you with some old wedding photos so you can see just how young (and SKINNY!) we were :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

hi there.

so, where to begin? i started this blog as a way to journal about this journey we're on...namely, this journey through infertility that we have been walking/clawing/trudging through for the past two and a half years. there, i said it. so many times, infertility seems like such a taboo subject that is difficult and uncomfortable to talk about. it's a sensitive subject, for sure, but one that shouldn't be kept in the closet.

my hope is that this blog will be a way for us to honestly share our journey with you, and that as we do, you would be able to walk alongside us, pray with us and for us. and if you're reading this and are also in the midst of this journey, we hope that you will be encouraged that you are not alone.

soli deo gloria.

p.s. i didn't copy tina ro, i promise! :)