By Michelle James
Our son came home from South Korea at almost three years old. Prior to our family, he lived with a foster family in Seoul, South Korea, from the age of three months until his homecoming. When we were first approved to become his permanent parents, we were told that his foster parents were very experienced and that he was being loved and nurtured. We took that on faith to be true, although certainly we worried about it, and we prayed for the foster family as much as we prayed for our son.
When we picked our son up in Seoul, we were able to meet the foster family for the first time, and found that without a doubt they had loved our son as their own. Although separated by language and culture, we were united in caring for a special little boy. The foster mom gave specific instructions to me for our son’s care, including favorite foods and toys, sleep habits, and all the minutiae that moms know about their kids and no one else does. It was abundantly clear that our son was treasured and loved.
We did not expect to continue the relationship after our son came home, but it has been a wonderful surprise of international adoption to have a bonus family in Seoul. We keep in touch via email and Facebook, and were able to return for a visit a few years ago. When my son’s “noona” (big sister in his foster family) had a baby, my son was excited to learn that he would be an uncle! He was able to hold the baby on our return trip and still refers to himself as the baby’s “samchon,” or uncle.
This special family will always hold a sacred place in our hearts. Before we even knew we had another son, they were loving him as their own and teaching him what it means to live in a family. Our relationship with them has made our lives so much richer.