By Emily Williams, Korea Adoptive Mom
For most adoptive families, quarantine or family isolation is nothing new. After all when we brought our children home, in order to facilitate bonding and adjustment, most of us spent time in family isolation and quarantine. I’m almost certain it was an adoptive Mom who invented the “porch drop” as a way to receive essential supplies while in isolation.
As my family began to isolate to slow the spread of COVID-19, I quickly recognized the feelings that were cropping up among my family members. Feelings or overwhelm, uncertainty, fear and at times helplessness seemed like an old group of friends we hadn’t seen for a while. Once I realized that we had survived isolation as a family twice before, some of my feelings were eased, I knew we could get through. At the time however, I don’t think I realized all of the similarities between the times before and now and I sure didn’t realize some of the benefits.
Like our previous times of isolation, keeping our world small was essential. We have one set of Grandparents that live close by and one who doesn’t. After a time of isolation, we were able to see the relatives that lived close. The time separated from the not so near relatives makes out heart ache and reminds us of a time we once had trouble traveling just a little over an hour a way to see our family because it was too hard on our son. Thinking back on that time and knowing it was temporary, has helped us with our most recent separation.
Just as before, time together as a family bonded us. Since our youngest came home at two and a half, our boys did not have the advantage of knowing each other from birth. I felt like my sons had a close bond, but my husband and I knew it could be closer. We prayed for this to happen. During the past few months of isolation, they had no other friends except each other and we began to notice that their brotherly bond growing closer. The “I Love You”, hugs and giggles were suddenly common place.
While we are in isolation, the world seems to continue to go on around us. Birthdays, deaths, graduations and other milestone events seem to never take a break. As it was in the family isolation times before, we had to choose what was best for our family. Of course the choices were never easy but keeping our eye on the goal always seemed to help.
When we brought our youngest son home six years ago, he spoke no English and we spoke no Korean. Trying to keep someone safe when they can’t understand the simplest of commands is almost impossible. Thankfully, we now all speak English and we are all able to understand and take safety measures to protect ourselves.
Just as before, Dillon was so great to reach out to our family to check on us during this difficult time. They offered a weekly Virtual Preteen Support group and a monthly county specific activity book to occupy our extra time. It is so comforting to know that Dillon was not only there for us during the adoption process, but for a lifetime. They are a difference maker in our lives and in all of the families that they serve who are touched by adoption.