Today, Foster2Forever welcomes Kelly from The Six of Us as a guest to share her family’s story of international adoption from Korea!
Hi! I am Kelly, a 37-year-old mom of four and the wife of a hard-core career soldier! We live our life! We travel and move and are constantly looking for new adventures! We became parents to Katelyn Rose Ga-rin in November 2009. Here is our adoption story:
I remember crying because I was so awed in their ability to be so selfless. Brian and I included them in each step of the way, as well. As a family, we decided that we didn’t care about the sex of the child, but preferred a healthy, younger one from Korea, as this would best fit with our circumstances at the time. We contacted an agency and the ball started rolling. Quickly!
God has a sense of humor because nothing we considered reasonable for our family seemed to happen! While pouring over pictures of the waiting children (just to look) and calculating costs and researching grants, we stumbled upon this picture and we knew.
We knew this was our daughter and sister. It did not matter that she was born premature at 28 weeks. Or that she weighed 2.6 lbs. and had been hospitalized for 2 months at birth.
We didn’t blink when we were told that she may have some unknown medical issues or that she could be deaf in one ear. She was ours, it was as simple as that. And it was meant to be. Amen, let it be so.
We, of course had been through the classes and knew about attachment issues and expected the trauma of leaving the only family she knew, but WOW! The social workers had told me to be prepared that she may prefer Brian because he looks more like the faces she is used to seeing (he is half Korean) and I was ok with that, but she wouldn’t even acknowledge me. We decided to meet at the fosters moms’ house the next day, which is somewhat unusual I am told, but we (and the agency) really needed to see some form of assurance that we could handle what was to come.
Once there, surrounded by her “things” Kate came alive! She was skittish, but allowed me to feed and hold her and played with Brian, smiled for pictures and was generally pretty happy!We felt so encouraged after the visit and couldn’t wait until the next day – it was “gotcha” day! I could hardly control myself until 2 pm when she would be ours, all ours!
Things did not go smoothly and ended with our social worker telling me to take the baby and LEAVE, NOW and Brian trying to console the foster mom whom he could not understand and was literally wailing!
We had a short walk back to the hotel and Kate cried (no, screamed) the entire way. I felt as though I was kidnapping her. When we got into our room, we offered her a bottle and she mostly calmed down enough to fall asleep. She was doing those little shuddery sighs from crying, you know, the “I’m so tuckered out that I can’t cry anymore” sighs?
When she woke a few hours later, she was fine. Seriously, just fine. No tears. Calling out “abba” for daddy in Brian’s direction. Clinging like a koala bear to me. And it was like that all the way home to NY and then traveling from my Mom’s back to KY. Nuts, right?
But this is how it was. Where was the crying? The not sleeping? The refusal to bond? We had NOTHING! It was just happening. Don’t get me wrong, she cried and clung to me for months, but looking back it wasn’t that bad. She just seems to fit with us.
After a year of being home, she has begun to test us and defy rules, but nothing out of the ordinary for a developing two-year-old. We have daily struggles, and I admit that MY attachment to Kate is a bit different from that of my natural born children, but in all it is good. Sometimes I feel cheated out of her babyhood and not having that time to really understand her and grow with her. But I am working on it.
Many blessings, Kelly