The first topic that has been burning on my heart here recently is adoption. I have 2 primary reasons for discussing this topic. One's name is Jake and the other is Sam. My wife and I adopted these two opposites from South Korea when they were each babies. They are the love of my life and wouldn't trade them for the world. Or for the trip they made half way around this world to get here. Adoption to me is one of the true expressions of love because it's an expression that is a two-way street. It's our expression of and the desire for our kids Jake & Sam and their desire and need to have place in a loving two parent stable environment. I believe adoption is a true gift from God. Without going into a lot of detail right now, we were having problems conceiving and carrying to term our own natural babies. Jake and Sam were born to young girls that were not in a position to be able to raise them so God put the 4 of us together as a family.
I look at life as sort of a chess game that God plays. He gave us free will so we can make some moves on the board and he makes counter moves based on our dumb decisions. He always knows how everything turns out. To everything there is a reason and a time for every purpose under heaven. When I was 17 for example, I made a decision or a move, if you will that changed the course of my life for ever. At the time I had no idea that this tragic error would eventually lead to the most beautiful additions to my life that I could ever imagine. That decision was to try to get 1 stalk of corn out of the head of a corn picker while the picker was running. What followed is a series of events that will both haunt me and bless me the rest of my life. On November 24, 1981 (2 days before Thanksgiving and what would be my future wife's birthday) I got both of my legs caught in a corn picker. This event landed me in the hospital for 7 weeks and had me endure 8 surgeries on my legs in that time as well. There was an insurance settlement that came from this whole ordeal. (I am simplifying this part extremely for right now. Maybe I'll blog on that part another time.) This insurance settlement would be put in place for the blessings to come down the line but at the time I could care less about the money, I just wanted to keep my legs and walk again.
Fast forward 10 yrs. To when I married my lovely bride Connie. She was a school teacher and had always been surrounded by nieces and nephews so naturally she wanted children of her own. After about 2 years of marriage we decided to start trying to have kids. We struggled with conceiving and then struggled with being able to carry to term. After a long process of trying to medically to over come infertility through pills, and shots and God only knows what else, we decided to take a different path. I can still remember my wife standing in my mom's living room attempting to give herself a hormone shot with 1 of the longest needles I've ever seen in my life. After 3 or 4 phantom practice runs she finally tossed down the syringe and said I can't do this any more. The next day she started scouring the internet to find out what it would take to get the ball rolling to adopt children.
She checked into as many domestic sites as possible like Lutheran and Catholic Social Services, etc. We started the process of filling out paper work and meeting with social workers etc. We had a meeting with Lutheran Social Services filled out a bunch of paper to adopt a baby. At the end of all of that the lady calmly and politely said we should be able to get a baby in 3 to 5 yrs. And sirens went off in Connie's had that screamed 3 to 5 years are you kidding me.
After that visit and the disappointing news there she decided to check into international adoption. This is where she was introduced to a wonderful agency; the first to bring babies home from Korea after the Korean War. This was Holt International. Did I say it was a wonderful agency? It was fantastic! Grandma & Harry Holt not only had 6 of their own kids, but they went to Korea in the '50s to see the babies that the American soldiers left behind that were unwanted in their culture and decided to bring 8 more home to live in the U.S with them and that is what opened up the flood gates that would eventually bring more than 50,000 babies home from Korea alone from 1953-1997 when we brought our own first bundle of joy, Kim Su Nam (that's Jake to you and me)
Remember I talked about the chess game and the insurance money yadda yadd yadda. Well this is where that all ties in. Were it not for that insurance money from my dumb choice in 1981, I would not have had the money to bring home and adopt that bundle of joy. The whole process went smooth as silk primarily because we were working with the most experienced most professional adoption agency, Holt International, that there was. I think God knew we had struggled enough so this process went without a hitch. We started the process (paper work, FBI check home study) in January of 1996 and after Jake was born in October of '96 he was home by January of 1997. Just think only 3 more months than if Connie would have carried him to term. We could not have had a more pleasant experience. I thank God for his chess moves, provision and for giving a young Korean girl the courage to let us have a beautiful baby boy. Three years later we decided that our little Jakey needed a playmate and we wanted another bundle of joy so we went through the whole process again with Holt and we were able to bring home our Sam. The laws had changed a little so it was a little different process but one of the best things that Bill Clinton did was to have a 1 year adoption tax credit for those who adopted and we were able to take advantage of that. Again using pretty much the rest of that chess money from 1981. The process is tough. The waiting in tougher, but neither is as tough as a young mom in Korea to make the decision to give up a boy that she knew she couldn't raise on her own and allowed us to bring our boys home and raise them in a healthy 2 parent environment in the U.S.A.
There you have it. I thank God every day that he knows what moves to make even when we make our dumb moves. I thank Him for provision of both money and 2 beautiful boys who are now 14 and 10
I love you so much! I am so grateful God placed you in my life and even more grateful for His had in our marriage, family and future! I trust in Him that He will always make the right move in our lives! Great blog!ReplyDelete
I knew this story well, but it was so endearing to hear from you with your words. You are a blessed man and have a beautiful family! I'm blessed to be those two boys' aunt, too!ReplyDelete
Wow Scott! That's amazing! I had heard bits and pieces of your story over the last few years, but to read it all at once like this ties it all together. You and Connie are great parents and Jake and Sam are two special boys for whom God has a wonderful plan! We love spending time with you guys!ReplyDelete