Monday, May 29, 2006

The Series of Events That Led To My Adoption

On my other blog, I wrote a post about the a series of events that lead us to where we are today. So, recently, I was thinking about some of the events that lead to my adoption from Korea. I decided to tell the story because it always makes me smile.

My mother was in her senior year of high school and she was a member of the Future Teachers of America club. I don’t remember why anymore because I know she never planned on being a teacher, but that’s beside the point. She was a member and that is probably another series of events to explore at another time. The members of the club were supposed to write to American soldiers in Vietnam.

She always laughs and says that all of the other girls were standing around the chalkboard and looking at the names. They would look at the last names and match them up with their names to see how they sounded - Mrs. Abigail Smith. After all, you wouldn’t want to write to a total stranger, find the love of your life and end up with a totally incompatible new last name. My mother didn’t really want to participate in the project but, because she had to, she walked up and picked the first name she saw at her eye level. She's short (like me) so it's mind boggling to wonder what would happen if her shoes had been a quarter of an inch taller.

I remember her telling me that she sent off her letter and she was expecting a one page letter in return. The other girls were getting short letters that didn’t really say much at all. So, she was surprised when she got back a multi-page letter that was full of interesting thoughts. They kept writing the whole time that my father was in Vietnam.

Though my father had been living in California, they had actually grown up about thirty miles from each other in Ohio. When my father came home from Vietnam, he went to Ohio to visit his family. It was logical that he would look up the young woman that he had been corresponding with for so long.

They met face to face for the first time in February 1970, they were engaged three weeks later and they were married in June. Now, thirty-six years later, they laugh at all the people that said it would never work.


On my parent’s first date, my father told my mother that he wanted to adopt from Vietnam. My mother hadn’t even known it was possible, but my father had known because of his time in the service. Much like my situation, where I told my husband from the beginning that I wanted to adopt, it was marked down in the books from the beginning.

When it was time for them to start a family, they began the process for adopting from Vietnam, but things were not meant to be. Saigon fell in 1975, and though they did host Vietnamese refugee families (which is another story), there would be no more Vietnamese babies for adoption.

The agency gave them an opportunity to switch to a different waiting list and that’s when they learned about Korea. So, this is how my parent’s series of events led to my adoption. Isn’t it funny how the world works?

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