Tag Archives: korea

Dear Other Two Moms:

The other night my daughter asked, “Were you happy I was your baby? Was I cute?” Granted, she probably suspected that this question would stall bedtime at least another fifteen minutes as I cuddled her and told her the story, again, about how it felt the first time I saw her. The vivid memory of sitting at the Eastern Orphanage in Korea anxiously waiting to meet my daughter. Finally, the counselor pointing to a woman walking in with the most beautiful baby girl on her back … “That is her.”

fish

They both are still surprised when a stranger can guess one of them is adopted. 🙂

I have told my daughter (by adoption) and my son (by birth) that there isn’t one of their stories about how I came to be their mother that is more special than the other. They are completely different stories, but both include joy; some pain points; worrisome moments; and the delivery of the most incredible gift, unimaginable love, and biggest responsibility of my life. (The toughest part comes in the work and exhaustion of raising them!)

With two children who came to me in very different ways, it is important to me that I celebrate and share with them their individual stories and how it makes them unique. One part of my daughter’s story that I have shared with her is how she has three different moms who each love her very much. This “mom circle” includes her birth mom, her foster mom and me (her mom). In fact, she was told this story from before she was old enough to even understand the words that I was saying. This story also led to her infamous self-introduction: At the age of four, we were at the first day of swimming lessons. A girl walked up to her and said, “Hi, I have a new purple suit.” My daughter responded, “Hi. I have three moms.”

So with the timing of National Adoption Month and soon to be her seventh birthday, I want to attempt to write a note to her other two moms whom I share with the great honor of this title. Since, I have no way to actually get a letter to them, I decided to blog it. Perhaps they will feel the energy of it. Or someday when we go back to Korea as a family, or if Chloe ever seeks them out, it can be shared. Or maybe, it is purely for me to know that I have recognized them and documented something in their honor. So, with that said, here I go.

love

Dear Other Two Moms:

First and foremost, I want both of you to know that you are and always will be important to both her and me. You are not forgotten.

Birth Mom, I didn’t know you at all except through a few forms from the orphanage that you filled out which shared some basic information about your life and the adoption decision you made. I haven’t read these to our daughter yet, but I will as she gets older.

Foster Mom, I did meet you. Our last day in Korea when you passed her to us for the final time and watching you say goodbye is etched in my mind. Our daughter loves to look at the photo album you sent with us that chronicles her nine months in your family. One of her favorite photos is of her 100-day celebration.

Secondly, if either of you ever do actually read this, please know it could never be enough or say enough to acknowledge and thank you for the sacrifices you both made that brought her to my life. So perhaps consider it more of a note in time with an update and a few facts about how she is doing.

braid

Rapunzel makes for a perfect braid model.

If our daughter was writing this, I am sure the first thing she would mention is “I can braid!” At the moment, it is what she sees as the most exciting, self-appointed goal she has reached. It has beat out the excitement of learning to read which happened around the same time. Her dolls, herself and me are always adorned with different braided hairdos. She would also be sure to mention that she is going to have a piñata at her birthday, is one of the fastest runners in her class and is also really good at the monkey bars.

Actually, she would go on and on and on. She talks a lot. There have been multiple times where she finally takes a breath and then notices, and comments, that I am not fully listening anymore. I have told her honestly that sometimes I can’t listen as long as she talks. She can wear me out.

Our daughter is beautiful. (I mentioned this in a past blog that I do work hard to make sure she is recognized for all her wonderful attributes beyond just this.) She is also smart, funny, and extremely flexible … freakishly flexible. She likes to sing and actually can hold a tune. (She wouldn’t get that from my genes). She has lots of friends and is a bit of a tomboy. Though she prefers sparkles and dresses when she races her brother and his friends.

cute

She also has attitude.

She does like to tattle. Her flair for the drama can cause the tiniest touch from her brother to create the loudest wail from her. (Though granted, half of the times the wails are well founded and caused from more than a touch). They have bonded as siblings in the truest form. It is a love/hate relationship. But no one better mess with her but him!

I am working with her on not lying to get out of trouble. “You saw me wrong” or “You heard me wrong” is her usual defense. She does not like anyone to be angry with her. Though it doesn’t stop her from doing things that may make us angry. When she is in trouble, it is usually turned around on us and we are told how we hurt her feelings by being mad.

korea friend

She goes to Korean camp with her friend who we first met in Korea.

She dresses herself in crazy, unmatched outfits and gets really sad if you suggest she or her outfit is anything but super cute. She loves Littlest Pet Shop but is “not that into” Hello Kitty anymore. She is proud of being Korean and loves to make and eat Be Bim Bop and Japchae. And, there is nothing quite like being caught up in one of her laughing attacks.

There are many moments in my life with her during which I think of you both. I want to know more about the stories behind the photos we look at together. I often reread the adoption forms hoping to catch something that I missed last time. When I am filling out her medical forms, I want to ask you about her family history or if she had the same reaction to colds when she was a baby. Sometimes, I just want to ask you both to tell me, in your own words, how you made such brave and selfless choices. One of you to give her a life you couldn’t provide and one of you to make sure she was cared for and loved till we would arrive. Both of you having to say goodbye to her. Once in awhile laying in her bed, I close my eyes and wish I could show you how she is doing and hopefully you would feel proud or content in the choices you made and the path you provided her. If nothing else, make you giggle hearing some of her perspectives and comments.

I am not a perfect mom but I love her. I want you to know that you both helped to create an incredible girl. I also want you to know there is no way to be eloquent enough to express all that I would like, nor anyway me to be able to cover the full spectrum of all that is her.

Thank you both for making the decisions you did which provided me the opportunity to be one of the three moms blessed to play a part in her life. I hope she gains strength by having received all of our love different ways and carries it with her always. Please know, I don’t take it for granted that I am the one who received the most with her as a constant in my life, thanks to both of you.

As I tell her every night, I love you to the moon and back.

Forever,

The Third Mom

My, what big eyes you have

My first attempt at writing of a blog was when I adopted my daughter from Korea. I saw it as a way for me to share with everyone who had been so supportive through our journey and as a journal for Chloe when she got older. I adoptionhad heartfelt plans to keep it up, but once back home and in “normal routine,” life and parenting took over.  It was the same as my son’s memory book that ended at age two, but now I had two kids and even less time. I was able to get one additional post done the past five years. Another example of my grand parenting aspirations replaced with just trying to be a “good enough” mom. Every once in awhile I still put it on my to-do list because I know there will come a time that Chloe has questions.  And with many pieces of her history missing, I want to at least provide her all the details about the past that I am part of.

Before adopting I read everything I could get my hands on about issues she might have and ideas to help her. I listened intently during all of the adoptionattitude classes. I whispered reassurances and promises in her ear on the long flight home. But, to be completely honest, once we settled in to our family I haven’t thought much about Chloe’s adoption. It is not because I don’t care. It is simply that Chloe is my daughter. There isn’t a difference to me between my two children.  I don’t think of it. I love her and she can make my heart soar with her beautiful smile and hugs and also can drive me nuts two minutes later. The only difference I see is that – unlike my son – her tantrums include a really high pitched screech.

You may wonder how I cannot be faced with it every day – she is Korean and I am not. It is hard to explain but I look at Chloe more than myself. Like my son, I see myself reflected in her. She just looks like my daughter and like our family. When I get asked questions about where she is from or glances, it takes me a minute to register how they know. And, until now her only question has been “why does bubba (her name for her brother) look different then rest of us?” His “yellow” hair sets him apart from the rest of our dark hair.

chloeThe one thing I do notice about Chloe’s looks is that she is stunningly pretty (at least to her mom). I make a point to discuss all her other assets and the things she is good at so not everything is focused on her looks.

Well, the other night she surprised us. In a very sad voice she announced, “My eyes are littler than everyone else’s.”  As stunned as I was, all the things I had read about and my own “mom sense” had me ready to help her though this and discuss anything she wanted. The problem is she is five.  So as I began talking, I was interrupted with another important question, “When can I have real pixie dust so I can fly?” This was a harder question for me and a much bigger issue for her. This is the third morning I have been woken with “can I have real pixie dust for my birthday?”

In a few weeks, Chloe has her first week of Korean camp which I hope will be the start of a lot of information and prompt open discussions. Now if anyone can just help me with where to get pixie dust. Adoption I am ready to tackle with all honesty and full disclosure, but her imagination I want to keep intact as long as possible.