I'm back - exhausted, but exhiliarated after what turned out to be an amazing trip. When you put your mind to it, you can pack a lot into a single week - and I left no minute unused.
Good news! The photo albums my kids asked to put in their files are there, every single page. And although there's been no contact from either of their families yet, I just have a very good feeling that it will come in time. At least I'm really hopeful.
Korean adoption is definitely on the verge of a paradigm shift. I was absolutely thrilled when the discussion in the conference session in which I participated was entirely on search and open adoption. And I don't mean that the Korean adoptive parents were voicing interest - they were in or trying to be in open adoptions with their children's families.
But without a doubt, the most moving session was that in which two mothers shared the stories of the surrenders of their children. These brave women confirmed everything I've begun to believe - that they had no support from families, friends or community; on the contrary, they were given no options but to relinquish their children. And do they want reunions? Oh yes. And as more and more mothers speak out, and more and more adoptive parents do, too, things will change. I took lots of notes in this session, and will definitely be writing about it.
I really wish my family could have been with me, but this time it just wasn't possible. My husband and daughter went out of town for a taekwondo tournament the day I returned - we actually met at National Airport for a few minutes, giving me a chance to at least give them a hug and kiss before they left. My son chose not to go this time because he didn't want to go to the conference. He has been to two KAAN conferences, and although he enjoyed them both, he wanted his next trip to Korea to be for travel. So we're going to try (finances allowing) to all go next summer.
I have so much to post, but jet lag (brutal) will probably keep me dizzy for a couple of daysyet. So more to follow soon!
And now, off to bed - hopefully this time I'll fall asleep before 3:30 AM.