Monday, April 1, 2013

My Story Monday: Jo Family

Family of Three, Two Months Later….
Tomorrow will mark two months since our precious son arrived home, into our arms. I have been meaning to write down thoughts, reflections, and a form of “thank you” for some time now.  However, now I really understand the reality of motherhood and all its joys, but also its constraints…. Hopefully some of you will understand.J  These thoughts are being shared because of the deep realization that none of this would be so sweet if were not for all of the love, support, and prayers of so many friends and family members.
            This journey of adoption has been truly life changing and one of the most wonderful decisions ever made in my life. With the risk of sounding really cheesy,  and plagiarizing a little from my sweet husband’s Valentine’s card to me,  it really is mind boggling that I can have both the gift of my husband, “the love of my life” and now, my son, “the joy of my life.”  Of course the decision was not one made overnight or made alone. For many years my heart was drawn towards “one day” adopting.  This was before Hyuk and I were ever even dating.  In our dating years, we spoke of a mutual desire to one day adopt, but also knew that we would not rule out the possibility of having children biologically.  I honestly thought it would be easier to have children biologically rather than through adoption.  Having worked in the field of adoption for a few years, the hurdles and costs, waits, and heartaches were even more real; and it seemed to be a far off dream for us than anything.  Then days, months, even years of marriage past and Hyuk and I began to wonder if adoption may be the only option for growing our family.  While it was a deep desire to begin the adoption process and would be a dream come true, it just seemed there would be no way we could make it happen, especially financially.  Days past and I began to feel stuck, maybe we would be that couple who just grows old together and strives to bless other families and children in ways other than parenthood.  Sometimes this seemed o.k., if it was really God’s plan for us, but the sadness began to sit in…  Tears were shed and prayers were said.  A great lesson was learned, never give up hope and never stop praying.  Waiting may be hard and the path may seem impossible, but nothing is impossible with God!  
It is now obvious that the Lord showed us a way that would honor Him, but would bless us incredibly!! It still amazes me how blessed we are.  After taking a huge leap of faith two years ago this month and beginning the process of adopting our son, even more patience, endurance, and love was learned.  We knew that the process could be tumultuous and unpredictable… Looking back, it really could have been much more than what we experienced.  Emotions are not always the easiest to prepare for, even when your head knows what might lay ahead, the heart doesn't always know how it will react.  Paperwork moved smoothly and there were not even problems with approvals on the US side…. Each step of the way relied on a great deal of faith in the provision of funds, my biggest worry at the time, but again, miraculously to me, the Lord provided!! Even after many hours of filling out grant applications and receiving denial after denial in the mail that we did not qualify for any assistance, the Lord provided in other ways.
  In November 2010, we met our match on paper, HyeonSoo…. the sweetest little face that melted our hearts from the first email and phone call.  Then we began to wait again… after five, then six years of marriage, the waiting continued, to have our son home.  Delays began; delays our minds expected, but hard. Indescribably the heartache weighed on our hearts to see the pictures of our son growing up so far away.  The hardest months were towards the end when each holiday past and each time frame that was predicted seem to keep changing. 
Then Christmas was approaching and we didn't even know if our son would be home before the end of 2011.  We will never forget the love and support of so many during this time- probably still unaware of just how many prayers were spoken for us and our son.  He made it home before Christmas, an answered prayer, on December 16, 2011, and it was the best day yet in my marriage… Probably the most nervous I have ever felt and the most joyful I have ever felt all at the same time.  The first night was the hardest and scariest and I will never forget my dear husband saying, “…we will get through this” (as our little boy seemed so scared and we wondered if we could really ever comfort him and if he would ever realize the love we have for him).  Knowing my husband’s heart this could only come from a deep belief and confidence in the faithfulness of our Lord.  It is this that will also get us through the years of ahead of us as well.
Today we see the wondrous works of the Lord in our home! It is so incredible to think that we started seriously praying for this little boy and his birth family, months before he was even born (began adoption process in Feb. 2010, HyeonSoo was born May 25, 2010 near Seoul, S.Korea, referral/matched November 16, 2010).  Josiah HyeonSoo is truly a God given joy.  As a little boy who left a home so far away… a home of love and the only family (amazing foster family) he knew for 18 months, he is adjusting phenomenally. We have our challenges, but when I think of all the worries and problems we could face, it is amazing to me how smoothly the transition has gone so far. He voluntarily gives us kisses and hugs everyday, calls us oma and appa (mom and dad).  His smile lights up our world. Over the past two weeks he has started saying, “I luuu…”  ( for I love you).  He looks to us for approval or disapproval (acts up like a toddler) and makes us laugh like we never have before.  He is curious, energetic, funny and fearless at times (thus the cast on his arm already). He is growing emotionally and on many developmental levels.  Our bonding as a family is a lifelong process and we know it will not be an easy journey; however, a thankful heart should be expressed and praises given.  The Lord heard our prayers and we know He was protecting our son during those months apart and most of all He has blessed us with a beautiful, loving, growing son.  One we will always be thankful for, one we will always cherish prayers for, and one we pray will know and worship the One who brought him to us. In whatever way he goes, we pray he leads others to worship our Lord.
May adoption not be feared or felt impossible for anyone considering such a journey! It has been and is a wonderful, life changing, blessed journey.  It is at times, the hardest experience and scariest; but in reflection of it all and staring into my son’s eyes, all the wait, tears, unknown, and frustrations, are beyond worth it. It is worth my tired days, journeying into new unknowns and learning to balance life as a new parent. I think this quote is fitting and describes much of the adoption process.  It is from one of my devotional readings today and I know they are words that we will have to hold onto as we move forward as Josiah’s parents, “When anxiety attempts to wedge in its way into your thoughts, remind yourself that I am your Shepherd.  The bottom line is that I am taking care of you; therefore, you needn't be afraid of anything.  Rather than trying to maintain control over your life, abandon yourself to My will.  Though this may feel frightening-even dangerous, the safest place to be is in my will.” – (Devotion by Sarah Young)
Thank you to all who have supported, prayed for, and continue to bless our family!
“For with God nothing will be impossible.”- Luke 1:37

1 comment:

  1. Great decision. He will teach you many things..
    God bless your decision and your future.