American RadioWorks |
boots-to-books

From Boots to Books

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a piece of legislation that many advocates say offers more support to returning veterans than any policy since the original GI Bill of 1944. In this documentary, we explore how the first GI Bill revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors.

Recent Posts

  • 09.03.15

    The history of the GI Bill

    A staggering 16 million soldiers returned home from World War II, and millions of them went to school. Because GI Bill benefits were generous enough to pay for any college in the country, veterans flooded all types of institutions, from elite schools like Harvard to large state schools, to vocational schools. By 1947, half of all college students in America were veterans.
  • 09.03.15

    The front lines of the long journey home

    Colleges and universities have become the front lines of one of the great challenges posed by war: how to reintegrate the people who've served.
  • 09.03.15

    The GI Bill: One of the last great economic ladders?

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was supposed to change where veterans could go to college by giving them more money, and, therefore, more options. But since the new bill went into effect in 2009, the percentage of veterans enrolling at four-year public and private nonprofit schools has barely budged.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.

American RadioWorks |
boots-to-books

From Boots to Books

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a piece of legislation that many advocates say offers more support to returning veterans than any policy since the original GI Bill of 1944. In this documentary, we explore how the first GI Bill revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors.

Recent Posts

  • 09.03.15

    The history of the GI Bill

    A staggering 16 million soldiers returned home from World War II, and millions of them went to school. Because GI Bill benefits were generous enough to pay for any college in the country, veterans flooded all types of institutions, from elite schools like Harvard to large state schools, to vocational schools. By 1947, half of all college students in America were veterans.
  • 09.03.15

    The front lines of the long journey home

    Colleges and universities have become the front lines of one of the great challenges posed by war: how to reintegrate the people who've served.
  • 09.03.15

    The GI Bill: One of the last great economic ladders?

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was supposed to change where veterans could go to college by giving them more money, and, therefore, more options. But since the new bill went into effect in 2009, the percentage of veterans enrolling at four-year public and private nonprofit schools has barely budged.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.


Adoption stories


Cortney Natkow
Reston, VA

Birth Country: South Korea
Decade of adoption: 1970s

I was adopted from Korea 26 years ago (three years after my sister, who also came from Korea, although we are not blood sisters). I have lived in the U.S. since and have never been back to Korea.

My parents tried to give us our Korean culture by food, books and camps, but growing up, I really was American and had no Asian friends. At times I would forget I was Korean until I looked into the mirror.

I did think about my birth parents from time to time, but never had a big urge to find them. I felt like my family was here with me and what was in the past was in the past.

Now I am almost 27 years old and have been married to my husband for three years. We are in the process of adopting a baby of our own by choice. We are going back to Korea for our baby boy and are awaiting our call to travel to pick him up. I never really thought of any other way but adoption to start my family. Luckily, my husband was supportive and wanted the same thing.

The hospital that I came from in Korea (Eastern Social Welfare) will be the same place that my baby will come from. The same Dr. Kims are running the facility and I will be able to meet them when I go over. I will be able to thank them for the work they do and tell them the full circle that I have come in my life.

When we are over in Korea I will have the opportunity to meet my birth family. I found them a couple months ago and figure that if I was going to Korea I'd try to find them. Fortunately, it was pretty easy and they wanted to meet me as well. I found out that they are married now and they have other children, which means I have full blood siblings in Korea. I also found out that my given Korean name was wrong, and my birthday has been wrong for the past 26 years as well (by only 9 days). They are very apologetic about giving me up for adoption and I am thankful they did. I hope they will be able to see what an amazing thing it is for the other side to accept a baby.

My adoptive parents and my sister will join us on this journey to Korea, because when I came over I was escorted to America. Now they will be able to experience the country as well as meet the foster mother of their grandchild.

Adoption is quite a journey for everyone. It is sad for one and exciting for another. It is a loss for one mother and a blessing for another.



Back to Adoption Stories


American RadioWorks |
boots-to-books

From Boots to Books

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a piece of legislation that many advocates say offers more support to returning veterans than any policy since the original GI Bill of 1944. In this documentary, we explore how the first GI Bill revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, America’s institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors.

Recent Posts

  • 09.03.15

    The history of the GI Bill

    A staggering 16 million soldiers returned home from World War II, and millions of them went to school. Because GI Bill benefits were generous enough to pay for any college in the country, veterans flooded all types of institutions, from elite schools like Harvard to large state schools, to vocational schools. By 1947, half of all college students in America were veterans.
  • 09.03.15

    The front lines of the long journey home

    Colleges and universities have become the front lines of one of the great challenges posed by war: how to reintegrate the people who've served.
  • 09.03.15

    The GI Bill: One of the last great economic ladders?

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was supposed to change where veterans could go to college by giving them more money, and, therefore, more options. But since the new bill went into effect in 2009, the percentage of veterans enrolling at four-year public and private nonprofit schools has barely budged.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.