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Adoption stories

Mike Carey
Golden Valley, MN

Birth Country: South Korea
Decade of adoption: 1990s

There are days still, after ten years, when I think of the miracle of adoption: the perfect match of parents and child across cultures and language and race. There are days I completely forget our son is Korean because he completes us and our lives are so normal. He's just a kid, a great, fun-loving, joyful, happy kid who loves hockey, baseball, soccer and archery. He has lots of friends and seems well adjusted. Still, there are times when we are with his Korean buddies or at a Korean restaurant or at a camp and we see another spark, a deeper joy, a peace and calm that is not always there.

We went to South Korea this year and he had the chance to see the vibrant, high-tech, modern, exciting country of his birth. Our hope is that he finds comfort, joy and peace in both worlds. We know the teenage years can be hard. They are hard for lots of kids and lots of parents. Adoption is only one challenge he'll face in life. Our hope is to foster self-esteem and pride in the fact that he is a good, talented, interesting person with a wide range of interests. We hope he is interested in his culture and many other interesting things in a big interesting world; the same thing most birth parents hope for their children.

Being a Korean adoptee makes him that much more interesting, but it doesn't define him or his life. His education, his values, his family, his interests, his talents, his foibles and mistakes all define him. I believe that over time, we'll look back on cross-cultural adoptions as one of the ways we have broken down barriers and become a truly multi-racial society. Our son has broadened the horizons and perspectives of our extended family, his friends' families, his school and sports teams. We know the concerns, the controversy and the challenges of international adoption. Thankfully, we also know the joy, pride and love. Kind of sounds like parenting to me.

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