I recently wrote an article for my work, and it was featured in our quarterly newsletter we send out to our subscribers in Georgia. The article is about our adoption story and I wanted to share it.
A Change of Heart
By Laura Jeong, Intercountry Adoption Specialist
I remember the first time my husband, Jason, brought up the idea of adoption. He mentioned how he had always been open to adopting and asked me what I thought about it. That was about two years into our marriage, and we weren’t planning to have children for two more years.
I rejected the idea, telling him that I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to love an adopted child as much and as naturally as I knew I would a biological child. When I made this statement, I wasn’t very far from the adoption world. In fact, I recently had started working at Bethany as a birthparent counselor and domestic infant adoption specialist. Even as I helped families make adoption plans and thought of adoptive families as big-hearted, wonderful people, it just wasn’t in my plans for my family.
I had reservations stemming from the stigma of shame and pity so closely attached to adoption in the Asian culture. My reasoning was that Asian families didn’t adopt, and if they did, it was only to keep a family secret or to hide something shameful in their eyes, like infertility. With the exception of meeting a few people who had been adopted, I didn’t know a single Asian family who had adopted, even into my later adult life.
But sure enough, God had a plan for my life. He began opening my heart more and more through each adoption I experienced. With every child I saw in the hospital, being born into a world where broken families are a reality, I saw that God had a purpose for that child and a promise of restoration and love.
During this time, God also revealed to me that our children are not ours, but God’s, and we are stewards of the children whom God has given us the privilege to raise. I realized that God was calling me to do more than merely work at an adoption agency; He was calling me to adopt!
I think it’s true that God doesn’t call the prepared but prepares the called. He taught us just how biblical adoption is. Ephesians 1:5 NIV says, “he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will….” The verse tells us that He made us His own. Adoption is truly an amazing reflection of the gospel of Jesus. With that understanding, I eventually caught up to the place where Jason was-where he had patiently waited and prayed for me-and together, we decided to build our family through adoption.
God began to fill me with excitement and anticipation at the thought of meeting our child for the first time and bringing our child home. But God didn’t stop there. He grew my desire to be a mother to become greater than my desire to be pregnant. I even became the more proactive one, pushing us forward through the process and taking on the task of completing the mountain of paperwork.
I feel that God brought me to Bethany largely to help families through their emotional journey of adoption, but God wanted us to experience something more joyful and beautiful for our family. However, what I didn’t realize was that God was using us to reach the Asian community as well. God has allowed us to share our story with others, in hopes of diminishing that cultural stigma and to teach about an aspect of God’s character.
We have received great support from our friends and have been encouraged by their enthusiasm for our plans. I especially love hearing from people how God is softening the hearts of their spouses, who were, at first, just as resistant to adopting as I was. When I hear that now, I just grin, knowing that God is preparing them for something more beautiful and eternal than they realize.
Laura, intercountry adoption specialist, and her husband, Jason, are pictured here on top of the Rockefeller Center in New York City for their five-year anniversary. Laura and Jason are in the process of adopting from South Korea.
Laura and Jason took a trip to South Korea in May 2008. It was Laura’s first time visiting since her family emigrated from South Korea to the United States. They visited Holt Children’s Services while in South Korea, the agency Bethany works with for intercountry adoptions. They are pictured here standing in front of Deoksugung Palace.