You guys. Do you see that cute shape right there? Sitting on top of an ever-growing collection of books bought in anticipation of bedtime stories and toddler snuggles is our first tangible glimpse of our son.
Much like the first ultrasound for an expecting mother, they tell me my child is in there somewhere. There’s not any distinguishable features yet.. and of course, I can’t really see him yet.. but all the signs are there – the expectation and knowing, the excitement, the love.
“Why did you choose South Korea?”
In all honesty, I can’t say that we chose South Korea.
When we first made the decision to adopt in 2015, we had to navigate the options available to every adoptive couple.
All three options unite families and children. Each with complex layers of grief and loss, joy and gain. No child more deserving or needing than the next. All options come with a cost – financially, emotionally. I wholeheartedly believe that there is only one wrong choice when it comes to choosing the avenue to which a family grows – having a passion (and a calling) for one of these specific avenues of adoption and choosing to ignore it. If you have thought to yourself, “why are they adopting internationally when there are children in the US that need adopting?” I ask you with humility, grace, and ardor for my own calling – when will you step up and answer your call?
The day I completely surrendered this area of my life to God was the morning after I had stumbled across an image of a little boy from South Korea who had been adopted. His name was also the name we had chosen for our son, Asher – happy, blessed. That was the moment I knew South Korea was for us. It was that morning that I felt the sheer weight of what we were stepping into. I sat with a friend in an office and cried all-out ugly tears. For an hour. I had no words. I felt so unworthy, so unprepared. Not to mention that we had zilch in savings and were looking at the most expensive country possible. With that weight also came an unquenchable love for a child I have yet to see. I knew by the hand of God that I would move Heaven and Earth to know this child.
So we moved forward. We considered other countries that had less expensive fees, lower quality child welfare systems – more of what we had expected and envisioned when we said yes to international adoption. And when we applied to our agency, we wrote in many countries we felt would be a good fit with us. I felt we were leaving it open to God – there was a wide variety of prices and needs with each country’s program. But after several weeks, we were told the only program that was interested in us was the Korea program.
And of course it was. It always had been.
Because we didn’t chose South Korea. God did.
At the end of the day, it’s not about us or our desire for a family. It’s about this boy. A child I have thought about every day, long before he took his first breath. And I can’t wait to meet him.