8-year-old Jonah and 11-year-old Isaac look forward to attending Adoption Day Camp one week every summer. They canoe, swim and play games to develop team-building skills. They and their fellow campers, some years numbering as many as 100, also gain self-esteem, become more secure in their identity as adoptees and learn critical tools to use when faced with questions, teasing or unexpected comments. They have also come to appreciate that not all families look alike.
Jonah and Isaac’s mom, Tasha, recognizes the camp’s value because she could have used similar skills growing up. Like Isaac and Jonah, and her 2-year-old daughter, Chloe, Tasha was adopted from Korea through Children’s Home. She learned about our organization’s support for adoptees as a volunteer during college.
“Being raised by parents who are of a different race than your own can have its challenges,” she explained. “I had a lot of questions and concerns I was not always able to articulate.”
She came to peace with questions around her identity, origin and abandonment through years of reflection and soul searching. After she met her husband Peter in college, he also helped her reconcile her emotions, which gave him insights into the complexities of adoption and being a person of color.
Tasha always had a heart to adopt, long before she and Peter married in 2001. Adopting from Korea through Children’s Home seemed like the obvious choice as it allowed her to share her heritage with their kids. This commonality has helped reduce the questions of strangers, which Tasha hopes will help her children as they grow to understand their journeys as adoptees.
“Adoption is what made us a family. As we continue this journey, it will define and shape who we are as a family and as individuals.”
“There were growing pains with the addition of each child,” Peter recalled. There were long months while Chloe learned to trust Peter, despite the couple consistently demonstrating their love. Their Christian faith, the community of adoptive families within their church, and Children’s Home post adoption services and advice grounded them through the challenging times.
Today, Peter, Tasha and their three kids have a healthy familial rhythm, carving out undistracted time for evening meals, enjoying weekends at the grandparents’ lake home and having regular game nights. Isaac and Jonah are both brothers and friends, sharing many of the same interests: playing and watching soccer, hockey and baseball; reading; and school STEM programs. The boys love being older brothers to Chloe. Chloe shares the sentiment. Her favorite Korean word is “oppa,” which means big brother.
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