About a year ago, my husband, Stan, and I were sitting here listening in a Tour Korea! information session. We have two boys adopted from Korea – Joey, age 15, and Mike, age 13.
There was so much to learn and think about . . . Would this be the right time for our boys to go? What about the intermediary services? Can we get the time off from work? Who else will be on the trip? Will our boys make friends? Stan and I talked a lot – and then we got the boys involved. We did some reading and asked lots of questions. In the end, we decided to go.
The trip was nothing short of amazing! Children’s Home plans a beautiful journey that includes a wide range of activities and experiences. This trip is much more than a typical “tour group.” It is a trip in which you take part in the culture – you experience it from within, not from the outside looking in.
Whether it’s the food (which is delicious), the visits to the temples, the play date at the orphanage, hiking up the mountain, or seeing the DMZ area, the trip is full of fun, adventure, and laughter. Friendships quickly develop.
One of the most impressive parts of the trip is the manner in which Children’s Home handles the intermediary services. They do everything possible to support you. The events can be very emotional and the staff is right there is help you and/or your children.
In addition, the respect for privacy among all the participants in the group is very comforting. Adoption stories are very personal and everyone respects each other’s need for privacy and space. Yet, at the same time, we all knew we were there for each other – we all had something in common – adoption. That special bond made the group grow close during the trip.
We especially liked seeing our boys develop new friendships. From the first day the kids sat in the back together and the parents in the front of the bus. The kids, like the adults, had something in common and the trip gave them the opportunity to discuss their feelings and experiences of being adopted. Whether they were 10 or 18, they all got along so well!
I asked Joey and Mike what they would say to you. Their replies were that there wasn’t anything they didn’t like on the trip! They liked the places we visited, the food we ate, all the things that we did! They especially liked the many friends that they made. Both boys have kept in touch with several of the other kids. With today’s technology, there are multiple video chats per week going on in our home. This weekend, we got together with two of the other families. We’ve made lifelong friends!
Stan, Joey, Mike, and I all grew during this trip – we learned so very much about Korea history and culture, Children’s Home’s involvement and support of Korean children and adoptions, and our boys’ own birth/adoption stories. I don’t know of another adoption agency that is able to provide such an extensive and well-supported trip. We highly recommend it!
We wish you the very best in your journey and hope that you join Children’s Home on Tour Korea! 2014.
About the Author: Kathy is a Tour Korea! participant and adoptive mother.Learn About Tour Korea! Birthland Tours