I’m back in the states and finally un-jet lagged enough to write! However, trying to figure out what to say in my first post-Korea entry has been surprisingly daunting. Over the past few days I have attempted to sort out the memories and emotions to no avail. So, instead of summarizing the trip, my various thoughts and experiences will probably unfold throughout numerous entries.
Today I am thinking about a baby. On my final day in Korea, I spent the morning at Eastern Social Welfare’s baby home which is where a number of babies are cared for prior to entering a foster home (and then eventually an adoptive home). I played with and soothed babies for over an hour. Many of them were preemies. They were so delicate and vulnerable. I wanted to hug all of them close, but I fell in love especially with one baby boy who looked at me with these big curious eyes. He had been crying in his cradle and became instantly contented once I picked him up. I realized possibly for the first time how intoxicating it can be to care for an infant. The way they look up at you and need you fills your heart in the most indescribable way. I probably only held him for around 20 minutes, but it was enough to reduce me to mush. To say it was hard for me to leave that room would be an understatement. Looking at the number of workers compared to babies, I don't know how much individual attention they really get.. All that baby wanted was someone to pay him attention.
Now I am miles away and wondering if that boy’s mother ever got to hold him before he was brought to Eastern. And if she did, how on earth did she manage to let him go? Is she thinking about him right now? Because I can’t stop thinking about those sweet eyes. He is not yet a Korean adoptee, but perhaps he will be soon and, in some weird sense, I feel connected to him for that. I wonder what kind of life he will have growing up and what kind of feelings he will have towards being adopted. He will grow up in a different age than I did. Maybe he will get to avoid some of the frustrations and sadness that I experienced, or maybe he will simply experience them in smaller amounts. Or, worse, bigger amounts. But I so deeply hope that wherever he ends up, he finds home and some sense of peace.
As corny as this sounds, holding him inspired me. I know I want to contribute to the adoption field in some capacity. It’s one reason why I blog at all—because adult adoptee voices are needed and should inform adoption. Telling our stories, I hope, is one way of improving quality of life for the newest generations of adoptees. I still don’t really know where my niche will be in all of this, but I somehow feel one step closer to it.