Journey 2005 Essay

Chris Earley 가족 방문기

Please allow us to thank you and everyone involved in organizing the 2005 Motherland Tour which our entire family enjoyed so much. Throughout our visit to S. Korea we were amazed over and over again by the interest and generosity of all of the participants and volunteers whom we met during our trip. We were totally overwhelmed by the incredible philanthropy and kindness of Mr Park and his son, Andy, as well as all of the employees and associates of the JinHeung MoonHwa Company. Words cannot express our appreciation of their involvement and efforts on our behalf.

We feel so fortunate to have spent such valuable time with our homestay families, Mr Park's family and that of Lee, Su Hee. It was a measure of vast generosity for those families to have opened their home to us, as strangers, and to make us feel so welcome. The chance to live with Korean families for a few days has given us invaluable insight into Korean family life and culture as well as customs and cuisine. No amount of reading or research into Korean culture could have given us such an amazing perspective as we received by living and experiencing family life with our homestay families. We were especially fortunate to have met three generations of the Park family, Mr and Mrs Park, Sr, Andy and his wife, Mr Park's other son and his wife, and Andy's two beautiful daughters. It was very touching to see Andy's daughters play so well with our daughter, Skye, despite the fact that they did not speak each other's language or share a cultural background. It was wonderful to learn about the daily lives of Korean children through them. We also learned about Korean family cooking, family routine and interactions between family members. Having two different homestays also demonstrated the diversity of arrangements between families. The homestay experiences were an unparalleled opportunity for us, for which we will be forever grateful.

The cultural classes that were arranged for us where also a tremendous learning experience for us all. We were amazed by the Tae Kwon Do demonstration and instruction at Kyung Hee University which we all enjoyed very much. We are currently investigating Tae Kwon Do lessons for all of us here in the September. The performance art that we saw at Korea House and with the Sarang Church gave us a true appreciation for Korean dance and traditional music. We were taught some dance steps and were struck by how relaxing and calming the slow, deliberate movements were to execute. The cooking class was very informative and a great hands-on experience. Since we came home, we have already tried cooking some Korean recipes. We enjoyed the paper-folding and knot-tying lessons. They gave us a greater appreciation for the beautiful works of art we saw in Korea. We loved the drumming classes, which were fun and also invigorating. It inspired an enthusiasm for drumming in all of us, especially Chris, who hopes to take drumming lessons here in Canada. All of these cultural experiences and instruction touched us deeply and we plan to pursue them further at home, with our local Korean cultural association and through our own investigations. Skye will take pride in her Korean culture as she grows and develops, and an early appreciation of it as a small child will make her pride all the more ingrained in her personality.

Our tour of the Social Welfare Society and our meeting with Skye's foster mother and foster father was a very important part of our trip. It was heartwarming to see the tremendous care and dedication that is given to each and every baby in the nursery at the Social Welfare Society. There is no doubt that the children there are highly treasured. It was also quite apparent how fond Skye's foster mother and foster father were of her and how they cherished their memories of her. We have always known from Skye's behaviour as a little baby and as a toddler that she was extremely well cared for as an infant, but meeting her foster family and the staff at the Social Welfare Society made that even more apparent. Skye's meeting with the babies and with her foster family will give her a sense of stability and comfort in her upbringing as she matures, and will emphasize her special status and worth as a Korean adoptee.

Our travels along the east coast and to Jeju Island gave us an appreciation for the great natural beauty of the Korean countryside. Prior to that part of the trip we had little concept of the diversity and splendour of the natural environment outside of Seoul. Visiting temples and palaces as well as beaches and traditional countryside homes allowed us to enjoy the beauty of Korea which we had not known had existed before our trip. Because of our family's educational background in biology and natural history this was especially valuable for us. Skye will grow up remembering the fun she had playing on the beaches and hiking in the mountains, as well as the splendour of her birth country.

Traveling with our motherland tour group enhanced our enjoyment and appreciation of every aspect of the trip. It gave us insight into the experiences as seen by both teenage adoptees, child adoptees, siblings and parents of adoptees. As a result of this trip we have a new "support group" of fellow travellers who have shared this life-altering voyage of discovery. We will see many of them regularly and they will help us all to see Skye and our family in a greater group of Korean adoptees and families. The active experience and support of parents, but just as importantly, of siblings in the adoption voyage will be integral to the healthy maturation of the young adoptees. Indeed, our son Nathan's delight in Korean cooking (especially kimchee!) stimulated everyone's interest in the culinary aspects of Korean traditions. Seeing the enthusiasm of teenage adoptees for their culture and heritage enhanced the excitement that the young children, including Skye, experienced on this trip. The cultural voyage of the greater family is vital to the adoptees voyage of exploration of his or her cultural roots.

What we found to be the most striking part of our journey to Korea, apart from the rich cultural traditions, history and natural beauty of the country, is the immeasurable depth of kindness, friendliness and generosity of Korea's citizens. This was demonstrated by The JinHeung MoonHa associates, the Sarang Church, the homestay families, the volunteer interpreters and the guides and even by the general public who were so warm and friendly to our group. These are truly the aspects of Korea which are so unique and special and will stay with Skye and the rest of our family forever. We are so blessed to be associated with such a very special country and its citizens.

With deepest thanks and fondest regards,

Chris Earley, Jennifer Gibson, Nathan Earley and Skye Earley


이사님과 우리 가족 전부가 너무 즐거웠던 2005 모국 방문 행사를 준비하신 모든 분들께 감사드립니다.
한국을 방문해 있는 동안 우리가 만났던 참가자와 자원봉사자 모두의 관심과 너그러움에 우리는 놀라고 또 놀랐습니다.우리는 진흥문화사와의 직원들과 협조해 주신 단체들 모두 뿐만 아니라 박경진 회장님과 아드님 되신 박형호 사장님의 믿을 수 없을 만큼 크신 친절과 인자하심에 감격했습니다.우리를 위한 노력과 헌신에 대한 감사를 말로는 다 표현할 수 없을것 같습니다.

우리는 그런 값진 시간을 박경진 회장님과 이수희씨 가족의 댁에 직접 묵으면서 지낼 수 있었다는 것이 행운이었다고 느낍니다 우리와 같은 낯선 사람들에게 기꺼이 집의 문을 열고 환영받는다는 느낌을 주신 가족 분들의 큰 너그러움은 측량할 수 없군요, 며칠동안 한국 가족들과 함께 살 수 있느 기회는 관습과 음식뿐만 아니라 한국 가정의 삶과 문화를 볼 수 있는 값진 눈을 주었습니다. 한국 문화에 대한 어떤 풍부한 조사나 독서도 한국 가정에서 직접 체험하고 살면서 얻는 놀라운 통찰력을 따라 갈 수 없습니다.

우리는 특별히 3대 가족을 만난것을 행운이라고 생각합니다. 박경진회장님,박형호 사장님과 사모님,박회장님의 다른 아드님과 사모님, 그리고 박 사장님의 두아름다운 따님들. 사장님의 따님들이 우리 딸 skye와 언어도 문화배경도 다름에도 불구하고 너무 잘 놀아주어서 매우 감동 받았습니다.

그 아이들을 통해 한국 아이들의 일상의 삶에 대해 배우게 되어 좋았습니다.우리는 또한 한국 가정 요리와 음식, 그리고 가족 성원간에 서로 오가는 모습도 배웠습니다. 다른 두 가정에서 지내면서 또한 가족간에서로 다른 문화의 다양성도 볼 수 있었습니다. 한국 가정체험은 우리에게 있어서 무엇과도 바꿀 수 없는 영원히 감사드릴 소중한 기회가 되었습니다.

우리가 한국을 여행하면서 가장 가슴에 와 닿았던 것은 풍부한 문화전통잉나, 역사, 아름다운자연이 아니라, 측량할 수 없을 만큼 한국 시민들의 친절, 우정,그리고 너그러움이었습니다.이는 진흥문화사와 사랑의 교회, 우리를 초대해 준 한국 가족들, 통역으로 자원봉사해주신 분들과 안내자 분들을 통해서 느낄 수 있었습니다. 그리고 일반 시민들조차 우리에게 너무 따뜻하고 다정하게 대해 주셨습니다.이것이야 말로 정말 독특하고 특별한 한국의 특성이며,Skye와 우리 나머지 가족들의 마음에 영원히 기억될 것입니다.우리는 이렇게 특별한 나라와 시민들을 만날 수 있었던 것이 큰 은혜라고 생각합니다.

깊은 감사와 안부를 전하며,



 
Graham Jones 가족 방문기

It is over a month since we returned to Canada after our fabulous trip to Korea. In part we have simply been recovering, as the trip was exhausting, but also it has taken this long for us to fully appreciate what the trip will mean to us in future years. Looking at our photographs and reading our journal, it seems impossible that we saw so much, experienced so many things, and met so many wonderful people. And yet, we did.

Thanks to the generosity of Chairman Park, the hospitality and hard work of Andy Park and of yourself, and the efforts of everybody else at the Jin-Heung Moon-Hwa Company, we had the experience of a lifetime. The personal involvement of yourself and Andy Park showed us your belief in the importance of our trip, and to have Chairman Park accompany us for much of the time was truly a privilege. We will always remember his warmth, his humour and his kindness.

To list all the places we saw and things we did would be to describe an amazing vacation, but our trip was far more than that. It was a voyage of discovery to our daughter Mia’s other home, a chance to learn something of her heritage and birth culture, and to experience the exciting mix of modern and traditional societies that is Korea today. To visit the SWS where Mia was cared for as an infant, and to meet again her foster mother almost exactly three years since Mia left Seoul, was very emotional and rewarding for us, and to be able to share our experiences and stories with other adoptive families on the tour only made them better. Another outstanding privilege was to be able to stay in the homes of Korean families, to talk to them and gain some idea of what life is like in Korea today. We could never have done this on vacation by ourselves, and we are grateful beyond words to the homestay families, and to those at the Korean-Canadian Cultural Association and the S’arang Community Church who organized so many experiences for us.

Although the entire trip will always be remembered happily, each of us has their own favourite parts. For myself, to meet Mia’s foster mother and to spend time with our homestay families were the core of the trip, but also I will never forget the beauty of the mountains at Seoraksan.

Caroline had travelled to Korea alone in 2002 and the focus was primarily on meeting and getting to know Mia, her foster family and the staff at the SWS. The Motherland tour now enabled Caroline to share her wonderful experiences and memories with the whole family. The fact that the tour was not limited to Seoul meant that Caroline was able to fulfill her wish of experiencing South Korea as a whole: “I love mountains, water and peaceful places so being able to travel through a large part of the country visiting temples, museums, mountains and the sea was so special: I had doubted that we would ever really be able to organise such a trip for ourselves. Watching Hugh and Mia gathering stones and shells as they played on the beach brought me such joy because they now have experienced the beauty of Mia’s homeland as young children. I have also come away from the tour with a far deeper understanding of the true history and culture of our daughter’s homeland. The trip has affected me in a very profound way as both an adoptive and biological mother which is enabling me to share this deeper understanding with both of our children.”

Our son Hugh: “I can’t say enough thank yous for this trip. For example: The sea was really fun, the temples and palaces, Jeju island ,and many more things!!! I thank the people that organised to give us the Do-boks. I shall never forget your beautiful land and lovely culture.”

We thought Mia would be too young to really remember very much. We hoped that perhaps she would retain a general sense of the places she had been, the people she had met and the things she had done. The Korean community in Ottawa, where we live, has kindly and generously involved us in many of their social events, and organised cultural activities for us. By visiting Korea, we hoped to make all this much more meaningful for Mia; by showing her our photographs and telling her about the things we saw and did, Korea would be real for her, and not just pictures in movies, stories in books, or a place on the map. This is all true, and we will still do this, but we were wrong. She does remember a lot. She has spent hours looking through all our photographs again and again. She has vivid memories of the beaches and the sea, and she was completely captivated by the traditional performances we saw at Korea House. Since returning to Canada she often talks of “the beautiful Korean ladies”, and will dress up, dance and sing, and ask questions about the stories, such as “why did the man take the lady’s scarf?”

Since returning to Canada we have been lucky enough to meet, talk to and spend time with four Korean adoptive mothers and two Korean birth mothers. Although we have been told how difficult adoption can be in Korea, it was not until we met these courageous women and heard their stories that we really began to understand their struggle. Initiatives like the Motherland tours are certainly important for overseas adoptees, but we hope also that they help more Korean people to understand that adoption is a positive and rewarding way to build a family.

The bond between a child and her origins is immensely important for the child’s self esteem and confidence, and for most children this link is forged without any special effort. For an adopted child the importance is even greater, yet often the bond must be made explicitly and requires constant work. Our experience with Mia shows that this work can not be started too early, and the Motherland tour we have just completed is an immeasurably valuable part of the process. We are privileged, and more grateful than we can possibly say, for the opportunity we had. A million thankyou’s would not be enough.

Caroline Brabyn
Graham Jones
Hugh Brabyn-Jones
Mia Brabyn-Jones




 
Steven Eastep 가족 방문기

What a wonderful experience we all had during our visit to Korea. We ? the Eastep family want to say thank you to Mr. Park, his son Andy, to you, Mr. Choi and all the others who were willing to take time from your busy schedules to host our family. We were constantly amazed at the endless generosity that was shown to everyone from the moment we arrived in Korea until the very end of our visit. Your hospitality makes us think of a scripture verse from 2nd Corinthians, ch. 9, verse 6 ? “Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Each one of you are truly, living examples of God’s disciples in every way.

This trip for our family was a dream come true! It has always been our desire to take our daughter, Kimberley, back to her birth country. Kimberley has shared this desire, and has asked for many years when we could consider going to Korea. She always had so many questions about Korea that we just could not provide answers to. She wondered what her foster mother was like and what would she think if they ever would meet again? What is Korean food like, and how do the people live over there? These and many more questions were often discussed.

Thanks to all of you, we now can discuss these same issues with great detail and a real life experience to go with it. This trip was just an amazing trip for not only Kimberley, but for each one of us in our family.

The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet with Mrs. Bok Im Byun, who was Kimberley’s foster mother for 4 ½ months, from June 20th to Nov. 5th, 1988. Mrs. Byun was extremely pleased and delighted to be able to see Kimberley after 17 ½ years. It truly was a great time.

We really appreciated the privilege to be able to stay in host family homes. This allowed us to see how some of the local people really lived, ate, and slept, etc. Staying at the home of Mr. Lee and Mrs. Kim was a great experience. Mr. Lee and Mrs. Kim had adopted two Korean children into their family, plus welcomed our family of 6 with open hearts and hands. They were wonderful, loving people and shared with us many Korean traditions and experiences. We also heard a Koo-Koo bird for the first time while sitting on their front porch of their house high up on the mountain side.

As we traveled around Seoul, we were always amazed at how clean everything was despite the crowded streets and business of the city. People were very kind and pleasant to us wherever we traveled.

Thank you also for the opportunity to travel within Korea. We did not realize there were so many mountains. The Seoraksan mountains were breath taking with the splendor of sheer cliffs, rocky river bottoms and the famous temples. Then as we traveled the beautiful coast line down to Busan ? what a beautiful country to see.

Our trip to Jeju Island was equally inspiring - the rugged coast line formed from the volcanic rock, the beautiful beach areas, and the various parks of the interior.

Again the Eastep family says a big thank you to all for allowing us to be part of the 2005 Motherland Tour to Korea. It was an extremely memorable and life-changing trip!

If you ever come to Canada, we would welcome the opportunity to share our quiet, farming community and exchange some of the hospitality you have shown us.

The Eastep family


한국에 방문해서 우리가 경험했던 모든 것들이 얼마나 좋았는지 모릅니다. 우리 가족은 박경진 회장님과 아드님 되시는 박형호 사장님, 그리고 최이사님과 우리 가족을 접대하기 위해 바쁜 스케줄 중에도 기꺼이 시간을 내주신 다른 모든 분들께 감사하다고 말씀 드리고 싶습니다. 한국에 도착해서부터 방문을 마치고 돌아올때까지 우리 모두에게 여러분이 보여주신 한없는 관대함에 저희는 감탄을 금치못했습니다.

여러분이 우리를 잘 섬겨주시는 것을 보면서 고린도후서 9장 6절 말씀-이것이 곧 적게 심는자는 적게 거두고 많이 심는 자는 많이 거둔다 하는 말이로다' 이 떠올랐습니다. 여러분 한사람, 한 사람이 분명 모든 부분에 있어 하나님의 제자임을 보여주는 살아 있는 본보기입니다.

우리 가족에게 있어 이번 여행은 오랜 꿈이 실현된 것이었습니다. 우리 딸 kimberley 를 데리고 아이의 모국에 방문해 보길 항상 바래왔습니다. Kimberley는 이런 소망을 말해왔고, 우리가 언제쯤 한국에 가 볼수 있을지 수년간 물어왔습니다.

아이는 항상 한국에 대해 수없이 많은 질문을 했지만, 우리는 대답해줄 수 없었습니다. 아이는 모국이 어떤 곳인지, 다시 모국에 가본다면 어떤 느낌일지 궁금해 했습니다. 한국 음식은 어떨까? 그리고 그곳에 사는 한국인은 어떤 사람들일까? 이와 같은 많은 질문들로 종종 얘기를 나누었습니다.

여러분 모두에게 진심으로 감사드립니다. 이제 우리는 같은 문제를 놓고, 구체적인 이야기거리들과 실제로 경험했던 체험을 가지고 얘기를 나눌 수 있게 되었습니다.이번 여행은 Kimberley뿐만 아니라 우리 가족 모두에게 놀라운 여행이었습니다.

 
June Loebach 가족 방문기

It’s hard to imagine that a month has almost passed since returning from our 2005 Motherland Tour of Korea. Although we’ve been back in Canada a few weeks now, we doubt that our feet are firmly planted yet! These past days have been spent reliving the wonderful time we were allowed to experience. Although we have all said thank you many times, each time seems so inadequate in expressing our heartfelt appreciation for the kindness and generosity extended to us.

For all of us in the “Loebach family”, the experience was truly a growing one. Most importantly, for Robert. As you know, this was Robert’s second trip “home”, the first time with his father three years ago. I think each trip has enabled Robert to “find a bit of himself”. As expressed in an earlier speech, Robert is our middle child, with an older brother and younger sister. Each of our three children were “loved and raised” the same. As Robert grew older, he became more and more restless with himself. A part of Robert was missing, and with each question that was raised, it became apparent to us that he needed to find this missing piece. He struggled with issues regarding his adoption and longed to understand himself and his past more clearly. It was as though he really didn’t know who he was or where he belonged. Our assurance of our love and security were helpful, but were not enough. It had been our hope to bring Robert to Korea at an earlier age (younger teens when these questions arose), but because of family health issues, that simply was not an option. As Robert’s mother, my desire was to help him with these issues that disturbed him. Adolescents today have a huge journey ahead of them with many questions, a teen adopted internationally has just that many more. It was our hope and intent to help him through this journey. As his mother, Korea is no longer that country “way around the globe” where Robert is from. Now I see it as “our other home”, where extended family accepts with open arms. And this has been healing for Robert. Our daughter, Christina, and Robert have always been very close as brother and sister. Christina was grateful to share this experience with Robert. This experience, we believe, will only help strengthen this bond they share. Having our niece, Kaitlin, was a bonus for us all around. This was Kaitlin’s third trip and we delighted in seeing the joy on her face as she too grew in her journey.

None of this “growth” would have happened had it not been for the compassion and generosity of Mr. Park, his son Andy, you Mr. Choi and ALL the other fine people who so graciously gave of themselves. The book of James speaks of putting our faith into action, not simply speaking of what we believe, but rather, living out that faith. You have all openly shared your love of God with us and we have all been truly blest.

Every detail of the trip had been carefully planned out for us in love, with nothing left to chance, nothing forgotten, and it was noticed and very much appreciated. Each day was wonderfully different than the day before and when we thought it just couldn’t get any better, it did! You kept raising the bar, as each new day we experienced the beauty of your country. Yes, Korea is beautiful. But even more beautiful than the landscapes we witnessed, were the hearts of the people.

Visiting the Social Welfare Society was beyond description for us. All four of us were so overwhelmed with the little lives that lay before us. It was truly a moving experience, one that we shall always cherish, as we held that new life in each of our arms. We pondered the possibilities that lay ahead for each of these children. Robert turned toward me and said that someday he hoped to marry and have his own family, and part of that family would be these children he would adopt. And for myself, the dream grew, as I saw the possibilities that lay ahead for us. One day our family would be returning to Korea. There would be many Korean grandchildren, all smiling and laughing, eager to visit “their other home”!

This dream would not be possible had it not been for your dream that you shared with us. May God’s grace be with you all.

June, Robert, Christina and Kaitlin Loebach


2005 한국 입양아 모국 방문 여행에서 돌아온 지 거의 한달이 지나갔다는 게 믿어 지지 않네요. 우리가 캐나다에 돌아와 몇 주나 지났지만, 아직도 우리 발은 한국에 붙어 있는것만 같아요.지난 몇 일간 우리는 경험했던 놀라운 시간을 상기하며 지냈습니다. 비록 우리가 여러번 감사하다고 말씀드렸지만, 매번 우리에게 보여주신 친절과 너그러움에 대해 우리 마음이 느끼는 만큼 감사를 충분히 표현하지 못한것 같습니다.

우리 Loebach 가족에게 있어서 이번 경험은 정말로 한층 성장하는 시간이 되었습니다.
가장 특별히 Robert에게 있어서 말이죠. 이사님께서도 아시다시피, Robert의 이번 여행은 모국으로의 두번째 여행이었습니다. 첫번째 여행은 3년전 아버지와 함께 갔었습니다. 제 생각에 두 번의 여행 모두 Robert에게 조금씩 자기 자신을 발견하는 시간이 된것 같습니다.

먼저 말씀 드린 것처럼 Robert 는 형과 여동생을 둔 가운데 아이입니다. 우리 세 아이는 각각 똑같이 사랑받고 양육되었습니다.Robert가 나이를 먹어가면서, 점점 자기 자신에 대해 불안해 하기 시작했습니다.

Robert의 일부를 놓치게 되자, 갖가지 질문들이 일어나면서, 이 잃어버린 조각을 찾아야겠다는 아이의 필요가 우리에게까지 드러나게 되었습니다. Robert는 자신의 입양과 관계한 문제로 몸부림쳤고, 자기 자신과 지난 과거에 대해 더 명백히 이해하고 싶어했습니다. 그는 정말로 그가 누군지, 어디에 속해 있는지 모르는것 같았습니다. 가족의 사랑과 안정감에 대한 우리의 확신은 도움이 되긴 했지만, 그걸로 충분하지 않았습니다. 그래서 Robert 를 좀더 어린 나이에 한국에 데려가고 싶었습니다만, 가족 건강 문제로 간단히 선택할 수 있는 문제가 되지 못했습니다. Robert의 엄마로서 저의 바람은 그를 힘들게 하는 이 문제들을 해결 할 수 있도록 돕는 것이었습니다.

오늘날 청소년들은 그들보다 앞서 나가는 많은 질문들로 힘든 여행을 떠납니다.국제적으로 입양된 10대는 더 많은 문제를 가지고 있을 수 있습니다.우리의 소망과 의도는 아이가 이 여행을 잘 통과할 수 있도록 돕는 것이었습니다.그의 엄마로서, 한국은 더 이상 Robert의 출생지로 지구 어딘가에 위치한 나라가 아닙니다. 이제 한국은 가족 같은 사람들이 두 팔 벌려 맞이해 주는 '우리의 또 다른 조국'입니다. 그리고 이것이 Robert에게 치유를 가져왔습니다.우리딸 Christina와 Robert는 오빠와 동생으로 항상 가깝게 지냈습니다.

Christina는 Robert와 이런 경험을 공유할 수 있는 것에 감사했습니다. 이번 경험은 우리가 믿기에 그들이 공유하는 끈을 더 단단히 해 줄 것입니다.

 
Kevin Grossi 가족 방문기

Once again our family would like to thank everyone involved in organizing and participating in the 2005 Motherland Tour. The generosity and genuine interest of Mr. Park and his son Andy, your own personal commitment, and the involvement of so many individuals is a gift we will always treasure.

Both trips have enabled us to grow as a family. We were especially happy to be able to spend time with Aidan’s foster mother. Last year’s encounter was very emotional when we discovered that Aidan had very clear memories of when he was an infant. While it was very difficult to witness his anxiety as he thought he must choose between us and his foster mother, the DVD of the trip and our own photographs enabled us over the past year to comfort him and explain his relationship with her.

As a result, this year Aidan had a joyful reunion with his foster mother. He was able to feel love for her without fear of betraying us. We know this was possible because the memories were still fresh in his mind. We also know this experience will help tremendously as we explain his adoption. He will know that he can feel love for his biological family without betraying us. He will know that he can feel love for Korea without betraying Canada. These are very complex ideas and feelings for an adoptee but Aidan has gained much strength and confidence early in his life. All of the hard work of so many will serve him well. He knows that we all support him in his life journey.

In addition to the meeting with Aidan’s foster mother we were thrilled to have the experience of two homestays. Our time spent with each family was precious and communication with each family resumed as soon as we returned home. We are now blessed with three families who help us to keep our bond with Korea. Also, we were very glad to meet Korean adoptive families especially for the older adoptees.

Finally, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to travel as family groups. We learned together, dined together, made music together, danced together, walked through the mountains and on the seashore together, shared together. To see the older adoptees guide and care for the younger adoptees on this journey was an incredible experience on its own. The more relaxed, beautiful setting of the east coast and Jeju Island contributed very much to this after our first week, which was filled with so many different cultural experiences and emotions.

Adoption is the process that made our families complete in number. But we strive to grow everyday as nurturing loving families embracing the unique qualities of each individual. Journeying together has allowed us to develop a mutual understanding of Korean culture. We can continue to share this knowledge at home to help strengthen our community of adoptive families.

We extend to you and all participants in this journey our most sincere gratitude. We hope that those who met Aidan on the 2004 tour could see on his return the impact of his journey even at his young age. For those who met him for the first time this year, we hope they will keep, as Aidan will, the wonderful memories of this journey. For Aidan, Korea will never simply be the land of his origin. Beyond the landscape, history, arts, and traditions, Aidan identifies with the people he has met and those with whom he interacted; employees of JinHeung MoonHwa, homestay families, members of the Sarang Church and InKas, and all of the adoptive families. Korea is now a tangible part of his life story.

With sincerity and affection,

Kevin, Robin and Aidan Grossi


다시 한번 우리 가족은 2005 모국 초청행사를 기획하시고 참여하신 모든 분들께 감사드리고 싶습니다 박경진 회장님과 아드님 되신 박형호 사장님의 관대하심과 진실한 관심, 최 이사님의 개인적인 헌신, 그리고 많은 분들의 참여야 말로 우리가 항상 소중히 간직할 선물입니다.

두번의 여행은 우리를 가족으로 자라게 해주었습니다.우리는 특별히 Aidan의 위탁모와 함께 시간을 보낼 수 있어서 행복했습니다. 작년에 가졌던 만남에서 Aidan이 갓난 아기때의 기억을 꽤 명확하게 가지고 있는것을 보고 매우 감정에 북받쳤었습니다. Aidan이 기억하는 것처럼 우리와 그의 위탁모 중 한 쪽을 택해야만 한다고 느끼는 불안과 걱정을 보는 것이 매우 어려웠던 가운데, 여행 DVD와 우리가 찍었던 사진들을 보면서 지난해 Aidan을 위로하고, 위탁모와의 관계를 설명할 수 있었습니다. 우리가 이렇게 생각하는 이유는 아이가 여전히 분명하게 그 기억을 회상하고 있기 때문입니다. 우리는 또한 이경험이 우리가 그의 입양에 대해 설명할때 굉장히 도움이 될 것이라는 것을 압니다.

Aidan은 그가 우리를 배신하지 않고도 그의 실제 가족을 사랑 할 수 있다는것을 알게 될 것입니다. 또한 캐나다를 배신하지 않고도 한국을 사랑할 수 있다는것을 알게 될 것입니다. 이는 입양인들에게 있어서 매우 복잡한 생각과 감정이지만, Aidan은 그 아이의 삶에 있어서 일찍이 힘과 자신감을 얻었습니다.
많은 고된 문제들 모두 그는 잘 극복할 것입니다. 아이는 우리 모두가 그의 삶의 여정에서 그를 항상 지지해 주고 있다는것을 압니다.

Aidan의 위탁모와의 만남 외에, 우리는 두 곳의 한국 가정에 머물 수 있는 경험을 갖게 된것에 감격스러웠습니다. 두 가족과 보낸 시간은 소중했고, 함께 나눴던 대화는 우리가 고국에 돌아가자마자 다시 끄집어냈습니다. 우리는 한국과 묶여질 수 있게 도와준 세 가족들로 인해 은혜를 받았습니다. 또한 우리는 나이 많은 입양아들을 양육한 한국 입양 가족들을 만나게 되어 매우 기뻤습니다.

우리는 이사님과 이 여행에 함께한 모든 분들께 진심어린 감사를 표합니다.2004년 행사에서 Aidan을 만났던 사람들이 그가 다시 돌아온 것을 보고 비록 그가 어린나이였음에도 불구하고 이 여행의 영향력이 얼마나 컸는지 깨달을 수 있었길 바랍니다.올해 그를 처음 만난 사람들도 Aidan이 앞으로 그럴것처럼, 이 여행의 멋진 기억을 소중히 간직해 주길 바랍니다.Aidan에게 있어서 한국은 단지 그의 모국 땅 정도가 아닙니다. 경치,역사,예술, 전통을 뛰어넘어 Aidan은 그가 만났던 사람들과 영향을 주고 받은 사람들-진흥문화사와 직원들,숙박할 수 있게 해주신 가족 어려분, 사랑의 교회와 InKas 여러분, 그리고 모든 입양 가족 여러분-과 자기를 동일시하며 일체감을 가지게 될것입니다.한국은 이제 그의 삶속에서 분명 실재하는 부분입니다.

진심어린 애정을 표하며,