Happy Anniversary to Me!

I was adopted by my parents on December 22, 1984. (I know it’s the 23rd in Korea right now, but it’s the 22nd in the States, and that’s what I’m basing this post on. So there.) While the adoption paperwork was not legally finalized, December 22 was the date when a Korean lady handed me off to the people I now call Mom and Dad. We call this day my “anniversary.” It’s the day that I gained a family, and it has a significant meaning to me.

When I was little, my parents usually gave me a small gift, and we went out to eat. This usually meant going to Pizza Hut – the only restaurant where my mom would tolerate my sister, Dad, and I shooting small spit balls at each other with our straws. I remember announcing to random strangers that it was my anniversary and getting strange looks back. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that the word “anniversary” was usually thought of as a wedding anniversary. It was also a shock to learn that this custom wasn’t one limited to my family. When I went to college, I became friends with another adopted girl who also celebrated her adoption anniversary. Living in a small town with little exposure to other families with adopted children made me to believe that everything that my family did was restricted to my family alone.

So it makes me curious. What traditions regarding adoption did other families have? Is it similar to my experiences?

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How to Open a Birth Family Search – Holt Children’s Services*

Step One: Read “How to Request Adoption Records
Complete Steps 1-3.

Step Two: Write a Letter to Birth Family
Include basic information about yourself and family, why you are searching, what you are doing now, what activities you enjoy, etc.

Step Three: Find Pictures of Yourself
I personally skipped this step, but you can feel free to send old or new pictures of yourself.

Step Four: Send an Email
Attach all documents and send an email to holtkorea@hotmail.com. Hotmail? Yes… Hotmail. I bet ya didn’t even know that people still had Hotmail much less an international organization. I was skeptical, too, but it’s legit. Make sure to put “Post Adoption Services” in the subject line and give a brief introduction in the email body.

*This picture is actually of KSS (Korea Social Services), another adoption agency. For some reason, I thought to take a picture of this agency and not one of my own. :/

My Adoption Records and Birth Family Search

When I finally decided that I wanted to open a search for my birth family, I wasn’t sure where to start. I knew I was adopted from Holt in Korea and Bethany Christian Services in the USA. I decided to start with BCS.

April 7, 2014
I went to the BCS website and filled out their contact form for what they call “Post Adoption Support.” I received an email that said I would get personal contact from Bethany within two business days.

April 14, 2014
I haven’t heard from anyone. I called 1-800-BETHANY and was told that the person who handles international adoptions only came in on Wednesdays and that I should expect a call from “Josh” on the 16th.

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