Wednesday, January 27, 2010

K82 - 1453

This post is dedicated to my birth mother & any other mother who has given up their baby for adoption.

The recent controversy regarding CBS & the Tim Tebow commercial has opened a part of my heart that I normally like to keep to myself. If you don't know anything about this, then click here. I don't share the intimate details regarding my adoption....mostly because I completely forget that I am even adopted and it feels like I'm talking about other people. Talking about the specifics of my story makes it real....which then makes me overly emotional....and I don't like myself in that state.

I finally decided that I would share some of MY adoption story as it pertains to a topic for which I am truly passionate about. I dug through my old adoption papers....and thanks to a scanner, I can share them with you.

The Story of K82-1453 Begins

I was left on a doorstep outside a the CheChon Orphanage on October 10th, 1981. I was just over 11 weeks old. This snippet states that I was "in good health & weighed 11 pounds & was 22 inches."

CheChon (or Jecheon) is about 3 hours Southeast of Seoul

A Christmas Card sent to me after my arrival in the States.
Jane White was the founder & heart of that orphanage.

Don't Mess With me....or so my papers state.
"Is very demanding. Wants to be held the minute an adult walks into the room. However, when she is with the other children she is very happy and content. Is a real fighter with the other children her age. Is very seldom the loser. I would like her placed in a Christian home in the U.S."

(This is the reason why I was placed in a home with 3 older brothers)

K82-1453 (My Case Number)
The very first picture given to my parents from the orphanage.
I carry it with me in my wallet. It is very precious to me.
Yes, I look a bit crossed eyed.

A Letter from Jane White (November 9, 1982)
"...Nam Hee is a doll - am sure you already know this. She is really a lover. Just loves to be held and cuddled. She has a real good appetite. Has been on jr. foods & drinks from a cup. In the last few days she has started to walk all over the place. She is usually happy & content - however when she is hungry she wants to eat now. Not interested in waiting a minute. Sometimes even refusing cookies..."

The other picture of me from the orphanage (I only have 2)

The purpose of this post is to say Thank You. Thank you to my birth mother for choosing life for ME. Thank you for selflessly choosing to carry MY life in your womb for 9 months and then painfully labor & deliver MY body to the world. Thank you for allowing MY life be the exception...for allowing ME the opportunity to laugh, cry, sing, learn, play, fall in love, live in a country where I can speak & worship freely, experience the joys of having my own family...and to taste cookies.

I do not take my life for granted. I do not know the reason why I was left on a doorstep. But I do know that I honor my birth mother's decision to keep my life by living my life to its fullest.

I know the counter me, I have heard all of them. My birth WAS the counter argument. Social, economic, & physical factors can make a mother's decision to keep her baby seem impossible. I get it. I am posting this because this topic hits me at a very deep and personal level. As an adoptee, I will always be an a passionate advocate of choosing life....because it was my birth mother's decision that brought me here. I can not ignore the course of my life....from doorstep abandonee to happily married wife & mother of 2 with another on the way.

A Few Pictures From My Childhood

Cover Girl Rach
That's my brother Matt changing my diaper.
Not a glorious cover, but it's my small claim to fame.

Calendar Girl Rach!
Miss October...HOT!

Beach Babe
I would spend hours laying in the warm sand.

I always liked to swing.....but especially loved to jump off!

Climbing Trees
I was a super tom-boy & LOVED to climb trees.

Who could imagine the miracles that would happen from being placed on a humble Korean doorstep.
Adoption is ALWAYS an option.

And finally...the letter from the Judge, Randall Hekman
February 3, 1984
Not sure the Kent County Juvenile Court would be allowed to release such letters these's a shame.

"My Dear Child....
You didn't choose the
Place or the
Time of your
Beginning when, in
God's fingers
Patiently and
Lovingly and
Skillfully wove a
Rich tapestry of Life called

Nor did you choose the
Home of your
Growth from child to
Adult, where
God will use
Us to
Food and clothe and hug and
Train and model and console and
Encourage and rebuke and most of all

And, through it, we all will grow.
'Til nuggets of refined
Gold and precious
Gems of beauty shine from our inner
Lives to give
Glory to the One
Who patiently and
Lovingly ever lives to
Finish His work in us."


Laanykidsmom said...

I wasn't planning on starting my day crying over my laptop, so thanks for that! What an amazing, amazing post. It just about takes the words from me. I wish more people valued life like you do. To see how you went from K82-1453 to Rach, daughter-wife-mom, is beautiful beyond words. Thanks for sharing something so personal and life-affirming.

Melissa said...

Rach - you are an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing your story... and getting me all teary this morning.

LJFredricks said...

Rachel, I had never heard this story. I am so glad she made that choice! You are so precious and I honestly love the fact that I can say I am related to you! You are cherished! Thank you for using your personal story for His purpose.

Sandy Hop said...

Amazing, Rachel. You and your story...amazing.

Launa said...

Nothing like tears in the morning! What an incredible story... and what an amazing woman you've become!! Thank you for sharing!
Oh, and I am so thankful your mom choose to leave that beautiful little girl on the doorstep!!

Lesley said...

Great post Rach, had me in tears. I'm so thankful she made the choice she did too, or I would be missing you in my life. You are an amazing wife, mother, sister and friend. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful description!

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Rachel, this is AMAZING. I wish every mother considering an abortion could read this post. It is such a testament to the gift of life. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Pati said...

Rach we are so glad that God brought you into our family. I can't imagine our life without you! Thanks for sharing with everyone how precious the gift of life is and that God loves us so much to bless us with such an amazing gift. Love you.

Launa said...

Hey girlie! I was reading your Friday Fails... and then had to read this post again. This part really moved me;
"But I do know that I honor my birth mother's decision to keep my life by living my life to its fullest."
And you glorify God in that!
Keep it up preggo!

Erin said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! It is an amazing story.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks for the tears Rach. First time for everything I guess. I hadn't seen a lot of this before. Seldom the loser? That's an understatement; there's a reason we nicknamed you the rock. Love you,

Anonymous said...

Rachel, thanks for sharing, I know that wasnt easy!! I truly believe in adoption, I have 3 cousins that were adopted, one of my cousins came from Korea in an orphanage also!! Altho, I do not know her story!! Adoption is a VERY beautiful thing!!! Thanks again!

kristin said...

From an adoptive mother, thank you so much for sharing your story. I think so often of my daughters' birth mothers in China and am so thankful for the choice they made to give my daughters life. Yes, adoption is a beautiful gift.

Kendra Gail said...

Thank you for sharing this story with me. The end brought tears to my eyes. Hearing other peoples stories is so inspirational especially when I actually know that person. I think of all the people you've blessed over the years and what a wonderful wife and mother you now are and am all the more grateful for the hard choice your birth mother made in giving you up. Wow, its such a wonderful yet overwhelming feeling to think how far ahead of us God is in His plans for our lives. Our God is SO good and your life is such a testiment to His grace and glory!

Anonymous said...

Hi - I too was adopted from this exact same orphanage (arrived when I was 5 years old in 1985 and then luckily adopted two years later in 1987 to the US). I'm returning to Korea this fall for vacation and thought I would maybe visit this old orphanage and puzzled at their website not loading, I poked around and came across this shocking news from last year:

The orphanage shut down due to charges of child abuse:

Trying to spread the word.


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