September 21, 2006
Well, my hooey meter seems to be working just fine, and I’m glad I listened to it.
Yesterday, as I was contemplating the idea of emailing the orphanage, it occurred to me that it just makes no sense for a Korean social services agency to set up a website in English, complete with email address, and then expect that no Americans who have adopted “their” children should ever contact them. Hooey. It’s not like orphanages have gobs of extra money sitting around to blow on establishing foreign language websites just so they can practice their web programming and design skills when all the babies are finally asleep (like that every happens).
So I sent off a short email sharing a little information about Tank Boy and asking them to pass along our secondary email address to the birth mother, should she ever make an inquiry. When I woke up this morning there was a reply.
Contained within the body of the text were exclamation points! Those darned Korean orphanage folks were just so . . . so . . . so . . . glad to hear from me regarding my son! Now, I don’t know, maybe one of them is currently on the phone yelling at the American adoption agency folks, questioning their competence and asking why they couldn’t control their former clients better; but, somehow, I don’t think so. The director of the agency in Korea is the one who responded to my email. She thanked me twice, said the information makes them very happy and said they are “encouraged by this kind of good news about the adopted children.” Granted, it could have been a form letter, but at least its tone wasn’t as annoyed as the tone of almost every single person I ever spoke with at the American agency. And, trust me, we didn’t speak to them often.
Our current adoption coordinator with our current agency would probably vouch for me here — we really aren’t the type to bother the agencies on a regular basis. They have a job to do, we’re paying them gobs of money to do it, it is in their best interest to do it well. So we ask questions when we have to and, other than that, just leave them alone unless and until we have reason to believe they are not doing their job well. So far, we are very pleased with our current agency.
So, getting back to my email to Korea. It turns out that Tank Boy’s birth mother has not had any contact with the Korean agency since she relinquished him for adoption. That really doesn’t surprise me, given the intense negative social stigma that goes along with pregnancy outside of marriage in their country. I do hope someday she will go back to the orphanage and check his file to see how he is doing. I can’t believe she is not in the least bit curious.
That is why, every year around his birthday, I will email Korea with an update.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.