Monday, January 22, 2001
In My Life
Long wait for a son was worth it
By Susan Williams
Family and friends were gathered around me, as I eagerly awaited the arrival of Flight 3607. My husband, Steve, and a son I had never seen were aboard the plane.
A week earlier, our family of four was at the airport, saying goodbyes as Steve left for Korea to pick up the son we were adopting.
But let me back up a bit.
The journey began in February when we started to fill out a mountain of paperwork forms for our local adoption agency, our international adoption agency, the state of Ohio, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the FBI. We were investigated to be sure there were no child abuse cases on our records. Every member of our family was required to have a physical. Steve and I each were fingerprinted twice.
We answered questions about our parenting methods and described how we would incorporate our child's Korean heritage into our family. That part was easy as our other two children also were born in Korea.
TELL US YOUR STORY
In My Life is about recent significant moments big and small in people's lives. Readers are invited to submit columns, which become the property of the Enquirer. |
E-mail: Nancy Berlier, Deputy Features Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mail: In My Life, Tempo, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202
Fax: (513) 768-8330.
Our paperwork was completed by March and our adoption file was 1 1/2 inches thick.
Then our waiting began.
By May, a social worker's report on our home was approved and sent to Korea.
On July 11, we rushed to the social worker's office to see pictures of the boy offered to us. We named him Nicholas and began a new round of paperwork to accept him and begin the process of bringing him here.
By September, we were jumping every time the phone rang, thinking it was the call. Finally, on Oct. 12, we got it. Nicholas' paperwork was in place.
On Oct. 14, Steve was headed for Korea. He met Nicholas an hour after arriving. He spent a week in Korea. He met Nicholas' foster mother and was able to see where Nicholas spent his first year. He could see how much love and attention Nicholas had received.
Finally, my moment came.
The plane was at the gate, and passengers entered the terminal. Just when we began to think Steve missed his connection, they were there.
The scene was one of hugs, kisses and smiles. Our family of four was now five. Although I was oblivious to it at the time, our family and friends tell me that passengers gathered and watched our son's arrival, many of them wiping away tears.
Nicholas is adjusting well. He has been sleeping through the night since the third night and laughs or smiles easily. His first English words were dada, mama, more and bye-bye. He seems to be really resilient. Sometimes I marvel that he was able to handle all of the changes in his life with such grace.
We are proof that you can form a family without genetic ties but not without love.
I'm not sure how my husband and I were lucky enough to be the parents of these three great children, but I'm not about to question it. We simply belong together.
Susan Williams is a physical therapist at the Breyer School and co-president of Korean Focus, a Cincinnati support group for adoptive parents of Korean children. Steve Williams is service manager at Northgate Tire. The most recent family addition, Nicholas, 19 months, joins Nathan, 4 and Megan, 7.
Local ties shine at Golden Globes
Golden Globes winners list
Maruska still talks with the animals
KIESEWETTER: Kathie Lee is doing fine, thank you
Waco Brothers kick up a storm
Long wait for a son was worth it
Ask a Stupid Question
Get to It
Weightlifting for the masses
Regular crunches just as effective as ab rollers
The Cincinnati Diet