ESWS Language & Culture Program

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ESWS's Korean Language and Culture Program partners with Hallym University in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province. 

Adoptees will take extensive Korean language classes, while participating in various field trips and cultural activities. At Hallym University, adoptees will be guided by a Korean student and join international students as they learn about the Korean university experience. They will also have the opportunity to volunteer at some of ESWS's social service programs including Eastern Babies Home with babies who have been placed for adoption and Seodaemun Community Center with senior citizens.

Tuition, accommodations, the majority of activities, some meals, and in-country transportation is covered by the scholarship. The main expense adoptees will need to cover is the round-trip international airfare to/from South Korea. 

Dates of the program are arrival: June 25 or June 26 to departure: July 26 or July 27. 

In order to apply, adoptees must be 18+ and have graduated high school. Adoptees from any Korean adoption agency may apply, though ESWS adoptees and first time applicants will have first priority. 

Here is a testimony from an adoptee who previously participated in the ESWS Language and Culture Program!

The ESWS Language and Culture Program was a wonderful experience for me. I was not only able to connect with Korean adoptees from all over the US, but Australia as well. We participated in various service activities (some adoption-related and some not) which I really enjoyed. The Language and Culture Program at Hallym University in Chuncheon was a great experience as well. I met so many people from all over the world who were interested in learning Korean and about the culture for a wide variety of reasons. I learned so much and made so many unforgettable memories with amazing people. I really made some lifelong connections that I never would have been able to without this program. It gave me a taste of what living in Korea could be like, and I was able to get a different perspective of Korea than I would get being a tourist. I am forever thankful to the ESWS Language and Culture Program for providing me with this incredible opportunity!

Sadly, this is the last year Hallym will be coordinating this program, so don't miss out--contact us, today, to apply!

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day~
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To those who struggle on this day, we are thinking of you and support you near and far.

To our first mothers, birth mothers, biological mothers. Those who gave us life, who gave us our genetics, those we had to say our first goodbyes to...if not for the goodbyes, we would not be where we are today.
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To our foster mothers. Those who selflessly cared and loved us for what may have been a short portion of our lives. If not for the love and care, we would not be where we are today.
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To our adoptive mothers. Those who raised us, taught us morals and values, love and laughter. Who dried our tears through the good times and bad. If not for their morals and values, love and care, we would not be where we are today. 
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Adoption is filled with love and loss, for everyone..

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Mother's Day is coming...

In continuation of our Mother's Day-themed posts, Red Thread Broken eloquently writes about the topic of ambiguous loss, which so many adoptees face throughout their lives.

"Though the knowledge of ambiguous loss helps me articulate how I may be feeling, I still am in many ways baffled by the task of honoring and remembering my first family with no memories. I’ve come to realize that just like there is no closure to so many of my lifelong questions, there may be no clear resolution on how to best honor my first family. I can try to retain my original culture, a link that connects us. I can try to speak the words of my mother tongue, so we can communicate if we ever meet."

A Bittersweet Holiday...

Mother's Day brings up a variety of emotions for many adoptees. The following articles are written by adult adoptees and reflect the multitude of emotions several adoptees encounter during holidays such as Mother's Day. This holiday, Father's Day, and birthdays can bring up bittersweet and even painful feelings for many adoptees. 

I Was Adopted & This Is What Celebrating Mother's Day Is Like

I'm Adopted. Mother's Day is incredibly painful for me. 

Do you have any coping tips or strategies to help during holidays like these? If so, share below!

Indian adoptee finds twin birth brother

An Indian-Swedish adoptee recently found her twin birth brother. This was Kiran Gustafsson third visit to India. The first two times, in 2000 and 2005, produced no results for her birth family. After much perseverance, independent searching, and help from local authorities, Kiran was able to find her twin.

About finding her brother, on the fifth day of her stay in Surat, she said, “In the last 33 years of my life, this is the best birthday gift that I got from God. I came to Surat in search of my mother and found my brother just a couple of days before my birthday. I am speechless.”

When The Sunday Express met her on Saturday, after she met her brother again at the hotel, she said, “It was like time had stopped. I was in the seventh heaven. It was like blood in my body was in search of same blood he had. I can say that it was union of blood. We shared our experiences and our life. He inquired about my foster parents. It was unforgettable. We sought blessings of his father too. On Saturday, he came to my hotel and I told him my visa expired on Sunday and I would come back and we both would look for our mother.”

Full article can be found at the following link.

Listen...

"Your child needs to know that you are someone who will listen to and validate their race experiences."

Love them enough to have the sometimes-tough conversations.

Love them enough that they know home is a haven, a place to feel safe and loved.

Love them enough to listen to them when they feel they are being treated differently.

Love them enough to advocate for them when they are too young to stand on their own.

Love them enough to teach them how to handle situations where they may feel threatened or unsafe.

Love them enough to talk about race.

"Running Home"

Sahrawi adoptee, Inma Zanoguera, was adopted with her two older siblings by a Spanish family when she was three-years-old. As she learned more about her birth family, heritage, and birthmother's homeland, she learned about the Sahara Marathon. Read more about Zanoguera's story at this link. 

Zanoguera completed the Sahara Marathon with a time of 3:48:11, to finish in first place. As part of her trip, she is staying with Sahrawi refugee families to connect with her birthland. Zanoguera wanted to experience firsthand what kind of life her birth mother led before emigrating to Spain and sadly passing away. “I kind of wanted to sweep all of that under the rug, and of course that works for a while,” Ms. Zanoguera said before the race. “But then you realize that there’s another part of who you are.” (toledoblade.com)

A documentary is currently in the works about Zanoguera, her preparation for the marathon--both physical and mental, and her journey back home. We'll keep you all up-to-date as more news is shared regarding the progress of "Running Home: a Documentary." 

Korean birth family search through KAS and 'Nanoom lotto'

Korea Adoption Services is about to make a cooperative relationship with 'Nanoom lotto' for birth parents search. Nanoom lotto will help adoptees who has have difficulties in finding their birth parents due to lack of information.

Adoptees who are interested in this project will be able to post their adoption story on the back side of lottery ticket that Nanoom lotto issues.

If there is any adoptee who agrees to do this, please send your brief adoption story along with one or two of your pictures at our birth parents search e-mail address(familysearch@kadoption.or.kr). The spot is limited, so please contact us as quickly as possible. Thank you!!