A surprising and very touching part of our adoption process has been the reference letters. It’s been difficult to feel fully the broad range of emotions because majority of the time, I feel like I’m barely keeping up with the administrative tasks. Right now, it only seems like we need 3 separate letters from people in our lives outside of our family. We’ve selected three people — Jae, one of my best friends from childhood who continues to be one of my closest friends; Kate, a friend of 9 or so years from work, and Buzz, my cousin’s now fiancé.

Once people in our lives found out we were adopting, the offers to write a reference letter have been pouring in. One person, in particular — my former “boss” for lack of better terms — was surprisingly enthusiastic about it. He and his wife offered to do just about anything to help us with the process. I worked with him closely for the last four years and he’s become a real mentor to me and one of my biggest supporters at work. I have the utmost respect for this guy so to get an offer so generous really gets me choked up.

For the record, we have a call on Tuesday with our placement agency to sort out whether we need additional references because I’ve seen 6 or 7 listed somewhere. And while people have been coming out of the woodwork, the forms and notarizations and emailing and mailing and copying feels burdensome to ask any more people than we need.

Jae, my best childhood friend was also adopted. She just forwarded me her form last week to keep for our records. I’ve been a real stickler about that just in case something gets lost in the mail, etc. My friendship with Jae is something that’s really special to me and having her be a part of this process was so important. I read her email and literally started bawling.

Dear Karen,

Attached you will find the scanned copies of the reference letter that is currently in the mail to you. I tried to be as brief as possible highlighting the most important answers to each of the questions, but would be remiss if I did not elaborate on how I came to be so close to Katie.

I was adopted the day before Katie and Krissie (her twin sister) in January of 1987 and we have been best of friends ever since (our mothers were very close friends). It has been one of the greatest blessings in my life to have had Katie by my side through the peaks and valleys life has thrown my way. No short answers in a reference letter will be able to explain the depth to which Katie, and her husband John, are equipped to adopt a child of their own. With that being said, I want to ensure that my reference is able to do their application justice. Please feel free to reach out to me if I can provide any additional information. 



I can’t read that without getting teary-eyed.

And now… to lighten the mood. My parents have been holding onto just about every important document since ever. Especially with having to prepare so much paperwork, I have never appreciated my mom’s meticulous attention to detail and organization more. Clearly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Ha. One gem I stumbled upon tonight was this folder filled with a pre-flight medical form before we journeyed to America, a pin from the international agency, a small Korean flag, a short book of English-Korean phrases for adoptive families, and a picture for our temporary passports.

We can’t wait to get matched with our children and to see those little faces staring back.

Adoption Childhood Memories Family

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