Sunday, December 6, 2009

Emma Eun Bee - The Best Almost Christmas Gift Ever

Twenty-one years ago today someone came into my life who forever changed it very much for the better. That person is my daughter, Emma who on December 6, 1988 arrived into our family on a plane from Seoul, Korea.

Emma was tiny. At three-years-old she was barely on the growth chart, weighing in at only about 23 pounds and 32 inches tall. After over 24 hours of travel her hair was matted, she had green gook running from her nose and she spoke no English. But from the second I'd seen her photos months before, she was my daughter. As soon as I saw those above photos of that tiny girl with her name pinned to her shirt, I fell in love.

I've always had a very hard time writing about how I feel about any of my children because I love them so much words just escape me. I truly don't have the words to say how much I love her. Emma has been such a gift in my life, I cannot imagine how my life would look without her.

I'm one of those lucky moms who can honestly say Emma isn't just my daughter, she's a friend as well. Granted, a friend who gives me a really hard time, teases me relentlessly and makes me question myself, but that's a big part of why I adore her. She is sassy, smart, funny and despite her attempts to hide it from everyone - she's a loving, caring young woman.

When Emma graduated from Wellesley College a year and a half ago, I sat there wishing her birth mother could see her. That she could see how her selfless act of letting her toddler daughter go to a country thousands of miles away had turned out. Here she was, this girl who'd been orphaned in Seoul, Korea graduating from the school of Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Allbright. I thank this woman I will never know for entrusting me to love and raise the daughter she gave birth to. I am forever in her debt and hope on some level she knows just how much I adore the girl she named Eun Bee.

Emma is now back in Korea for one year. She always wanted a chance to go back and spend some real time in the country of her birth. She's teaching English to elementary and middle school students who don't believe she is Korean because she dresses and sounds like an American. She is loving her time there and learning more about what it means to be a Korean American.

She loves to tell me that it took 21 years, but that she finally found a way to escape the US and find her way back to Korea, away from the crazy white people who adopted her. I know however, that as much as she loves to tease and torment me that she loves me as much as I love her. Well, maybe almost as much.