Saturday, August 26, 2006



Dear Adoptive Families:

Hi, my name is Terry O'Brien. (Very Irish, right?) I'm a Korean adoptee from the US. Right now I live in Seoul and am working for a Korean homestay organization. We recruit and send Korean high school students to the US who want to improve their English and experience and learn about American culture. Believe it or not, Korea is number three on the list of countries which send the most exchange students, right behind Germany and Brazil. Last year there were more 5,500 Korean high school exchange students in the US.

This year there are so many that we're having trouble finding enough host families to host our students. That's why I'm here in the forum. I thought this would be a perfect place to ask because hosting a Korean high school student would create a unique and wonderful dynamic in the home of a Korean adoptive family. Everyone would benefit: the Korean high school student, the adoptee, and the adoptive parents.

The Korean student would learn about American culture and the adoptive family and the adoptee would learn about Korea. They would discover many differences of course but also discover firsthand where the unique bridges lie. It may help to resolve identity issues for adoptee, although at first I suspect it will be a little uncomfortable for him or her. But eventually I think the Korean and adoptee will see a little bit of themselves in each other. A true understanding of the other is the goal I have in mind.

For the adoptive parents, it should also be a learning experience. They will see firsthand what makes a Korean Korean and an American American. This will help them to be more aware of the "Korean' inside their adopted son or daughter and help them realize that being racially blind may do more harm than good. The confluence of nature and nurture will also become more clear as they will see how culture and parental upbringing influences personality. Awareness and sympathy can really help with raising a Korean adoptee.

Well enough theory. If any family is interested, I urge you to contact me as soon as possible because I need to find around 30 families before Aug 31st, 2006. This homestay program will last for 10 months and the the Korean high school student will attend a regular school, public or private or Christian while on the homestay. Thank you for considering this unique and once in a lifetime opportunity. If you decide to take this opportunity, I know it can only have a positive effect on your family.

Yours Truly,

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