Happy Ending

February 28, 2007 at 8:13 am | Posted in General Junk | 5 Comments

Here is an excerpt from an article that ran in the Korea Herald regarding Olympic medalist Toby Dawson and his reunion with his biological father recently.  It’s an amazing story…..

Few people can find another moment that would eclipse winning an Olympic medal. Yet, Toby Dawson has discovered one – the Olympic bronze medalist was reunited with his biological father yesterday after 26 years. Known as “Awesome Dawson” for his exploits on the ski slopes that led to a medal in freestyle moguls at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, the 28-year-old is excited to begin a new life that now includes a relationship with his father, Kim Jae-su, a 52-year-old bus driver from the port city of Busan.

“This will be a day that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Dawson said during a press conference at Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul.

Amid constant flickering of camera flashes, Dawson – who was adopted at age 3 by American ski-instructor parents in Colorado – seemed to take his celebrity status in stride, for he is optimistic that the media attention will benefit other adoptees.

▲Toby Dawson (right) meets his biological father, Kim Jae-su, in Seoul yesterday. [The Korea Herald]

His first task is in setting up the Toby Dawson Foundation, which will assist overseas adoptees and those who are still waiting to find new families.

“I want to be a spokesperson for those who are in my position,” he said, frequently putting his arm around his newly found father.

Leah Halmi, the skier`s fiancee knew the reunion would be emotional for Dawson but doubted that he would break down. She was right. “He tends to keep his emotions inside,” she said.

Halmi, however, couldn`t hold back her tears when Dawson and his father embraced for the first time. In broken Korean, Dawson said: “I`ve been waiting a long time, father.”

“This is emotional for me, too, because Toby`s the man who I love,” said Halmi, whose wedding date has been set for April.

Halmi added that Dawson`s parents have long supported their son`s quest to find his biological family. Dawson has a younger brother, also a Korean adoptee, who has already found his biological parents.

Later, a noticeably moved Dawson offered a gift – a red, white and blue Norwegian sweater embellished with a U.S. ski team logo, which is often worn by alpine skiers.

“I am very proud to be able to give my biological father this present,” he said.

Dawson, recently named an honorary ambassador for the Korea Tourism Organization, acknowledged the striking resemblance to his father and younger brother, who was also present for the reunion. All three seemed to have an affinity for sideburns.

Upon seeing his father`s graying, longshoreman-like facial growth, Dawson joked that his were just “baby sideburns.”

Smiles and jokes aside, Dawson delved into his past when he asked his father the circumstances surrounding his placement into an orphanage.

The father has long claimed that Dawson was lost at a Busan marketplace. After long hours of searches and visits to local orphanages, he decided to give up.

“I desperately looked everywhere, but I couldn`t find you,” Kim said. “I`m sorry.

“But I am proud of who you have become, and I am proud that you came all the way to Korea to meet me.”

Dawson`s parents have said that the orphanage told them that he was abandoned.

His father`s answer seemed to have little effect on Dawson. He quickly tried to put the reunion into perspective.

“I`m not here to beat him up for what has happened,” he said, later recounting his “confused” childhood, which was like “being stuck between two different worlds.”

He later added that he would like to set up a meeting between his biological father and his American parents.

Dawson`s mother, who is believed to have started another family after her divorce from Kim, has been located but has yet to reveal herself publicly, according to Dawson`s Korean lawyer.

Kim is one of several Koreans who came forward claiming to be Dawson`s biological father.

“That made it a little more difficult, and I`ve also in the last five years had random e-mails and people contacting me,” Dawson said. “So I had a little bit of distaste for people approaching me and saying that they were my biological parents.”

DNA tests of blood and hair samples confirmed that Kim and Dawson were in fact father and son.

Dawson – who has retired from competitive skiing and is now pursuing a professional golf career while living in Palm Springs, California – is one of more than 150,000 Korean children who have been adopted abroad in the past 50 years, according to the Overseas Korean Foundation.

More than 100,000 of those children found new homes in the United States, while France, Sweden and Denmark took in smaller numbers. Although the number of international adoptions has decreased in recent years, Korea still sends about 2,000 children overseas annually.


By Ethen Kim Lieser


February 22, 2007 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Adoption Updates | 6 Comments


Yeah, I know I am.  Honestly I tell you this two child thing is much harder than I ever anticipated.  Bean is SUCH a trooper…I can’t even put into words how patient, kind and understanding she has been since we got home.  Boy King is adjusting well.  He got his days and nights turned around pretty quickly and he actually is sleeping 12 hours at night.  Nice…at least I am rested.

My chief complaint is his puking.  Lots of it.  After every meal, every day.  So much so that I do a load of his laundry every night right after I put him to bed.  He was switched to soy formula while still in Korea due to his “condition”.  I can’t imagine his puking being worse than it is now back when he was on a dairy based formula.  I’m allowing it to keep me in the house because I’m so paranoid that I’m going to have to deal with the puke.  So tomorrow we’re trying a hypoallergenic formula to see if we can at least decrease the frequency of the puking.  I’m sure it’s just wishful thinking but I’m hoping like hell that it makes some difference….in a positive direction.

The big loser in this scenario is Bean.  She seems to be holding it together pretty well but there are moments that she looks at me like, “Um, yeah. So far this little brother thing kinda sucks.  He takes up all your time.  He is loud.  He drools.  He frows up a lot.  And we never go anywhere anymore.”  I owe her big time.

I owe her big time.

Note: that is not a picture of my Henry (obviously) but just a cute yawn picture I found on the web


February 20, 2007 at 2:50 pm | Posted in What the hell? | Leave a comment

 I remember when I was home after Bean was born I would hope for some sort of tragedy so I had something interesting to watch on CNN.  This poor woman has provided me some excellent television viewing since returning from Seoul.  What a mess. 

Snapshots of Seoul-Don’t eat the fish

February 19, 2007 at 11:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This was a very common site on the streets of Seoul.  I called him the Fishman and he was out walking with his loot during the mid-morning hours.  On the up side the fish appeared to be frozen.  On the down side it was not currently on ice.  Or covered.  It was just kinda out there.  Yum.

Friday Fun Pic-Part 25

February 15, 2007 at 11:04 pm | Posted in Friday Fun Pic | 5 Comments

Double trouble

Snapshots of Seoul-Love at First Sight

February 14, 2007 at 10:40 am | Posted in General Junk | Leave a comment

OK again this isn’t from Seoul.  It’s from the hotel we stayed at in Tokyo.  But what’s not to love about a beer vending machine?  And for a mere additional 100 yen, why wouldn’t you upgrade to the larger size?

While we’re on the topic of beer can we discuss why the American based airlines don’t offer free beer and wine to international travelers?  Our international carrier that took us from  Chicago to Tokyo, Tokyo to Seoul and Seoul to Tokyo offered up free libations.  Our domestic carrier that took us from Tokyo to Chicago offered a whole lotta nuthin.

Snapshots of Seoul

February 12, 2007 at 10:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ok well technically this isn’t Seoul but it was part of our trip to Seoul.  This umbrella garage as I call it was in the lobby of the hotel we stayed at in Tokyo.   Genius invention really.  Check your umbrella at the door, it’s locked safely in place and you don’t have a soggy umbrella leaving wet spots on the floor in your room.

We are Family

February 10, 2007 at 10:26 am | Posted in Adoption Updates | 3 Comments

Getting there on sleep….although it’s difficult to tell from Ed’s eyes in this picture.  Hence why there is no picture of me with the kids.  And in all fairness this was taken on Thursday evening when we got home.  We’re actually looking a bit better than this.

Safe and Sound

February 9, 2007 at 8:17 am | Posted in Adoption Updates | 6 Comments

Feet are on the ground and our heads are in a fog.  Trying to get caught up on sleep so please forgive me if it takes a couple of days to post.

Boy King did great on the flights home.  On our 10 hour flight from Tokyo to Chicago he slept for 7 hours.  Straight.  Amazing.  Well now we’re paying for it.  He slept from 8 pm to 12:30am then from 1:15 am to 2:30 am and didn’t go back down until 6 am.  Now the sleep deprivation training starts.  Well, maybe tomorrow.  As for now we’re (Ed and I) sleeping in shifts to get caught up.  Guess who’s on duty now?

On the road again

February 7, 2007 at 6:36 pm | Posted in Adoption Updates | 3 Comments

Ok between the sobs of watching a farewell ceremony just now I thought I’d post a good-bye from Seoul.  We have an hour before we have to have our stuff ready to go and our leave time is 30 min after that.  It’s going to be a long trip home…but we’re anxious to get there.  I miss my Bean horribly…and can’t wait to introduce her to her baby brother.

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