The Realities of Adopting a Child from a Different Culture

by | Sep 4, 2019 | Adoptive Families Blog

babies come from all different culturesMany questions arise when a family adopts children from different cultural backgrounds. Rose Kent and her husband have a bustling blended tribe of six children whose ages span 12 years.

She wrote a book, Kimchi & Calamari, which is a funny coming of age tale of an adopted Korean boy in an Italian family. Her adopted children inspired the book’s narrative!


The Beginnings of a Transracial Adoption

The father of Rose’s biological children was part Korean, so choosing to adopt children from Korea came naturally to them. Their biological children were nine and seven years old when they decided to adopt, and the kids were excited. Rose admits that she went into it all a little bit naively. She didn’t step back and think about the choice to become a transracial family. She jumped into it with both feet.

Connor was four months old, and Teresa was eight months old when Rose and her husband adopted them. Both babies had just bonded with their caretakers in Korea, so it was a rocky adjustment in the beginning. Each child had to adjust to unfamiliar food, climate, language, and a brand-new family.

Rose’s biological daughter, Kelly, was extremely excited about Connor coming and had begged to share her room when the baby came. Connor proceeded to cry and cry and cry all night for weeks. Kelly acted like she was okay with it. However, one morning, Rose walked into the room and there was an anonymous note on the crib: “Go back to Korea.”

Rose quickly realized that letting the two share a room had caused this rift between the siblings!

Tell Their Story


It’s normal for adopted kids to ask about where they came from, and want to know about their biological families. Turning their past into a bedtime story is a great way to teach them in a way that lets you guide the narrative to show them how special they are.

If you adopt a child when he or she is older, you likely won’t have any photos of them as a baby. So, make sure to take as many photographs as you can when you go to pick up your child for the first time. Doing so will allow you to have photos to show your child their story of joining your family.

Give your children all the details that you possibly can when you tell their adoption story. For example, Connor came from Pusan, a community right on the water in Korea. Rose doesn’t have many details about his birth family, but she can tell him his love for seafood comes from being born by the ocean.

Work whatever tidbits you have into their stories. Adopted children enjoy details, no matter what their ages. It’s so important to share with them what you can!

If you’re interested in adding a child to your family through adoption, please fill out our free adoption application!

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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