Korea Gift Team 2013

Adoptive mom Robin Bridgeman joins 21 other individuals on Holt’s Korea Gift Team trip for a week. The gift team participants will bring gifts and joy to the children and other residents in Holt’s care in Korea. Robin’s husband and two young children also traveled with the Gift Team. Her children are both adoptees from Korea.

Monday, December 2, 2013
Seoul, Korea

The 45th Holt Foster Mother Recognition Ceremony and Foster Mother Christmas Celebration

Robin Bridgeman’s son Jake is in kindergarten. He loves Angry Birds, playing with Hot Wheels and NASCAR driver is Kyle Busch. Here, Jake waits for the foster mothers to arrive for their
honoring party during Holt’s Korea Gift Team trip.

One of the blessings of going on the Holt Gift Team trip is being able to attend the Holt Foster Mothers’ luncheon, recognition ceremony and Christmas celebration. The ceremony honors foster mothers who have been serving for five, ten, 15 — even 20 years and more.  As part of the program, one of the foster mothers who had been caring for children for 15 years spoke lovingly about her experience, and shared about several of the children who had touched her life. It was moving to be able to hear her story, as she shared the love she had for the children in her care and also the sadness she felt in saying goodbye to children she loved so deeply.

Robin’s daughter Charlotte is in preschool. Her favorite things to do are color, play in her toy kitchen and sing. She likes to host tea parties and runs a small restaurant out of the playroom. Here, Charlotte’s former foster mother helps feed Charlotte her lunch.

One of the highlights for us was that our daughter Charlotte’s Seoul foster mother was being honored for ten years of service. Prior to the ceremony, she also attended the Foster Mother’s luncheon. After eating with the other foster mothers, she joined our team and sat with Charlotte. Watching her with Charlotte just melted my heart.  She lovingly cut up Charlotte’s food for her and fed her spoonfuls of rice. Just like when she was a baby, Charlotte would open her mouth like a little bird waiting to be fed. At the ceremony, they were able to take photos together and spend more time together. To be able to see the two of them together was very meaningful to us. What a treasure to be able to continue this relationship between them.

Another part of the ceremony that was touching was the Korean saxophone ensemble, which began with the traditional Korean song, “Arirang.” It was followed by other tunes, several Christmas songs and the Star-Spangled Banner, in honor of the friendship between our two organizations.

At the end of the ceremony, we participated in a cake cutting ceremony with two of the foster mothers who had served the longest.  We were also able to say a few word of thanks to those in attendance, sharing with them how important their role as foster mothers is and express our gratitude for all
they do.

Korean foster mothers gather for a group photo with the president of Holt Korea.

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