Holt adoptive mom Emily Jasman reflects on family, adoption and life as an empty-nester.
This week, I am experiencing something that I haven’t been able to for seven months! My son is home on leave from the Navy and my daughter is home from college. Things are once again right in the world when my two children are under the same roof. Where did the time go? Flash back 23 years ago when my husband and I welcomed a 5-month-old baby boy from Korea. Three years after that, we were blessed with a baby girl from Korea. Now these memories sustain us through the empty nest months. Nick, now 23, and Abby, now 20, became our forever family and I truly believe that God worked in our lives to put all of this in place. It is a rollercoaster ride from the time you get that picture of your child to when they come to you on a plane or you go to pick them up in their countries. In fact, for years my kids thought that babies came on planes. My son asked his preschool teacher what type of airline she came on: TWA or United?
It seemed only natural that we would pursue adoption through Holt International all of those years ago. I was an English as a Second Language teacher and had several students who had been adopted as older children from Holt and who needed help learning English. We also had several friends who had adopted infants from Korea. Working with Holt out of Council Bluffs, Iowa was a wonderful experience. For many years we were able to attend Holt events and meet and talk with Grandma Bertha Holt. We dove whole-heartedly into Holt functions, meeting other families who had adopted children, and trying to find opportunities to expose our children to their culture and heritage. Now both of our children are grown up and pursuing dreams and goals. A day does not pass that I do not thank God for my children!
Nick graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2014 and is currently stationed in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. He is an Ensign aboard the USS Hue City. Our daughter, Abby, is a junior at South Dakota State University studying marketing and business. The joy that these two have brought us over the years cannot be measured. I cannot picture our family any differently. It would be an amazing dream if we could visit Korea as a family and maybe someday we will be able to do it. I am thankful to their Korean birth parents, who made the difficult decision to place their children for adoption.
As I begin my 30th year as an ESL teacher and my son heads out for possible deployment later this year, I wish that I could slow the clock down. My daughter will head back to school and life will become a bit dull again for my husband and I, but we have planned a trip to Florida and look forward to this new chapter with grown-up children. We have the family we always dreamed of!
Emily Jasman | Sioux City, Iowa