Friday, January 27, 2012

Intercountry Birth Family Correspondence: Private Translator vs. Agency

Holt's Post Adoption Services have been so wonderful in coordinating correspondence and translation between my birth family and I.  If you are a Holt adoptee considering a birth family search or in mid-search, I would highly recommend the services that Holt offers.  These individuals truly care about their adoptees, adoptive families and birth families.  Since the very first letter to my birth mom, I have been working with Debby.  Debby is an Administrative Coordinator who communicates directly with Holt Korea.  She sends letters, photos and relays other information to Holt Korea between both parties. 

After receiving my birth mother's last letter, I could tell she had not received the previous letter I sent in September.  After a quick e-mail to Debby, we figured out that through miscommunication my last letter had not been forwarded on.  Honestly, I am really impressed that after over a year of contact with my birth family, this is the first time any miscommunication has come up. 

I have had many transnational adoptees contact me with questions about whether to correspond independently and use a private translator or go through their agency.  In my personal experience, I have found that my particular agency has been the most resourceful and helpful during this process.  Using a translator may allow you more control of communication and will most likely allow you to receive letters/e-mails sooner, BUT do they know the personal nature of your situation?  Your agency speaks the adoption language and they know how sacred and personal this process is for both parties involved.  Many people that work for adoption agencies have some personal connection to adoption, which will allow them to have even more compassion for your story.  Emotions run so freely through this process that I want to make sure it's importance is respected by those handling it's fragile connection.  Now there are downsides because letters and e-mails have to go through several people before actually finding their destination.  Overall, I would rather have patience knowing that my letters are in the good hands.

Here is a fabulous example of just how amazing Holt is!  I sent a response letter to my birth mother on Monday of this week and explained to Debby the severity of our baby's condition.  After piecing together the fact that my previous letter had not yet been sent, she expedited both letters through Holt Korea as I expressed a great amount of concern for how my birth mom would respond.  I knew she would be excited to learn that I am expecting our second child, but the following information about our baby's heart defect would be extremely overwhelming.  She is such a sweet woman and I didn't want her to read both letters alone. 

Today, I received an e-mail from Debby saying... 

Just wanted to let you know that Holt Korea has spoken with your birth mother already, and she was “so thankful that Hyo Eun was alright otherwise.”  They talked about your letters and upcoming birth of your daughter.  She was understandably upset on your behalf, but took the news well.  Birth mom was very happy to hear from you, and sends her thanks.  She sounds like a very sweet woman.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do.  Have a good weekend!

Isn't Holt wonderful?  I can't wait to hear back from my sweet Um-ma soon!

For more information on Holt's Post Adoption Services, click here.

1 comment:

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