By the time the September newsletter is compiled, I will be in Korea. At the beginning of July, Leanne and I received the heads-up notice that we should expect to travel to Korea sometime during August. Our son Ben’s file has spent these two months working its way through the ministry that granted his permission to emigrate from Korea and the embassy that issued his immigrant visa to the United States. When the visa was issued, we got the call to go get our son.

I plan to be away from work from August 20 (tomorrow!) through September 16. We will spend a week in Korea, then another three weeks getting to know each other at home. Our job during this “cocooning” time will be to help Ben attach to us as his parents.

In the same way that we were protective of Ian when he joined our family, we will be very careful to limit Ben’s contact with others. He will have to grieve the loss of his foster family, and we expect that it will take some time before he’s able to trust us as his parents. This is essentially a learning process for him, and as with any learning process, consistency will be crucial. Unfortunately, consistency in this case means that we have to keep our child to ourselves more than we or others might wish. You’ll probably see us out and about with Ben during this cocoon time – his big brother loves to socialize, after all – but we may not interact in the way you’re expecting. Thank you for your patience during that step of the process.

We are again be very grateful to Leanne’s parents for coming out to take care of Ian while we’re gone, and for staying to help smooth our transition when we return. I’m also thankful for the various people who will pitch in to keep things going smoothly at church in my absence. I’m disappointed in particular I will miss the all-church/outreach picnic on August 28 and the CE barbecue on September 9, but I know that our dedicated volunteers will put on wonderful celebrations as always.

If you need pastoral support while I’m gone, please call the church office and Sylvia will connect you with the most appropriate person. Caregivers will include Bonnie Schandorf, Rev. Jim Deters (First PC, Hibbing), and Rev. Jeffrey Jones (Biwabik Covenant Church and VRMC staff chaplain).

Thank you all for your understanding and support during our family’s transition time. We’re excited, anxious, grateful, and hopeful – all the things we should feel at this point in the process. We look forward to sharing our joy with all of you.

In Christ’s peace,