This is the story of Daniel Paul Burgeson, the first of our three adopted Korean children.

Following Anna's birth in 1969, the physicians suggested that Carol ought not have any more children, for reasons of health. We had always thought, however, about having a large family. At College Church in Wheaton, where we had worshipped in the years 1966-68, there was a family who had adopted two Korean children, and we had known them well. So it was that, in the fall of 1971, we began inquiries about doing the same thing. Our contact point was the Holt Adoption Program headquartered in Eugene, Oregon.

The bureaucratic nonsense we had to go through was enormous. I made a notebook of it, which Daniel owns today. The wheels ground exceedingly slowly, but in August of 1972 we received notification of our future son, and even a picture. Surely, we thought, it would be very soon ... .

The months dragged by as paperwork flew back and forth. Suddenly, in early December, we had word. Daniel was to arrive in New York on December 9th.

I flew to the NY airport that day from Florida, wearing shorts and a tee shirt, for I expected to only go and come, not venture outside. Arriving in the afternoon, the word came that the plane from San Francisco was late -- very late. I waited.

It was well past midnight when the plane pulled in. Off the plane came a tall man, holding a small bewildered child. Daniel. I signed a bunch of papers; Daniel took my hand and we began a long walk down an empty concourse. From time to time Daniel looked up at me, with a questioning gaze. "Who was this strange person," he was clearly thinking. Then his head would go down and he would obediently trudge ahead.

It was a long concourse. It was a long walk. I think I talked to him; he did not respond. But halfway to the main hall, he stopped. He looked deeply at me -- and then at the airport window. Something was going on outside that window. "What the heck," he must have said to himself, and pulled me over to that window and began to chatter to me, excitedly, in Korean of course, about all the amazing things to be seen out there. At that moment, we bonded. This was MY son. The Lord gave me immense love for him, and he for me, and this love has never failed, nor will it ever fail.

We walked on to the ticket area, where Daniel, with great glee, showed me how he could climb to the scales at every station (they were closed at that time of night) and jump down. He did this in deliberate order, from first to last, laughing and showing off for me.

We had to go to another terminal for the flight home; I was an odd sight in the New York snow with my Florida attire. Daniel was warmly dressed ina yellow flannel one-piece suit, but had on only plastic slippers. We took a bus, with everyone looking at us as really an "odd couple."

At the departure terminal, I gave Daniel a yellow toy bus to play with, and he did, all over the waiting area. Then it was aboard the plane, and the trip home, where Carol and the children and the Forsman family waited for us. What a reception that was. Everybody wanted to hold their new brother/son/friend.

He bonded into our family instantly.

It was a couple of weeks later we decided that Daniel was not walking well, and took him to the doctor. Rickets. The diagnosis was for him to have both legs in casts for several months, with the "hope" that the legs might straighten out normally. Daniel never complained about those casts; he was a pleasant child.

It was just two weeks later Carol took him in for the first checkup. Much to her amazement, and the doctor's amazement, Daniel's legs were completely healed! The doctor could not believe it. But we did.

It was 14 years later that Daniel was winning cross country races at high school. But that is another story.

In 2002 Daniel married Kim Dang, a "boat escapee" from Vietnam as a young girl. This is their family:

JWB - 6/26/2001 (minor editing 5-16-2013)

JWB's Home page

2807 visitors since 3-22-2013