Friday, April 13, 2012

Benjamin's First Year Gottcha Day

Last night our family celebrated Benjamin's first year with our family.

The year-long journey with Benjamin was very challenging at times, but very rewarding as well.
A boy who had absolutely no interest in school while an orphan in Korea, was a total failure in the 7th grade in his middle school in Korea according to school record. When I first saw his 7th grade report card from Korea, I was speechless when I saw 4 F's, 2 D's, and one C.  He had totally given up on his study.

I am happy to report that through lots of guidance and encouragement and thanks to great teachers at the school, Benjamin is now getting all A's and B's.  When he first started the school, I spent many hours working with him on his homeworks, but nowadays, he does it pretty much by himself.  He is a real smart kid that was waiting to be discovered.  I think he is going make something of himself.

He had a very lofty expectation of our family when he first came a year ago.  He had heard about me in Korea through various media and other channels, a Dad who works in the space industry, and a strong adoption advocate, and thought that we would be living in a very large house with lots of rooms and that we would drive fancy cars, and that we would pamper him with lots of clothes and other gadgets like a personal computer and an iPhone.

Well, he had a big let down once he found out how modest we are with our house, cars, and other spendings.  The fact that he had to share a room with his brother, the fact that he had to use a shared computer, and of course no iPhone.  Even to this day, despite my busy schedule, I do not own an iPhone and nobody in my family has that luxury.  It isn't that we couldn't afford.  It's just that we try to go by what is necessary for us.

At one time Benjamin expressed his regret coming to our house.  This was a shocker for me as I thought an orphan would welcome any home that would take him, at least that was the way it was when I was an orphan long time ago.  I also thought that he would be grateful at his new opportunity, but that was furthest from his heart as all he can think of was that he didn't get what he had long wanted and fantasized in Korea.  So I concluded then that the orphans of nowadays are quite different from my generation as they have never lived in the streets, gone hungry or cold, or persecuted for being an orphan like I went through.  Instead, the orphans in Korea are well fed and well taken care of, but they still starve for the chance to grow up in loving homes.

It would take pages and pages to write all the things that had happened during Benjamin's first year with us.  But through the grace of God, with much prayers, and through much dialogues and encouragements, and forbearance (a lot was needed), Benjamin has come a long way in accepting us as his family, and that goes for my four other children as well.  They are still adjusting to Benjamin, and him to them.  We still have a long ways to go, but we are on the way of becoming one as a family.

Happy 1st year Gottcha Day, Benjamin.  We love you and pray that you will continue to discover, learn and to prepare yourself for excellence in the service that only God know where He will take you.

From left:  Joseph, Benjamin, Jane (top), Helen, and Kay

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You are Invited - The Global Orphan Care Conference

You are invited to a special event at the Saddleback Church to an event that gives Hope for Orphans.
This is open to all whether you are of Korean heritage or not.
MPAK has joined hands with Hope for Orphans, Saddleback Church, CMF Ministries, and other organizations to dedicate a day to be a voice for homeless children not only in Korea but for millions of orphans in the world.
Event:  Hope for Orphans Institute Presents:  The Global Orphan Care Revival & the Korean Church
Date:  Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 9AM - 5PM
Place:  Saddleback Church, Refinery Center Auditorium
Address:  1 Saddleback Parkway, Lake Forest, California
Come and hear the messages (bilingual provided) and testimonies from:
Rev. Rick Warren (Saddleback Church)
Rev. Choi, Hong-jun (Busan Hosannah Church)
Paul & Robin Pennington (Hope for Orphans)
Rev. Jim Bob Park (OMC Church)
Rev. Eddie Byun (Seoul Onnuri Church EM)
Ms. Elizabeth Styfee (The Peace Plan)
Steve Morrison (MPAK)
The registration fee is $30, but if you register online at, and used the code word 'mpak' then it will only cost $15.
For those of you who are more comfortable with Korean, please visit
There will be a nursery to baby sit, and Saddleback has arranged to provide this service from 9AM - 1PM for $30 per child.  I know this is pretty hefty, but it has been discounted from $50. I am told that Saddleback will subsidize $20 to help out with the care, and all the people in the nursery have been security and finger print checked and safe.  If this is hard for you economically, I would recommend that you bring your child anyway and stay with him/her during the conference.
Why this conference is so important?
Korean churches pride in their accomplishments over growth and expansion during the last 100 years of history, and prides in being the 2nd largest missionary sending nation in the world after the US. This is something we can be really be thankful for.
However, along the way the churches have forgotten the true meaning of Christ's compassion and love towards homeless children.  As the Scripture points out in Jame 1:27 that "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
The Conference's objective is to plant this vision of Orphan Care into Korean churches, because the needs of children are so great.  Whether through sponsorship, orphan visits, fundraising, short term missions, and most importantly through adoption, we need to come together to give support to this conference, and to give hope for many homeless children. And that the Korean churches will wake up and respond to the needs of the children.
The conference is on Tuesday, May 1st, and that will be hard on many of you that need to work.  But as for me, I will be taking a vacation to attend the conference.  Please join me and many others and give Hope for Orphans.
Thank you, and hope to see many of you on May 1st.
Steve Morrison

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

EP Update - Some Answers to Many Questions


Many of you have commented with questions on the EP process.  A typical example would be why one agency's EP batch has been submitted and the others have not.

The Ministry is now in the process of accepting March/April EP submissions from each adoption agencies.  It appears that the Ministry contacts one agency at a time giving them permission to submit the EP applications.  I believe this is the reason why there is confusion as to why one agency is going through the process while another agency has not been given the go ahead with the EP submissions.

Also, the Ministry is now taking around four weeks to review, process, and approve the EPs as they have to deal with some transitional issues brought up by the new adoption laws that will be implemented this coming August.  In addition to the roles played by the Ministry, the family court now comes into the equation, as they will get involved with some decision making process to qualify the adoptive families. 

The whole thing is still in a flux and nothing definite has been established yet, and I believe that is one of the reasons why it takes longer to review and process and approve the EPs by the staff at the Ministry as they are working with new procedures and forms and other changes.

I am sure this will introduce more questions by some of you, but at least this posting offers some answers to many questions that have been asked.

Thanks for all the great comments and questions.
Let the children come home without further delays.

Steve Morrison