Dear Mrs. Jo and Julia,
Clifford has been telling us and sharing pictures of the wonderful time he had in Korea. It was certainly a happy and meaningful experience for him. I'm sure well catch up later, but Ophelia and I want to thank you both for making his time in Korea so rewarding and fun.
-Peter and Ophelia
I'm sure you all are exhausted (Julia, I believe you are still traveling!!!) from your long and wonderful trip!
I have received emails from some of you, and felt it was so necessary to send an email to all of you in response.
Let me start by saying that in a perfect world, where we don't have 3 children going off to college in a three year span, Kyle and I would have loved to have our whole family attend the Sejong trip to Korea. In an almost perfect world, at least Kyle or I would have loved to accompany Jack. But as it turned out, sending Maddy alongside Jack turned out to be the most perfect option! I feel like Maddy and Jack left JFK as typical teens, and came back changed somehow.... changed for the better, no doubt! I'm recognizing in them both a growth that maybe comes from a different understanding of who they are, where they are from, and for Maddy, learning about ALL sides of our family... not just the American side. Both of my kids said Korea was very different then they expected. They spoke of its beauty, cleanliness, food, sites, and friendly people! They both now have a tremendous and true love and respect for Korea and its people and culture!
Both Jack and Maddy have been steadily revealing to us pieces of the trip.....we have heard about the home stay, the hiking, the trip to Jeju island, the temple stay, Seoul, shopping, the University students, the adoption agency visit, the home for disabled children, and more!! What a well organized, well thought-out and well executed trip you all have given them!! A tremendous amount of time and effort must have gone into every aspect of this trip, so we thank you!
What we are sensing though from both of them was that the most important part of the trip was the combination of people who traveled together! They both feel a connectedness to the participants of the trip...and to you all!! Hyaekung, both Maddy and Jack have said repeatedly how they love you, and Jack has said numerous times that he feels he knows you much better now than just from camp! Linda, both of my kids think of you as a second mom....and Maddy says you are THE most hilarious person she has ever met! Your presence made them feel like they were at home halfway around the world! Julia, both of my children said you took the necessary (and not always easy) role of disciplinarian of the trip! Jack revealed to us that he was disciplined at the hotel, and both of my children said you ALWAYS are fair, and that they have the utmost respect for you! And Ellen, what an important and personal role you played on this trip!
I don't know all the details about your talks with Maddy and Jack.....some things I'm sensing will be kept private, and just for them. (As they should be!) They both said how wonderful you are, and that they had great talks with you!
I had NO IDEA what an impact this trip would really make on my children!!! They seem closer to each other, and connected in a very different way that I have ever seen! Jack stands a little bit taller, and seems internally prideful!
I wanted to take the time to send this note because each of you has made this trip possible, and successful, and I am forever grateful!! Both Maddy and Jack said they would NOT have changed a thing about the trip, and being witness to the escorting of the babies was a full circle experience!
Thank you again, for a life changing experience and trip for my children....I am so glad they were able to travel with a perfect grouping of children, and adults who were all fully invested in this trip!
In a perfect world, in a few years our family can all go when it's time to send Ella!! And if that's not possible, maybe Jack and Maddy can go back and escort their sister on her trip!
I wish you all a wonderful and restful summer!!! I look forward to seeing most of you at camp drop off!! Much love and thanks to you all,