Cultural and Culinary Delights

By Maryann Post
June 2009

Our family is in process to adopt a baby girl from Korea, hopefully by the end of this year. As an adoption support group participant at the IAC Center, I was invited by Joni Mantell to attend a special luncheon for anyone interested in learning more about the history of Korea, as well as the cultural traditions of the country. On Saturday I attended that luncheon and it was so amazing, that I wanted to share my experiences.

I was invited to the home of June, a lovely Korean woman. I attended with a friend from my support group while our husbands stayed at home with our sons. As we drove up to June’s home, she greeted us at the door, dressed in a long, vibrant and colorful traditional Korean dress. She looked stunning. Then we met Young, another Korean woman who runs KSCPP: Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project. She was also dressed in a gorgeous traditional Korean dress. There was also another family attending the lunch, a very nice father and his son, who were interested in learning more about Korean culture.

We were given a short tour of June’s beautiful home and offered roasted corn tea, which was delicious. Next, we viewed a DVD covering some of the most significant “wonders” of Korea and its long and rich history. I was amazed at what I learned, for example, that the Korean alphabet was invented by King Sejong the Great in the year 1443 and remains one of the most logical, scientific, and truly phonetic alphabets in the world.

The DVD also introduced us to ancient Korean art, including painting, fine metal craftsmanship and construction that are unparalleled in its intricate detail and almost spiritual perfection.

After the DVD, we were served the most delicious authentic Korean lunch that I’ve ever tasted. Having dined at many Korean restaurants, including some of the best in the area, I could not believe that June’s kimchi was the very best I have ever tasted! It was fantastic. We had bi bim bap, prawn salad, bulgogi, sweet potato noodles with vegetables, and many other courses. Each dish was scrumptious and beautifully presented. I ate so much that I couldn’t eat dinner that night!

During lunch, we talked more about the history of Korea, modern day issues and the many inventions and cultural achievements of Korea, of which most Americans have never heard. We finished with desserts and cold sweet rice punch, which was so refreshing.

I urge anyone interested in Korea, or anyone considering or in process for adopting from Korea to attend this lunch when June offers it again. I learned so much, and for the first time, I began to feel a real connection to my future  daughter’s birth country. June and Young are genuinely kind and generous, and I want to thank them for making me feel so at home and so welcomed into their lives, and for teaching me about their culture and traditions. It was a special gift that I will treasure forever, and that I cannot wait to share with my daughter some day.

Contact Mary Ann at to learn more about her experience and plan to adopt from Korea.

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Based in Pennington, NJ