03 Jan Questions to Ask Your Foster Family
Note: This post is part of our full Korea Adoption: Guide to Seoul.
For most families adopting from Korea, you’ll get about two hours with your foster family. Two very special, incredibly sacred, and totally amazing hours! I promise you, those two hours will be the fastest hours of your life, as your brain tries to process that you’re actually here and your heart tries to soak up every second holding your baby and seeing your first and last glimpses of their foster home (if you’re with SWS, at least, as Holt and Eastern don’t hold visits in foster homes).
Those two hours are also an invaluable time to get as much information as possible about your little one. Though we continue to have a relationship with our foster family – which is so sweet and humbling, and something we don’t take for granted – this could be your last opportunity to fill in the story of your child’s first few months or years of life.
Brian and I figured we’d be distracted by Gideon, and sure enough, I spent the majority of those first hours with Gideon literally just staring at him. Though our social worker was available to translate for us, the first visit in the foster home flew by so fast, I hardly had time to ask foster mom any questions at all! I got the basics – allergies, foods he likes, and his clothing and shoe sizes – but I was so thankful our dear friend Yun had prepared a list of questions, already translated into Korean, that we could leave with foster mom to answer between our visits.
Because we didn’t have the time (or, rather, the focus) to ask even the basic questions during our visits, I probably should have left this entire list with foster mom. However, I didn’t want to overwhelm her with pages and pages of information I wanted from her, and looking back, most of the things we would have asked about schedules or comfort items were covered during custody anyway. So we just left the “sentimental questions” (aka all the questions under “Questions About Your Foster Family” below) with foster mom, which ended up being the most valuable anyway, as those are the priceless pieces of Gideon’s story that will one day – hopefully by his first year home – fill his lifebook. And we’re thankful we now know both Omma’s and Appa’s birthdays so we can celebrate them from afar!
I’ve included all of the questions in both English and Korean below, or you can follow this link to print the list for yourself: LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR FOSTER FAMILY. And since we don’t actually post photos of foster mom publicly to maintain her privacy, here’s a photo of how I spent 57 of the first 60 minutes we had with Gideon — just staring at him.
Questions About Your Child
a. What calms him/her when he/she is angry or sad?
아이가 슬프거나 화가 났을때 어떻게 달래주는게 좋을까요?
b. What sets him/her off?
아이를 울게 만드는 것이 있다면 무엇인가요?
c. Does he/she seek touch or avoid it?
아이가 스킨쉽을 좋아하나요? 아니면 피하나요?
d. How does he/she react when another child is upset? Or an adult?
주변의 다른 아이나 어른이 화가나면 어떻게 반응하나요?
e. What are his/her favorite activities and toys?
아이가 가장 좋아하는 활동과 장난감은 무엇인가요?
f. What was the first food he tried?
아이가 처음 먹은 음식은 무엇인가요?
g. What are his/her favorite food and treats? How can I prepare these foods or snacks?
아이가 가장 좋아하는 음식과 간식은 무엇인가요? 제가 그 음식들을 어떻게 준비할수 있을까요?
h. What is his/her favorite drink? Does he/she drink milk or soy?
아이가 좋아하는 음료가 있나요? 우유나 두유를 마시나요?
i. Any food he/she dislikes?
아이가 싫어하는 음식이 있나요?
j. Any food allergies?
음식 알레르기가 있습니까?
k. Any medication allergies?
약 알레르기가 있습니까?
l. What is he/she afraid of?
아이가 무서워하는것이 있나요?
m. When did he/she say his first word? What was it?
언제 처음 말했나요? 첫 단어는 무엇이었습니까?
n. What words or phrases do they say and understand and can you write those down for us?
말하고 이해하는 단어나 간단한 문장이 있나요? 있다면 적어주실 수 있나요?
o. When was his/her first smile?
아이가 처음 웃었던 때는 언제인가요?
p. When did he first crawl?
언제 처음 기었나요?
q. Does he/she use the potty? Does he/she wear a diaper all day or at bedtime?
아이가 유아용변기를 사용하나요? 기저귀를 찬다면 하루종일 차는지 잠 잘때만 차는지 궁금합니다.
r. How does he/she sleep? (alone/with someone, on a mat/crib, light, music, and for how long?)
아이가 어떻게 자는지 설명해주세요. (혼자/함께, 바닥/침대, 조명, 음악 수면시간등등)
s. What is his/her bedtime routine? (bath, snack, and etc.)
잠자기 전에 하는 일들이 있나요? (목욕, 간식등)
t. Does he/she take a nap?
u. Has he/she been around animals? If, so what does he/she think about them?
아이가 동물과 함께 생활한 경험이 있나요? 동물과 어떻게 지내나요?
v. Generally, what are his/her happiest and grumpiest times of the day?
일반적으로 하루중 가장 행복한 시간은 언제인가요? 기분이 안 좋은 시간은 언제인가요?
w. What size shirts does he/she wear?
아이의 상의 사이즈는 무엇입니까?
x. What size pants does he/she wear?
아이의 하의 사이즈는 무엇입니까?
y. What size shoes does he/she wear?
아이의 신발 사이즈는 무엇입니까?
z. Does he/she like to be carried in a baby carrier? Does he/she like to be carried on your back (Uh-boo-bah)?
아기띠를 좋아하나요? 어부바를 좋아합니까?
aa. Where does he/she eat at meal time? High chair/table/floor?
보통 어디에서 식사 하나요? (유아 식사용 의자/테이블/바닥)
ab. How do you know when he/she is hungry? when he/she is full?
배가 고플때 하는 행동이 있습니까? 배가 부를때는요?
ac. Where do you bathe him/her? Sink, tub? When do you bathe him/her?
어디서 목욕을 하나요? (싱크/욕조) 언제 목욕을 합니까?
ad. Does he/she have a nickname?
아이의 별명은 무엇입니까?
ae. Is there any Korean TV cartoons/show he/she enjoys?
아이가 좋아하는 만화나 어린이 티비 프로그램이 있나요?
Questions About Your Foster Family
a. Foster mom: tell us a little about yourself (birthday, favorite color, hobbies)
위탁 어머님에 대해 알고싶습니다. 생일이나 취미, 가장 좋아하는 색깔등등 어머님에 대해 알려주세요.
b. Foster dad: tell us a little about yourself (birthday, favorite color, hobbies)
위탁 아버님에 대해 알고싶습니다. 생일이나 취미, 가장 좋아하는 색깔등등 아버님에 대해 알려주세요.
u. What do you remember about the day you met him/her?
아이를 처음 만나신 날의 기억을 나누어주세요.
v. How old was he/she when he came to you?
저희 아이가 몇살때 부모님 가정에 왔나요?
w. What was your first impression?
아이의 첫인상에 대해 말씀해주세요.
x. What are a few of your favorite memories with him/her?
아이와 함께 한 추억중에 특별한 몇가지를 알려주세요.
y. What makes him/her different than other foster children you’ve had?
다른 위탁자녀들과 다른점은 무엇인가요?
c. What else would you like to tell him/her as he/she grows up?
아이가 자라면서 해 주시고 싶으신 말씀이 있으신가요?
d. What do you imagine he/she will become when he grows up?
아이가 자라서 어떤 사람이 되면 좋을까요?
e. Hopes and wishes for his/her future?
아이의 미래에대한 소망이나 바람을 알려주세요.