Another very common reaction frequently
mentioned in reports is the child’s need for quantities of
food. In Korea these children rarely had enough to eat; in order
to satisfy their hunger, they had been given a starchy, bulky diet,
mainly of rice. As a result many had distended stomachs. Many of
these children had a fear of not having enough food.
During his first months here, Charles, 5½ years, overate
hugely. (He ate as much as eight slices of bread between meals.)
Now his appetite has tapered off. He eats well, but not more than
any healthy youngster.
At first food was so precious to Laura, aged 3 years, that if she
dropped as much as a crumb of toast, she would not take another
bite until she found the crumb.
The morning we visited, William, aged 4, came down the hall toward
the door with a box of cornflakes in his hand. He was on his way
out to join a little friend just a few houses down the street. The
parents told us that this business of carrying a box of cereal began
shortly after he arrived. He is generous about sharing, but will
not willingly part with the package. In fact on the first Sunday,
when they took him to church, they had to provide him with something
similar, so they put his cereal in a plastic bag which wouldn’t
rustle too much. . .
Korean friends and students, however, can be of great help in describing
their country, its history and folklore, to the parents and in telling
them about the customs and habits the children may be used to. ISS
has provided them with a simple Korean-English word list, which
is probably more useful before the arrival of the child, as a morale
builder, than as a practical help. Obviously, there are advantages
if parents are able to recognize and pronounce a half dozen important
The rapidity with which the children learn English is frequently
remarked upon by parents and workers alike.
I think the rapidity with which Soonee, 2 years and 3 months, is
learning English and with which she is becoming happy and secure,
is amazing. It is certainly a tribute to the adoptive parents as
well as to Soonee’s intelligence.
Amy, 3 years, knew three English expressions when she arrived six
months ago—“gum,” “ice cream,” and
“hello baby.” Now she chatters in English in the same
way any alert little girl does, and has forgotten all but a few