Howard Lake Herald, October 13, 1997

Second generation adoption

By ANDREA VARGO

Mea said, "Deep in my heart, I always wanted to adopt."

Mea and Todd had a good experience with their adoption process. It took less than a year.

Their newly adopted daughter, Mija, came from Seoul, Korea, and they flew over to pick her up, because they wanted to see her homeland.

The experience was very interesting, said Todd. "It was so crowded.

In the middle of the day there were six lanes of traffic each way that looked like Interstate 35W during rush hour."

Grandparents Elmer and Audrey Thiesse recalled the adoption of their daughter, Mea.

"We had four biological children and decided to adopt an older sister for our only girl," said Audrey.

The Thiesses went through the Children's Home Society of Minnesota in St. Paul.

"We really didn't get a lot of information about her, but we did get some pictures," she said.

They had requested a child who would be tall, since the rest of the family is tall. Mea is hardly five feet tall.

The society people also mentioned that she had a bit of a "wild personality." Mea lived up to that one, laughed Audrey.

So, 24 years ago, the Thiesses got off an airplane on their way home from a Florida vacation to be greeted by their oldest son.

He said, "You are getting company on Friday."

Mea was coming from Pusan, Korea, and they only had a few days to get ready, said Audrey. She was seven years old.

Audrey recalled her experience in Korea. "I had a terrible time finding shoes small enough for Mea. I would have to buy shoes for children all the time, and they weren't very stylish for a teenager."

She finally wrote to a shoe store in Seoul request custom made shoes for Mea.

The shoemaker wrote back and said, "You send money; I make shoes."

She sent the money, but never got the shoes. She wrote threating letters to no avail.

So, when they went to Seoul on a visit, she picked a shoe store out of over 400 in the shopping area and went in.

"Can you believe it was the right one? He even remembered the shoes and the name, " she said.

The business had changed names, and the mail never got to him, she said.

"Well, we got the black patent leather shoes, but they never did fit quite right," said Audrey.

Todd and Mea are busy with all the new skills necessary for coping with an active seven-month-old baby, and grandparents Audrey and Elmer are having fun all over again.


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