[LA Times] Retirement brightens as Korean couple take in foster children

December 4, 2014

 

Gabriel and Elizabeth Cho of San Dimas answered a call to fill a shortage of Korean foster parents (Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times)

Gabriel and Elizabeth Cho of San Dimas answered a call to fill a shortage of Korean foster parents (Steve Lopez / Los Angeles Times)

[LOS ANGELES TIMES]

One night in mid-September, Gabriel and Elizabeth Cho couldn’t sleep. The retired San Dimas couple were too excited about what the next day would bring. Mrs. Cho prayed, and she thought about preparing a second casserole, just in case one of her guests didn’t care for kimchi jjigae.

This new chapter in their lives had begun several months earlier, when they saw the news that Los Angeles County had about 600 to 800 Asian and Pacific Islander children who had been removed from their homes, but no licensed Korean American foster parents.

Some of those kids are under the temporary care of extended family. But others — traumatized by abuse or neglect — are dealt the added challenge of trying to start new lives in homes where the language, customs and food were all foreign to them.

“I thought, ‘OK, maybe it’s my place to take care of them,’” said Mr. Cho, and his wife endorsed the idea.

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