Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Korean Adoptee Reports on Orphanage Visit

From, Reporter Returns to Orphanage in Korea:
There are some adopted children who dream all their lives of meeting their birth families. They have imagined the reunion hundreds of times in remarkable detail: the hugs, the tears, the in-depth explanations of how and why.

I was never one of those kids.

Growing up as a Korean-American adoptee, I honestly can't recall any fairy-tale notions of reconciliation. From early on, I maintained a pragmatic view of my adoption, accepting and even appreciating the circumstances that had allowed me to grow up in the United States.

I knew little about my birthplace, only the details my parents had gleaned from their local adoption agency: that I had been left at a police station in Seoul and later turned over to an orphanage. My childhood, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, was loving and untroubled. I felt little reason to seek out further explanation.

I had, however, long pondered traveling to South Korea. Growing up, I fielded countless questions about my background and my ethnicity, all while knowing very little about Korean culture. I don't speak Korean; I had never visited and knew very little about the country, beyond what I had attempted to learn through books, articles and cuisine.

As a young adult, I decided that I wanted not only to visit South Korea, but to do so in a way that would honor my unique attachment to it. I just wasn't sure how.
Read the whole thing to discover what she (and her sister) found.


Lisa said...

This is a fascinating story, Malinda. I hope she feels better about a reunion later (if the birth family agrees). I teared up when I read the last part, how she left her contact info "just in case" they decide to find her after 30 years.

Margie said...

Thanks for posting this, I missed it while we were gone. Hope all is well in your world.