Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Won and Done!!!!

So you all know I finally got to meet my birth mother on Dec. 22. I'm not sure if it's really hit me yet. Possibly in a few days. Anyhow, Ms. Oh and I went down to Busan Wed. morning. Once we got there we went to the area where my birth mother suggested. We scouted out a coffee shop that was quiet and had a place where we could talk peacefully. Then Ms. Oh and I had some lunch before the meeting. At 3:00 P.M. she was waiting downstairs outside the coffee shop. I was sitting in the back waiting for Ms. Oh to come back with her. She came back and said she was already waiting outside the building. My birth mother sat down, didn't really look at me, and Ms. Oh walked away to go get our coffee. So I sat there with my birth mother without saying a word for a good 30 seconds. About 10 seconds in the tears started flowing.

The meeting went by pretty fast, we were only together for 40 minutes. But, it was definitely a good 40 min. The first thing she said was that I looked like her younger sister. Something as simple as that melted my heart. It's hard to explain that feeling when I look different from my ENTIRE family. But to finally see the face of the woman who gave birth to me and we have the same nose, double eye lids, and aparently similar teeth (according to her) it's just surreal. It's not something I can explain.

I was really worried that she wouldn't be too happy to see me. From the way Ms. Oh had told me about her talks with my birth mother it sounded like Ms. Oh put a lot of pressure on her. I do know that she does have a family and that she doesn't want them to know about her past and I respect that. But, I was just glad that she agreed to meet with me. And I could tell that she was glad she agreed to it too. Even if it was hard for her. To know that we can't contact each other again for quite a long time, but hopefully some day will be able to. She did request a picture of myself and the man I choose to marry. So, when that time comes I will send a picture to Eastern Social Welfare and hopefully they can get it to her. But until then there will be no more contact with her. I am OK with that. And I didn't even have to make myself pretend that I'm OK with it. I really am OK with that. Yes, I see a few of my friends who have good relationships with their birth families. But, for me, if it had happened then cool. If not, then cool. I have the best parents in the world and no one could take their place.

Some things I found out about my birth mother that she apparently passed down to me are her quiet nature when first meeting strangers. Her sensitivity likeliness to cry in emotional situations. Her puncutality, her nose, and her eyes.

As far as my birth father goes. Eastern has sent him a telegram which was actually given to his wife, but he has not tried to get in contact with Eastern. Ms. Oh said she will try again in Jan. That sometimes people don't respond, or wait and think about responding, or in my birth mothers case respond right away. For my birth father, whether or not I meet him isn't so important. I don't hold a grudge against him for not wanting to be with my birth mother anymore and deciding to give me up for adoption. For adoptees it's more the birth mother who is the most sought out.

This has been a LONG time coming and a great Christmas present. I had no idea that a year ago I would be living and working in the country of my birth and getting to meet my birth mother. If someone had told me that last December I think there would have been about a 50/50 chance I would believe them.

So here I am Monday at 3 PM sitting in a FREEZING classroom by myself. haha Such is life. But, 48 days until I get to go home!!!! For two weeks anyways. Definitely looking forward to Oklahoma. Back to where people speak English, back to good mexican food, back to family and friends. But until then...Winter camp must go on.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One step closer??

Made a trip to the adoption agency yesterday afternoon to start my F-4 visa process. I needed to get my adoption certificate as well as my family registry from the district office. While I was at Eastern Social Welfare Society I also looked through my adoption folder and got information on my birth mother search. You already know that I did a search back when I was in high school and they had found my birth mother, but she was married to a man who was not my birth father, have three kids, and living with her in-laws. So, she did not want to tell them that she had a child from a previous relationship, so did not want contact at the time. That was something I was OK with. Now that I am here I decided to do another search to see if she may have changed her mind. Long story short, they found her and Ms. Oh, my new best friend, talked to my birth mother on Wed. At first she had no desire to have any contact with me because of her situation, which is still the same as before. But, with much persuading by Ms. Oh, my birth mother is thinking about the possibility of meeting me, even for just 10 min. Ms. Oh told me that my birth mother is scared for a number of different reasons.
1. That her family will find out about her past. In the states it’s not such a big deal to have had a child from a previous relationship. But here in Korea, people think differently. She asked Ms. Oh to ask me if I would not go on TV to look for her. There is a TV show here in Korea that a lot of adoptees go on to try to find their birth families. Apparently, she’s been very frightened that she will see me on that show one day because her in-laws watch that show. I assured Ms. Oh that I would do no such thing. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to do that. Ms. Oh told me that in exchange for that, she would see if my birth mother would meet me. Haha She said, she’s doing something for you, so will you do this one thing for her. I hope she doesn’t say it like that because it could all end in disaster.
2. She is still very angry at my birth father. Apparently she was very much in love with him and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, but apparently she was the only one that felt that way. They lived together for three months, but there was a lot of arguing and when I was born my birth father was the one that decided they would give me up for adoption. My birth mother said she had no choice.
3. She’s afraid that if she meets me she will want to keep in touch with me and in turn having her family find out. Upsetting her family is not something I am set out to do. So, I understand her situation. All I want is to see her face, to hear her voice, even if for just 10 min. and then go our separate ways.
Next, they have information on my birth father. This is the first time I’m even hearing most of this. Because the last time they said they didn’t really have any information on him. But, I told Ms. Oh I would like to try and contact him as well. But, after hearing what went on between him and my birth mother I’m not expecting much.
I did find out a little more about my biological half-siblings. There are three of them. Two girls and one boy. The girls are 24 and 21 (in Korean age…so 22 or 23 and 19 or 20 depending on when they were born.) And the boy is 16 (so 14 or 15). I don’t think that I’ll ever get to meet them, but just know their ages is enough.
At this point my mind is just all over the place. Do I think a meeting will happen? Who the heck knows! But, it’s one step close than I was before. I also found out what my birth parents were hoping for as far as the kind of family I would be placed with. They wanted a caring family who was rich….so my birth parents and I are definitely on the same page!! Hahaha Just kidding mom and dad! You’ve definitely given me everything I’ve wanted and more!

Oh a happy note, I think I'm going to start volunteering at the agency playing with the babies while I'm on vacation. Since I'm not going anywhere and will probably be extremely bored, I might as well so hold some adorable Korean babies, no? haha I got to see them yesterday and they were all just soooooooooo cute!!!!! So, I knew I just had to go back!

Well that about sums up everything. I’ll try to keep you posted when I find out new info!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The next couple months of my life...

consist of Christmas break, winter camp, winter break, Lunar New Year, Spring Vacation, and home leave. haha

So my calendar looks like this:
December 1-21: School
December 22-26: Christmas Break
December 27-Jan. 14: Winter Camp
January 17-30: Winter Vacation
Jan. 31-Feb. 1: School
Feb. 2-4: Lunar New Year, No School
Feb. 7-11: School
Feb. 12-28: Home Leave
Mar. 1: No School
Mar. 2: School starts

Whew...that wore me out!!! I had my open class Nov. 11 and it went quite well. My kids were pretty good. Next week I will hopefully be able to apply for my F-4 visa and start thinking about Winter Camp.

Oh...I'm needing book recommendations!!! I'm in the process of reading a book called "Girl in Translation" or something like that. But, I'm sure I'll finish that one within the next month. So, would love some recommendations for when my break time rolls around!!!

Alright...until next time...
안녕

Friday, November 5, 2010

The re-signing process has begun...

I received papers to start the re-signing process last week. I turned in the paperwork and was then told Wendy, who is in charge of the English Education at our school that she talked to someone at the district office or SMOE that it's pretty much a 100% done deal that I will be back at Sindorim Elementary School next year! Which means the VP likes me and wants me to stay! haha Granted we have not always seen eye-to-eye, but keeping my mouth shut has paid off! haha

So, I have my open class on Thursday during 1st period with my 5-1 class. They are pretty noisy, but their English level is higher than the others and they are always participating. So, they were the best class to choose from. So after class I'm sure they'll want to talk to me like last time and then hopefully will tell me then that I can re-sign and blah blah blah!!!

I will be given 2 weeks to come home. Feb. 15 would be that date. Feb. 15-28. So, I will be home for my birthday! I suppose that makes up for not being home for Christmas. My first Christmas away from home and I have a feeling I will be spending it here by myself. I've been told constantly after being asked what am I doing for Christmas. And I answer nothing, that I need to "make a boyfriend". What do you say to that? I just politely chuckle and nod. I've been here for 8 months and in that time haven't had any luck, what makes you think I can do that in the 1 month I have until Christmas!?!?! haha Whatever, I'll just make myself some Mandu and watch my TV Shows and be happy because come Monday I'll be back at work. BLAH!!!!

Anyways, that's all for now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Winter is upon us...

As warm blooded as I am, once it starts to get cold, the temperature of my body no longer matters. In the last 48 hours the temperature has dropped drastically and I find myself sitting in our classroom wishing I had gloves on my cold hands and a beanie on my head! My favorite seasons are Spring and Fall, mostly because...well, the temperature is not too hot and not too cold. But, during those seasons the most common question I get from the people around me is, "Aren't you cold?" This is when I wish I could just wear a sign that says, "I'm not cold". When the seasons change here in Korea is seems like people automatically change their wardrobe to match. Even if the temperature is warm in the fall there are those people who are wearing coats and thick leggings with boots. I tend to start overheating when I just glance at those crazy people. I don't know if it's the mindset or the fact that "Korean people don't sweat". hahaha

Even though we pretty much have all four seasons in Oklahoma, I don't really have a wardrobe for them all. I tend to wear the same thing year 'round adding a jacket or coat when the weather is too cold for short sleeves. But, now that the cold is showing it's UGLY face I think leggings under my jeans is the best way to keep from freezing my tush off in a classroom without insulation. Even though it's a bit warmer than the halls of the school, but nontheless it's cold enough.

So today after school I will be going to Technomart and E-Mart for groceries and a beanie and gloves to tide me over until my box from home comes that contains my favorite beanie and warm gloves.

At least the chattering hasn't started yet (touch wood).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Korean Life...

So it's been 7 months. Seven months living in a coutry where I still don't know the language. Seven months of teaching kids and adults English. Seven months of living on my own. Seven months of having to pay my own bills. Seven months of not being able to see my friends and family. However, I did get to see my parents at the 7 month mark!!!!

I still sometimes wonder what if I stayed in Oklahoma? Would I have passed my teacher certification test? Would I have found a job? Would I still be working part-time at the YMCA? There I go again on the "what if's". That dreaded adoptee characteristic. lol

I've made some great friends, I've gotten some amazing experience, and I'm slowly but surely learning more and more Korean words. lol Not necessarily phrases, but words.

I do still find myself incredible lonely, but maybe that's a good thing. I don't know. lol

Anywho, my parents visit was great! Had a great time with them. Not really having to spend any money. lol My mom found some great handmade Korean paper which I believe is called Hanji. Or something that sounds like that. lol She bought quite a bit. And I bought some awesome socks!! haha Socks are apparently a big there here in Korea and they sell really cute ones for like 1,000won which is like $.90. So I got some with Taeyang from Big Bang on them and a pair with Ramyun on them. haha I also did some clothes shopping and got a pair of shoes.

Tomorrow is sports day at school!!!!!! So no class and I get to watch everything!!! So I will be taking pictures and video!!! So pics and video will be posted on my facebook of sports day!!!! They really do go all out for this shindig!!!! I'm tellin ya!!!!

So, update on coming home. I will be home possibly in Feb. for two weeks. Camp will most likely start on Dec. 27 and will last for 2 or 3 weeks, not sure yet.

That's it.
안녕!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I've watched this video about 20 times and still love it!!!!

This is from one of my favorite shows, "So You Think You Can Dance". This year they brought All-stars back to dance with the contestants. The All-star in this one is Twitch and Alex is the contestant. Alex, the really cute Asian guy, is a professional ballet dancer and he was to dance hip-hop with Twitch. This is their routine and it is incredible!!!!!!

P.S. I only put this here because this is what has been keeping me entertained while I'm at home all alone. haha I download TV shows. It's fantastic!

P.P.S. Actual post to come this weekend when I have nothing to do!

Article about this incident below!!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wow...

Here is an article from the Korean Times about this old woman who yells and grabs a teenage girl by her hair and pushes her around the subway car. Video to follow.

Brawl of old woman, teenage girl in subway car causes stir

By Kwon Mee-yoo

A carriage on subway line No. 2 turned into a fight arena when a young teenage girl talked down to an older woman who savagely assaulted the student in response.

The scene was captured by another passenger and uploaded to various websites and YouTube, causing a huge stir among netizens, Monday.

The video clip shows the old lady reprimanding the student for sitting cross-legged and the young girl talking back to her. Losing her temper, the old woman grabbed the girl’s hair, pushed her around and threw her on the seat in the car, while other passengers watched the scuffle.

At the end of the clip, the teen girl shouted into her cell phone, “I hate Korea, dad!” and swore at the old woman. Then she noticed the person recording the scene and said: “Upload it onto YouTube.”

Eyewitnesses explained other details not included in the video. They said the student sat with her legs crossed, wearing shoes smeared with mud and it had stained the old lady’s clothes.

She asked the girl to remove her dirty shoes from the seat and the student apologized twice. The old woman continued to scold her with abusive words and the teen girl then refuted and began talking back to the old lady, when the recording of the clip started.

A netizen said the old woman habitually provokes quarrels with other subway passengers and demands younger people to give up their seats for her.

Reaction from the general public was divided into three types — some blamed the rude schoolgirl for using crude language to the older lady, while the others condemned the old woman who attacked the young student and began quarreling with her.

The third group blamed the onlookers for doing nothing. “I think the people around them just watching are also part of the problem.

They should have pulled them apart,” a netizen nicknamed Mirunamu said.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm loving having my parents here, but once they leave I know I'll go back to having trouble keeping myself entertained. Granted I have been on a movie binge and it's been great!!!!! But, I just need to get myself out and doing something. It's a good thing I'm taking that cooking class and going on that trip. Hopefully I can meet some more people to hangout with. There's so many people in this freakishly huge city, but I've never felt so lonely in my entire life. Especially ones that speak English.

I've done quite a bit of retail therapy while my parents have been here and it's been GREAT!!!! haha But, even that doesn't help with the loneliness. It just puts more crap in my apartment.

Grrrr...rant over!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

8 days and counting!!!!

My parents will be here in 8 days!!!! WHOO!!!! I'm so excited to see them and to get me some more clothes from home!! haha I'm pretty sure people at school are getting tired of seeing me in shorts and a t-shirt everyday. But, it's been too dang hot to wear anything else! However, it's been rather cool the last couple days, thank goodness!!

I started my adult class this week. Monday was the first day and I had one of the most horrible days since I've been here. It was HOT, I was extremely tired because the night before didn't get any sleep, it was my first day with my new co-teacher and the 6th graders and she was not what I was expecting, then in my adult class a couple of the students complained because the questions I was asking about what they were expecting from the class and what they wanted to work on were too hard. I almost started crying right then. When I'm that tired and that hot, my whole resolve will just crumble. Luckily I refrained and Wednesday was a bit better.

Now let me tell you about my Wednesday! haha So after class one of my students, Anna, came up to me and needed help with something on the computer. I was happy to help, but I wasn't really sure what she was needing until we got upstairs to the classroom. Her husband imports golf club grips from the States and China and he tried to buy some from GolfWorks, but it didn't go through and they had gotten an e-mail from them and she wasn't sure what it meant. So, I read it and basically it just said that they still had stuff in their shopping cart. But, when we went to the site, there was nothing in there. So her husband said it was because the IP address was different, so she wanted me to go to her house to see if I could figure out what was wrong. So, since I didn't have anything to do last night I was happy to help. So, we went to her house and I figured out that they had put an @ in the address line and that's what was messing it up. So, after I figured out what was wrong her and her husband wanted to take me out to dinner. I will never turn down a free dinner!! haha So, we waited for 1 of their 2 sons to come home from Academy so we could go to dinner. I have both of her sons in class. One of the 6th grader and the other is a 4th grader. So, we ended up going to a samgapsal place (Korean BBQ). I ATE FOR PROBABLY 3 PEOPLE. haha It was sooooooooo good and they just kept ordering more. I especially liked the grilled kimchi! AMAZING!!!! Then their 2nd son eventually showed up and he was totally taken by surprised and didn't look happy at all. haha They were really giving their sons a hard time for not talking to me. And I totally understand why they weren't. And I felt super bad about it. Then after that we went and have chicken and beer. OH MY GOSH!!!! They expected me to eat MORE!!! So I had like 1 chicken leg and some ttok, which is the rice cakes. The 4th grader started talking a bit more. He said a couple things to me later in the evening. He is just too cute and I want to just put him in my pocket and take him home. lol So after dinner they drove me home as well. haha Overall it was a very good evening. Anna, my adult student, her husband can speak a little English, but not much. But he was trying and I kinda feel bad that Anna had to translate the whole night. lol But it was great spending time with another one of my adult student's family.

So, I'm making myself go out and do more things in order to meet people. I'm taking a Korean cooking class and then going on an Adventure Korea trip with the girls to ride ATV's, learn to make cheese, and visit a Temple. It's an overnight trip, but it's only for foreigners! So, it should be a rockin good time!!!! And hopefully will get to meet some great people!!!!

Well...that was a pretty long update, so I'm gonna end right here. lol

Probably won't update until after my parents leave, so hope all is well with ya'll!!!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Part 2 of the Adoptee Article

So first week back is almost over. I've only taught 6 classes all week. The first two days we just did preparation. Yesterday was a normal day. Today...because of the apparnet typhoon that actually came at about 6:00 this morning school was delayed 2 hrs. Some schools even cancelled classes. It's supposed to get back later in the day, but I hightly doubt that is going to happen. I think it has passed. I did end up waking up at 6:00 this morning to heavy wins and loud rain. But that was about it. By the time I was on my way to school it was just misty and a bit windy, but nothing I'm not used to being in Oklahoma.

Tomorrow I will have my normal 5 classes and then bowling with a group of friends!! Which should be so much fun...HOPEFULLY!!! lol

Like I promised...here is the second part of the adoptee article.
Part 2 of Adoptee Article

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Small update

My vacation is officially over today. :( Tomorrow school starts back up with my new co-teacher. I have no idea what we will be teaching tomorrow if anything. Right now, I'm just trying to get this research paper written. I'm almost done, just one more page to go. My 2 weeks of camp were tiring, but also so much fun! There were times when I just wanted to yell at some of the kids, but they were just too adorable and they were just having fun. I'm most likely going to be teaching most of them in an after school class for extra pay. So I'm kinda looking forward to that.

So, 3 weeks of school and then I get to see the parentals!!!! WHOO!!!!! I'm so excited!!!! I've been told that Seoul won't be so crowded during their time here, because most people will go back to their hometowns because it's Chuseok, which is Korea's Thanksgiving. So that should be good! I'm really looking forward to showing them around.

I think it's a good thing that schools starting back up. It will give me less time here at home by myself feeling lonely and more time thinking about other things. lol It has been 6 months and they say that the culture shock/homesickness is at it's greatest at 3, 6, and 9 months. So, I guess it's only natural. I am started to wonder if staying here another full year is what I want. But, then what would I do if I came home? I have no job prospects, I don't have the money to go back to school, and Oklahoma isn't where I want to stay. So, what am I to do? I have no idea!! haha I'll figure something out eventually.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Adoption Post #2

So, I contributed a little to a fellow adoptees article about Korean Adoptees. Here is my response, the article she has written, and follow up answers. There will be more articles posted from her and I will post them as she writes them. ENJOY!!!

Answering the adoptee questions:

I was adopted at the age of 3 months to a white family in the state of Oklahoma. I spent the first seven years of my life in Oklahoma City going to a private school where there was actually one other Korean adoptee who I became friends with. There were also a few other asian kids at the school as well. Right before I started 2nd grade we moved to Edmond, Oklahoma which is just north of Oklahoma City and a predominately white town. I spent the rest of my childhood in Edmond. I don't remember finding myself having the so-called "identity crisis" as a kid. I was always surrounded by great family and great friends who never once made me feel like I was different even though I pretty much was. My friends always tell me..."Caroline, you're the whitest asian we know." It's true and I'm OK with that. As far as dealing with any discrimination there was a boy who lived down the street from me who would always make rude comments to me whenever he saw me. Or he would throw things like balls or frisbees at me when I was riding my bike or roller blading by his house. But, that didn't really seem to bother me all that much.

I've always known that I was adopted. I don't remember a time when I didn't know. My parents have always been very supportive in any decisions that I make involving my adoption. They will forever be my parents, but I came to the realization when I was 13 that I wanted to try to find my birth parents. So my parents helped me start the search with Dillon International Adoption Agency in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is the agency they got me through. The search didn't turn out as I had wanted. They found my birth mother, but she had her own family to consider and didn't want contact at the time. I understood that she had her own life. That she did what she had to do when I was born and I am forever grateful to her for wanting to give me a life that she didn't think she could.

I am now 24 years old. I'm living and working in Seoul, South Korea as an English Teacher. I've always wanted to come back to Korea to learn about my heritage because I never really took advantage of any of the "Korea Camps" that Dillon International put on. So I thought what better way to learn about my heritage than to immerse myself in it completely. It has definitely helped me fill a little bit of the hole that I think a lot of adoptees have. It's a bit strange here because I've never not been the minority. Here I'm part of the majority and for some odd reason it's hard to wrap my head around it. It's also somewhat frustrating in that I cannot speak Korean and people are always expecting that I can. So when I reply to them in English I always get these quizzical looks like...What's wrong with you? Why aren't you speaking Korean? It took me a while to get used to that, but now it doesn't bother me as much.

I've decided that while I am here that I will try to make contact again with my birth mother since it has been 9 years. There's just that curiosity that I will always have if I never get to meet her. Do I look like her? Do we have any of the same interests? Does she think about me? There would be no expectations from me as far as a relationship goes. It's more of just wanting to meet her and thank her for doing what she did for me.

Being here in Korea has definitely helped me with finding myself. It has helped me figure out some of the reasons I am the way that I am. To me it feels like home. But then, America has always felt like my home as well. Which is why I am so proud to be Korean American. I know that Korean's are very prideful and now I understand why. And to be able to say that I am Korean is a privilege in itself. A fellow adoptee friend of mine and I were talking not too long ago and he says something that I find to be 100% true. As adoptees, we tend to live our lives asking the "what if's." What if I hadn't been given up for adoption? What if I lived in Korea my whole life, what would I be doing? What if...what if...what if. It's inevitable that those thoughts will run through our heads. But, as out of place as I seem to feel at times, I'm having a blast here.

The article:

The follow up answer:
What makes my experience in this country unique? I guess the fact that this is somewhat considered "home". A part of me feels like I belong here. Well, that is until someone asks me a question in Korean and I have to reply with, "sorry I can't speak Korean." But it's the place of my birth, it's where my ancestors are from, and it's in my blood. Before coming here I knew relatively nothing about Korean culture. As I got older there was a part of me that was interested in learning about my cultural background, but never put forth the effort to learn about it. It's been an amazing experience learning about the Korean culture first hand by living here in the country instead of reading about it in books and on the internet. I think the thing that makes adoptees experiences over here different from other Korean Americans is that our parents are most likely not of the same ethnicity, so we don't get a taste of what it's like to be "Korean." We don't grow up hearing the language. We don't grow up eating Korean food. We don't grow up around other Korean kids. It's weird to say that for us adoptees we have to go searching for those things. We aren't surrounded by them on a daily basis. It seems to me that as adoptees we do a lot of searching. Searching for who we are, searching for ways to fit in, searching for our birth families, and the list can go on and on. I sometimes find myself thinking that maybe I need to stop searching. Maybe I just need to be satisfied with what I have, with who I am. But, then there's that voice in the back of my head telling me that you will never be truly satisfied until you see the face and hear the voice of the woman who gave you life.

I guess patience is one thing that most adoptees are experts at when it comes to things like this. But, sometimes it's just too hard to wait.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Off Topic

Alright, so this has nothing to do with my travels. Other than these are some of my favorite Korean celebrities. lol Not to mention I could stare at these men for hours!!! haha So in no particular order here we go.


First up...

Taeyang of Big Bang. He is also a solo artist who just released his first full album. Which I have and love it!!! I spent the first 2 weeks of it's release listening to it and only it.


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Second...

Daniel Henney. He's a Korean American actor/model. He's actually a "half breed." lol His mother is a Korean American Adoptee and his father is Caucasian. He's been in quite a few Korean drama's and a couple of Korean movies. In the states he is on the TV Show Three Rivers and plays Agent Zero in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." I think that half and half Korean Americans are so good looking!!! There is one more on my list. But we will get to him later. Daniel Henney also sings a little as well.


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Third...

Gong Yoo. He is a Korean actor/model. He is the main character in the drama "1st Shop of Coffee Prince," which I love!!! He also sings some and is great at that too. Plus I love a guy who looks great in glasses!


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Last but not least...

Dennis O'Neil. He's a Korean American actor/model as well. Also half and half. His mother is Korean and his father is a former American GI. He's been in several Korean dramas.


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Alright...that's all for now. I will try to post about Busan later this week. Turns out I don't have to stay at school until 5 this week!!! THANK YOU VP FOR HAVING MERCY ON ME!!! haha

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Oneroom!

Grrrr...sorry the video didn't work!!!!

Also, Jesse and I will be going down to Busan on Saturday morning!!!! My first REAL trip out of Seoul!!!! WHOO!!!! I will be taking LOTS of pictures and video!!!! So hopefully I can post about our crazy adventure sometime next week while I'm at work. lol

In the mean time...I've cleaned my apartment! I'm having dinner with Yoo Yoon and Dr. Daniel Vestal tonight. Dr. Vestal is the head of CBF. Big wig!!!! lol So dinner should be good.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Korea is doing my body GOOD!!!

HAHAHA Jesse and I attempted a jjimjilbang today. OMG! I haven't seen so many naked women in my entire life! haha Anyways, there was a scale there, so I thought what the heck! I haven't weighed myself in months. Turns out since I've gotten here to Korea I've lost 18lbs. EIGHTEEN!!!! That's crazy!!!! My goal I think is to try to lose at least 10 more. Then I'll be down to about 125. I got P90X from a friend, so once I get my resistance bands here from my parents I will start doing that and hopefully more weight will come off! I also plan to keep going to crossfit whenever I can. 18lbs. I just can't believe it. lol No wonder none of my pants fit anymore. haha

Well, a lot has been going on. Mostly trying to take more pictures as well as trying to go to the beach. lol We made it to the beach, but it was crowded, dirty, and smelly. lol So we didn't stay long even though it took us forever to get there.

I went to the Dual Citizenship Seminar on Saturday. Realizing it's not going to be worth it. And because it's such a new law that was passed there are still a lot of unanswered questions. So, I'm not going to try to apply for it. I did end up meeting a few other adoptees. Mostly at the KoRoot house which is a place for Adoptees to stay while they are here for a short period of time for cheap. It was definitely cool to meet other adoptees from around the world mostly Europe.

Below are a couple pictures from Yongsan Park. I was dilly dallying around before I went to crossfit last week. Found this cool Pagoda park and this creepy hand. lol





5 more days until I have to go back to work. I'm so not looking forward to it!!! Being at school from 9-5. BLAH!!!! By myself. GRRRRRRR!!!!!!! haha Oh well. I guess I'll survive.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick overview of the past few days...

Let's see I've spent the last 6 days with Jesse...Friday night was spent at Tyler's house for his birthday. His birth mother and sister were there as well as his aunt. Then his wife and wife's friend, and a bunch of adoptees, myself and Jesse. Jesse was the only non-korean person there. lol Which was kinda funny.

Saturday was spent walking around in the RAIN and a trip out to COEX Mall with Jesse.

Sunday, Jesse and I went to Boramae Park.

Monday, last day of school!!!! I met/participated in the interview for my substitute co-teacher. The Vice-Principal hired the one I was hoping he would hire! Her English was very good and she just seemed like a great person to work with. YAY! Monday after school we went to Myeong-dong for some shopping.


Tuesday we went to the Korean War Memorial. We only got to talk outside, we didn't get a chance to go in the museum because we were going to do CrossFit with Tyler. If you're ever heard of CrossFit you know that we went through the ringer. If not, here is a video that kind of shoes you some of the stuff you might do. We actually did partner work so together as a pair we did 800m run, 100 pull-ups, 100 push ups, 100 squats, and 100 burpies or up-downs. It was killer and I think I tore or damaged a tendon in my right arm in the process. But Jesse and I are going back tomorrow for day 2.




Today, Wednesday, Jesse and I went out to some Tomb WAY out in the middle of nowhere!!! We rode the subway North for about an hour and 15 min. Found a Pizza Hut, then took a bus for a good 45 min. We eventually made it by 5:00. lol Here are some pics from our crazy, hot day!!!




Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quick update with pics- ANNOUNCEMENT!!!



First, I will be trying my best to update my blog now at least once or twice a week. I really will try!! haha And I will try to at least post 1 or 2 pics every post. I downloaded a new app on my iphone thanks to Jesse who found it and it's SWEET!!! It's a Korean photo app called Pudding Camera. If you have an iPhone and want a better camera app download Pudding Camera!

Also, I would love to get more feed back from you all!! If you can't figure out how to comment, or use the chatbox, feel free to shoot me an e-mail!!!!

Tomorrow starts my last week of school!!!! WHOO!!!! Then I'll have three weeks of sleeping in til 8. lol I'll be working my butt off this week making my curriculum for camp and trying to start learning some more Korean. I ended up buying two books the other day when I was at Technomart getting another book for camp. Who knows if I'll actually use one of them. lol

Friday after school I decided to try to clean my apartment. It's super dusty, so I brought my little mask the school gave us during the war drill which won't even protect anyone from gas much less protect me from dust. haha Thing didn't work at all. But, I did dust and vacuum some. Then did dishes and broke my faucet. I have one of those retractable ones, but the handle that pulls out pulled completely off. haha So I called my coteacher to see if she could call my land lady to explain what happened. The land lady's husband came down first, started speaking Korean to me, turned on the water and it sprayed all over my floor yet again. He then left, and eventually came back and put another handle on! Faucet back in action!!

Saturday, Jesse and I went to Itaewon, walked around trying to find Dos Tacos. Never found it. Ended up eating at Quizzno's and then Cold Stone. lol Then we met Justin at Technomart. Then Justin and I went back to my apartment and he fixed me my favorite...Mandu...which are dumplings. We had mandu, kimchi, rice, and hotdog weiners. haha It was amazing! I cooked the rice of course, but he did the mandu and hotdogs.

Sunday, Jesse and I went to Times Square so I could get the audio CD for camp, then ate lunch at On the Border. Then we went to Seonyudo Park that was pretty cool and walked around down by the Han river. The sun eventually came out, which was great. But still very humid all day long. Lots more pictures posted of Facebook!!!

OK, well I must get up on time tomorrow, so it's off to bed for me!

Nighty Night!!

P.S. I hope my parents and grandpa are having fun without me while they are up in the Northeast...and congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Simon...so sad I couldn't be at your wedding cuz!!!

Tried to take a picture of my new earrings. For those of you who don't know, I hate anything gold. But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE these earrings. haha Mostly because Justin made them for me. haha But still, they're pretty sweet and I love them to death! Such a sweet boy!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Long time...

Lots and lots of news to catch people up on.


So there are 11 days of school left! I find myself becoming more and more stressed out as the end of school approaches. I’ve got to plan two weeks of summer camp on my own. No curriculum was given this year, so I’m starting from scratch. I’m teaching 1st and 2nd graders, so that should be interesting. I do have a co-teacher, but I’m the one who is in charge of camp. She’s just there to be a helper and rally the kids if need be. I do have one week before camp of desk warming/preparation where I have to be here at school the entire week, most likely by myself. I do have 14 days off. One week is paid vacation, the other week is “research at home.” Haha Apparently I have to write a research paper about what I did over that week at home. So very strange!!!


Last week I didn’t end up getting home at night until late all but one night. Monday after school I had dinner with a friend, Tuesday I had dinner with a guy from IECEF which is the organization that helped me get this teaching job, Wednesday I was invited over to one of my adult student’s home and she is the grandmother of one of my 5th grade students, then Friday night was at a salon getting my hair cut and magic straight, which is basically the opposite of a perm. I love it, but it’s just too dang hot to keep my hair down. After getting my hair did, I met up with my friend Jesse from high school. Being in Korea we managed to eat at western places for every meal. Haha Anyways, then Sunday the two of us eventually met up and went to Itaewon and Myeong-dong. Again, eating a western places. I probably gained about 2 pounds last weekend, which is not a good thing. Lol But, my pants are still way too big, so I’m not too worried.


Tuesday, there was a Dillon International Adoptee dinner at Eastern Social Welfare Society which is the agency I was at when I was born before I came to the states. There really wasn’t an “ah ha” moment, but it was good to meet Jann and see Dukkyung again. Dukkyung was actually my social worker when I was born. She knew me before my parents did. I had also met her a while ago when my mom and I visited Deniese Dillon at Dillon International in Tulsa. There were only two adoptees at the dinner, but it was great meeting her. We had Pizza Hut pizza which was very good. No corn on the pizza, so I was a happy girl! After dinner I decided to go see Cookin’ Nanta with the birth land tour group that was here with Jann and Dukkyung. The best decision I’ve made since I’ve been here. It was an incredible show. It’s basically a Korean cooking version of Stomp. It’s been on Broadway and it’s playing around the world. If you ever get a chance to see it, I HIGHLY recommend it! It was great meeting Jann. We got a long great, which was surprising to me. Just the fact that I’m pretty reserved when it comes to meeting new people. But with Jann it seemed like we were old friends. That hardly ever happens with me. Lol Anyways, I heard that someone (not naming names…*cough* Fetzer *cough*) gave Jann the link to this blog. So Jann if you are reading this…It was great meeting you and I want to thank you and Dukkyung for dinner and then for letting me tag along to Nanta.


Another happy note! I’ve received 3 care packages from friends back home!! One from my amazing Sunday School class along with a card from the church staff. Thanks guys!! And then 2 from my friend Joanna aka ICE!!!! I loved getting the pictures, book, mac and cheese, jiffy pop, hot cocoa, and trail mix from the Sunday School class. Then the AWESOME “Ride the Bee” mug, twizzlers, and the most AMAZING pair of sunglasses on earth from ICE!!!!!!





I went ahead and got a membership to Costco. It was 35,000W for a year. So not too bad. I ended up buying Dr. Pepper, pasta, popcorn, and pesto sauce. I can't believe I ever found pesto. I've been looking for it everywhere and this is the first place I've seen it! I was so happy. It might be a gigantic tub of it, but I bought a LOT of pasta with Mia, so we decided to split it. lol So I'm pretty excited, tortellini with pesto sauce is going to be my dinner tonight with a Dr. Pepper...life is good!!!




Taeyang...singer of Wedding Dress that is on my player on here just came out with a full length album today called "Solar," I downloaded! lol It's incredible! Does have the songs from his mini album, but then 8 new songs! The entire album has such a great beat, a bit R&B, hip-hop, pop, it's great!!!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Quick post before I go out for the day...

So I've been super busy with figuring out what to do for summer camp. I've got to come up with everything on my own. So I've been totally stressed out about that. The semester is almost over!! July 19th is my last day. Then I get almost three weeks off!

Secondly, Friday night I went to a Korean salon for the first time. One of my beginner adult students was kind enough to take me. Granted her English is a bit rough, but we managed. The workers in the Salon were all younger people. Probably around my age or a little older, so they knew a TINY bit of English. One girl more so than the others. But they tried to hard to speak to me in English. It was great. Since I was there for 3 hours, I guess they kinda felt obligated to talk to me. lol I got a hair cut and magic straight done. The magic straight was what took so long. But I'm definitely happy with it! I can now just blow dry my hair and it's not poofy and wavy anymore!!! So the following picture is the result. Granted I haven't been able to wash my hair since then. So it's a bit nappy looking.



Well, I'm off to Itaewon and wherever else for the day with my friend Jesse who I haven't seen since High School. She's here studying at Yonsei for two months. It's so great to finally see a familiar face!!!!!

Peace out!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grrr...

Gots to stop going to bed too early because that just means up at an unruly hour and tired at work. These Korean's are very perceptive...especially my students.

That's all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Been a while...

Not too much to report. Mainly just been busy working and working. I did have a couple of days off where I did pretty much nothing. haha I did finally make it to the Costco which is AWESOME!! I got a case of 20 Dr. Peppers. It's amazing! No England Dr. Pepper here, thank goodness. It's the REAL stuff!!!

Right now I'm sitting here in my "Reds" jersey keeping an eye on the score of the Korea vs. Greece game. Let's go Reds!!!

Had kind of a rough day today, but a certain someone helped me out of it and he doesn't even know it. What would I do without him. Now if he could just win the lottery so he could possibly come here sooner than Oct. or Nov. hahaha

People always ask me...what do you miss about America the most? My answers...GARBAGE DISPOSAL AND A CLOTHES DRYER!!!! OMG!!!! hahaaha And the ability to throw away food and not feel so guilty. lol Crazy Koreans and their rules!

Ugh...enough rambling...peace out!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Letters from my 4-2 class...

Ok, so here are the letters from my students I got on Teacher's Day. Mind you, the spelling is just as they wrote. So no typos. hahaha Enjoy!!

MY FAVORITE!!!!!!
Hello Caroline teacher!
I'm in the 4grade 2th class Song June sung.
I think you don't like me much.
But I like you so much. Because,
you are so beautiful and cute!
I think your English is excellent!
last like you! than see you next time!
from. Song June sung

Dear Caroline teacher
Hello. teacher. I am Lee Jae Kyong in class four two. Thank you for teaching me.

Dear Caroline teacher.
Hello? My name is chlseok min
This is your first time teacher's Day
This make the cards very difficult.
But teacher's are me teach's very difficult thinks.
thank you!

Dear Caroleline teacher
Hello teacher
My name is Jungwon
You are a very good teach me.
So I'm thaks for you
bye, bye

Dear Caroline teacher.
Hello, my name is Ji Sun song
In class four two
Thank you for teach me

Dear Careline teacher.
Hi. I'm Minseo.
Thank you for teaching me.
English is very difficult. But,
you teach me very well.
Happy Teacher's Day.
Good bye~!

Dear Careline teacher.
Hi, careline teacher. Nice to meet you.
I think you work hard to teach us.
I think you teach very well.
Thank you to teach us.
So I want to meet you.
I will come when next English class.
Jeon Hyon tae

Friday, May 14, 2010

Adoption Post

As proud as I am of being adopted I don't talk about it much. Other than my parents, the Fetzer's are the only ones I've talked to in depth about it. It's not easy for me to talk about the way I feel about it because I constantly find myself tearing up for no real reason. So maybe writing about it will better help me explain what's been going through my mind for the past 14 years. So here goes...this is 은 진, unplugged.


As much as I say I don't like Oklahoma, it's home. It's where I've lived almost my entire life. It's where my family and friends are. But, growing up there, there was never the opportunity to be exposed to the culture I was born into. It's not until now that I realized that I wish I had been exposed to it. It's not on my parents. I just never showed any interest. It was normal for me to always look different from my friends. I never really had any asian friends growing up except for the other Korean adoptee when I was at Villa Teresa. But after I moved I didn't see him again until college and even then I didn't really ever talk to him. My friends always tell me..."Caroline, you're the whitest asian we know." It's true and I'm OK with that. It's a bit strange here because I've never not been the minority. Here I'm part of the majority and for some odd reason it's hard to wrap my head around it. I've said it before, I've never seen so many asian people in one place in my life. haha


I find myself still trying to figure out who I am. Still at the age of 24 I feel like something's missing. I don't know if it's the fact I have yet to meet the woman who gave birth to me, if it's the fact that I know I can support myself on my own. But, I know I am PROUD to be Korean American.


I met a fellow adoptee Monday night I feel like could be a good friend down the road. His name is Tyler. He's 3 years older, married, and in the military. I went with him to this adoption day event. May 11 is National Adoption Day here in Korea which is promoting more domestic adoption. There are people here in Korea who are wanting to stop International Adoptions all together. But the event seemed more like wanting to support a law that gives more care to single mothers and adoptees. That sounds like a good law. Because apparently in the past , and still even now single mothers are not treated well. We heard some speakers, mostly wanting to revise the law and then watched a film about an adoptee who was in search of his birth mother and eventually found her. And then their journey on getting to know each other. You find out the mother didn't want to give him up for adoption. He was given up for adoption by his aunts and uncle while his mother was out looking for work. The mother was devastated and had tried searching for him, but never found him until he started a search. In the end she was a strong advocate for stopping International adoptions all together.


Tyler and I have discussed this. haha We both don't think it's a good idea at all. Korea isn't ready for that. We believe that Korea isn't ready for domestic adoptions if they look down on single mothers as much as they do. But apparently there are a lot of adoptees here who have a pretty radical way of thinking when it comes to being adopted. Mostly because of the upbringing they had. But for Tyler and I, we had a great upbringing.


For me, I wouldn't trade my parents for the world. They never once deprived me of letting me know where I came from. When I wanted to do a search for my birth parents when I was 14 they were alright with it. They supported me through everything. They were there no matter what. I couldn't have asked for anything more. I know my birth mother wanted to make sure that I had parents who would care for me the way should felt like she couldn't. For me, wanting to meet her, would mainly just serve my curiosity in what she looks like. Do I look like her? Do we have any of the same interests? Does she think about me? And to thank her for going through what she did in order to give me a "better" upbringing. How can I be mad at her? She gave me life. She didn't have to. She and my birth father weren't together when she found out she was pregnant. She could have easily said..."I can't do this." But she didn't. And for that I am forever grateful. Tyler said something that I find to be 100% true. As adoptees tend to live our lives asking the "what if's." What if I hadn't been given up for adoption? What if I lived in Korea my whole life, what would I be doing? What if...what if...what if. It's inevitable that those thoughts will run through our heads.


Sometimes I find myself thinking..."What if I'm walking past her? What if she's sitting across from me on the subway? Now that I'm here, I'm thinking of going through the search process again. It's been 9 years, and I don't know if the outcome would be the same, or if maybe her knowing I was here would be to my advantage. I don't know, but I do know that if I don't do it, I will regret it once I'm back in the States. Going in with no expectations. It's something I've been through before, so if it doesn't happen...it doesn't happen. I just can't be here and not try. It's strange to know I have a whole other family out there somewhere. Three half siblings...as far as I know. There could be more at this point. It's hard to know that they're out there and probably have no idea I exist. But...that's life. One of these days hopefully I will get to meet them.


Ugh...OK, that's enough. I hope everything makes sense. Or most of it makes sense. I'm a bit tired. Another late night hanging with that crazy adoptee.


Annyong!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Latest update!!

No class on Monday!!! haha So, I only teach two 4th grade classes and 2 5th grade classes on Thursday!!! Life is good!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The craziest week...OVER!!!!

Well...almost over! I've got to be a judge at a 4th grade speech contest here in 30 min. But, I thought I would go ahead and post since I have nothing to do. Well...I take that back. I have stuff to do, I just don't want to do it anymore. Like my *cough* TESOL *cough* haha But, I now only have 2 more units to complete!! I finished Unit 17 and turned that one in and Unit 18!!! Thanh is going to be so proud!! haha Anyways, had my first lesson for my adult classes this week. I was so stressed out! Freakin' out mostly. The beginner class went alright. I realized how beginner they really are. My intermediate class was much better. I actually could have a conversation with them. It was good!!

This week is the first time in two weeks that I met up with my dinner girls. We went to Hongdae which I had yet to visit. Hongdae is the place for night life. But, we just went there to eat. They made me choose since I had to come from a ways away, so we decided on western food and I spotted a burger place. So, we had to try it! It was called "Fresh Burger" I think. It was AMAZING!! I had a cheeseburger and onion rings! It was sooooo good! A bit on the pricey side, but well worth it! And they have Dr. Pepper. But I ended up getting a coke.

This weekend will consist of hanging out with Ronell today after school. Then Saturday working on finishing up my TESOL! Sunday possibly meeting a friend.

Next week is going to ROCK!!! I have class Monday, combined Adult class, then I'm off Tuesday and Wednesday, then class on Thursday, 5th grade speech contest, and then a mandatory Native English Speaking Teacher workshop on Friday which is basically us going sightseeing for the whole day. So I will only be at school for 2 days. haha I love it! Wednesday is Children's Day so we get off and our school decided to give us Tuesday off too. I can't complain!!

My parents are officially coming in September for like a week!! I'm super stoked!! They'll be here during Cheosok, so I have the WHOLE week off to spend with them! Then they're off to China for a few days...jealous!!!

Well that's all from me. Gotta go be a judge!!! haha Annyong!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

OK...OK...OK....

Alright...I know I've been slacking in the whole...keeping people up to date thing. (Mom....don't be so pushy!!!!! haha) So, here goes. It's now been almost two months. I can't even believe it. It seems like I've been here for about 6. Yet, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. The last time I wrote...I was sick. I'm no longer sick but have realized that my allergies are worse here than they are anywhere else. Just being outside for a few hours causes many horrible horrible things. haha So, rest assured family and friends...I will not be living here for the rest of my life. However, the thought of staying here for more than one year is picking up some ground. I'm actually enjoying myself. I'm enjoying my job. I'm enjoying life. Even though my heart misses you all...you'll just have to get over it....I kid I kid!


OK, so there have been a few additions to my daily life. I'm now teaching an Adult English conversational class at my school for the surrounding neighborhood. I'm responsible for the entire class. I have to make the level test, choose a textbook, and teach a beginner and intermediate class. The reason I agreed to this...MORE MONEY!!!! I'm getting a little over 600,000 won a month just for teaching the class. Life is good! There are 17 students. All but one is a mother of at least one student at my school. There are 7 people in the intermediate class and 10 people in the beginner class.


I've joined the teacher's volleyball team, which started it's first practice today. Let me tell you...Vice Principal Chang...who has to be about 60+ years old is one heck of a volleyball player. There are a couple of other guys on the team who are also pretty good and one other woman who is good. I wasn't sure what I was expecting from the teachers. But, I'm please to say they did not disappoint. I for one was afraid I would do the disappointing, but luckily I didn't do so bad. Apparently they were expecting me to be good....little do they know I'm not that great. Anyways...we had a tournament yesterday and we got 3rd place. We played two teams and about 5 games. My arms are still sore and a bit bruised. After the tournament all the players and some of the teachers that came to the game went out to dinner. I had a good time. Because Soju was involved there was a lot of laughter and loudness. And I got hit on by one of my co-workers. haha Totally awkward. He's 41, 5-2 classes homeroom teacher. And the vice principal was the one who translated what he said. haha Before we left he wanted to have another round with me. AHAHAHAHA I jetted out of there into the rain! lol


I'm almost done with my TESOL. I have about 2 1/2 units left!! Thanks to Thanh for reminding me everyday to work on it! haha Crazy boy! Anyways...I'm hoping to have it all done by Sunday. That is my goal. Saturday I will be working on it all day and Sunday. So wish me luck!!! I need to get that pay raise! With all the shopping I'm doing, I need more money. haha


Alright...I'm tired, so I'm going to bed...Nighty night!!!!