Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
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 이 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.