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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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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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.