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Eternally Grateful

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I am a Korean-American adoptee and this is my story. Until recently I have never cared to know much about my adoption, but I’ll address my recent interest later. I have never asked for details about my adoption due to the fact that I was always of the opinion that asking questions about my adoption might imply that I was dissatisfied with my adoptive parents and hurt their feelings. Consequently, the only information I have about my adoption is that I was born in Suwon City, South Korea. Beyond that I know nothing. I do not know my birth-mother’s story nor do I know the specific reasons why my adoptive parents adopted me. I grew up with my adoptive parents and one younger brother who is my parent’s biological child. I have always considered myself Korean-American. However, if anyone asks I am now only Korean in my skin color and every bit as American as the next person.

During my elementary school years my parents signed me up for a Korean Culture Camp which my brother and I both attended from the time I was in kindergarten until I finished 6th grade. At this day camp we had classes on Korean Language, History, Art, and Traditional activities even self-esteem. Besides this day camp one week a year for 7 years I know nothing about my ethnicity. As an adoptee I have always had many questions which I have never felt comfortable asking anyone. I did not want my parents to get offended. Especially since I know my adoptive parents love me every bit as much as my brother, their biological son. My brother could not have understood the questions which I held deep inside me, and I never had close friends who were adopted who I could talk to. Even at Korean Culture Camp I don’t recall ever talking about my adoption, even though the campers are primarily Korean adoptees.

The questions that I have had included how much of my psychological character is similar to that of my parents, especially my birth-father? What would have my life been like if I had grown up in Korea? Is it more difficult for me to get a date purely because I look different? Do I have biological siblings or perhaps even a twin? What are the medical histories of my birth parents? And would either my adoptive parents or birth-mother be supportive/appreciative of a potential search to find my birth-mother?

I was told as early as I could understand that I was adopted and I am extremely grateful for this. This is because I believe that if I had learned this later in life it could have completely shattered my self-image, which might have taken years to rebuild. While I still have a lot of unanswered questions in my life I have realized that I could have been placed anywhere in the United States, and for me it is more than a coincidence that I ended up where I am today.

My adoption along with my personal faith beliefs have brought me to the decision to become a pastor. I have also reconciled with the fact that giving me up for adoption must have been an extremely difficult decision for my birthmother and that she could have just as easily have decided to have aborted me, in which case I would never have had a chance at life. This brings me to my recent curiosity in my adoption.

This semester I am currently enrolled in a course in which we were supposed to come up with and act on a civic engagement project. I chose adoption and this is it. I realize that giving me up for adoption could have easily been the most difficult decision my birth-mother has ever made. However, if there are any potential mothers considering adoption who are reading my story, I would first like to say that I recognize that adoption may not be the best option for everyone. However, I would like you to please consider this. Even though I have many unanswered questions in my life which may forever remain unanswered I will be forever grateful to my birth-mother that she had the strength to give me up for adoption. I owe her my life. The more I have learned about adoption this semester the more I have realized how much I do not know about where I come from and the more this bothers me. While I don’t necessarily need to meet my birth-mother to satisfy my own curiosity I would like her to be able to tell her that I am alive, healthy, and loved, all thanks to her strength and love for me, and for that I will eternally love her.

Love,

Her Birth-son

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