One wake-up call happened in a local coffee shop. I had arranged to meet a woman named Amy. We shared a passion for our district’s schools. As I arrived, I noticed an Asian woman rush by me and into the cafe. A part of me said, “You forgot to tell Amy that you’re Asian, and not a Latina.” As I entered the shop, the Asian woman looked pointedly at me. I said cautiously, “Are you Amy?”
“I am!” she said, “You must be Rosita!”
Then, jokingly, I explained, “I meant to tell you I was Korean. I’m adopted, thus the name and face.”
“Funny, I’m Korean and adopted as well!” she said. I had finally found a person who had lived a similar life to my own. She had grown up in an isolated community in northern Wisconsin. We chatted more about our families and our kids’ schools. In the end, I learned that she had adopted her two boys from Korea and also was the president of the local organization, Families Through Korean Adoption, Madison (http://www.ftkamadison.org). She also invited me and my family to their next ChuSeok celebration.
I had no idea what ChuSeok meant, but Amy’s sincere invitation sparked a wanting in me. This weekend, I will experience my first ChuSeok at 44. I’m excited and apprehensive all at once.
My second waking began today when my friend, Jen, sent me a personal message over Facebook about this film:
I have watched the trailer, as well as read a few reviews. Again, a part of me wants desperately to see it, but another part of me is fearful. It may bring up questions from my formative years. Am I ready to face old fears? Can I relive the awkwardness and confusion of my teen years?
My friend, Jen, has her own set of questions as she begins her journey. She adopted her daughter from China a few years back. Her daughter experiences the wonderful things I did as a child who was well-loved. She will also have so much more support than I did in the 70s and 80s. Today, there are blogs, Facebook groups and local groups supporting and educating families of adoptees.
Even more intriguing, a movie gives us a spectacular look into the lives of adopted teens, something I longed for in the 80s, as I flipped through the pages of my Holt International magazines. I remember looking at all the adoptees and thinking, “I wish I could meet them and share my hopes and my fears so I won’t feel so alone.”
This week, I have so many wonderful reminders that I am not alone. I can share and experience with others who have benefited, and yet been confused about a background that separated us from our race.
I’ve finally grown up.
I enjoy your posts. We are grand parents of two adopted Korean boys (now 11 and 7) courtesy of Holt, whom we love very much. You give glimpses of how an adopted Asian will look back on their young lives. Thanks for sharing.
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