24 October 2014

Korean Kin, Part 3 (final)

When I feel lonely, I turn to my Lost Daughters sisters. They know my pain, my confusion and my sadness. When G.O.A.’L asked me if I would have emotional support when I returned home, I said that my Lost Daughters sisters were my family and my support.

Just before leaving, I opened a fortune cookie to find this:

My friends rejoiced. “See! This will be a fabulous trip!” 

My expectations were scattered. In my mind, I worked through all the permutations. Who I might find or not. Who might want to see me or not. Who might look like me or not. 

I worried about my birth family, my adoptive family and my children. This trip would change me. I knew it. My family knew it. We were all anxious.

But once my feet hit the ground in Incheon, I felt the unspoken comfort of home. Like a long lost relative, John from G.O.A.’L, texted me as I moved through immigration and customs.

I was met with several happy, tired faces. Some spoke English, others Dutch and one French, but our faces were familiar. The next ten days brought personal disappointment and road blocks, wonderful food, many late night conversations at the BOA Guesthouse and a road trip to Gyeongju.

Before I knew it, our time was up. At the end of my journey, I wrote this:

“The plane takes off and tears are streaming from my eyes to streak my cheeks. I close my eyes in hopes of blinding the thoughts and images from the past ten days. The friends are so super special — my new family. ”

I had selected a beautiful handmade paper for my family room from a well-known calligrapher in Insadong. It was carefully rolled and stayed with me but would not fit in my suitcase. In my absent-minded fog, I left it on a counter outside security. Airport staff informed me that I could not retrieve it.

I was devastated. It seemed so silly to feel this way over two sheets of paper. I posted my sorrow on FaceBook. 

My new KAD family of lost brothers and sisters came to my rescue. Two women made it their mission to find the paper as they were checking in for their European flights. The news that they had found it reached me just as I was boarding. Relief and joy overtook me. Not many people would risk delaying a flight to search for two sheets of paper, but these were no ordinary friends. They knew that my attachment to those two sheets of paper was not trivial.

All my life, I was told that I was “chosen,” and yet, I felt out of control. This time, I was surrounded by people who knew my fears firsthand. I had chosen them as family, and they brought great peace to me.

I miss my adoptee family, but now, I am embarking on a new search where the circle of family will widen. Check out this short film by Bryan Tucker, videographer from Closure, that introduces a new book by adult adoptees for teen adoptees and fostered youth. Dear Wonderful You, adoptees are your village.

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