15 November 2014

The Day of Loss

I asked my husband and kids this year to pick a day in November to surprise me with birthday wishes. They have been so supportive, despite their confusion. My daughter anxiously looks at the small pile of pressies on the dining room table and says, “When are you opening these?” I love the anticipation and excitement in her eyes.

Her youthful joy reminds me of mine at her age. My mom created this joy for me as a child. My fondest memories of my birthday were of those childhood days filled with homemade cakes and crepe paper. (Note: From now on, my adoptive mother will be referred to as “mom” and my birth mother will be referenced as my “mother.”)

Those days are gone. The mom I loved is gone. The mother I lost is not found.

I tried. I did. I tried to find my mother and my foster mother this year.

Today is such a lie to me. This date is only given to me, and not knowing the true date hurts.

I remember my children’s birth stories, and I remember my miscarriage in 2002. (That loss happened around this day of my government-issued birthdate.) Each of those stories makes me the person I am today. I am left to only imagine how special my birth day was to my mother.

My mother and I are separated. Time, the Korean government, the agencies, the Korean culture separate us. I cannot even hold on to a date to think, “I wonder if she thinks of me.” When she thinks of me, I may not simultaneously look to the sky and say, “나는 당신을 사랑합니다.”

And that brings me great sadness.

For this month of November, please consider sharing an adoptee’s story. (There are so many wonderful voices to share.) See some of my favorites below. If you share on social media, consider tagging your post with #flipthescript on #NationalAdoptionMonth.


And of course, The Lost Daughters!

13 November 2014

I want to own “adoptee.”

It is day 13 of the #flipthescript campaign during #NationalAdoptionMonth. After posting this:

In just a short period of time, The New York Times posted a story by a writer named Laura Barcella. Barcella is well-known in the world of xoJane as a contributing editor. What wasn’t a widespread known fact was that she is also an adoptee.

The #flipthescript campaign has finally elevated the adoptee voices. Adoptee narratives are flooding the twitterverse. No one story lines up with another. Each has her/his own tale to tell. We have finally left the loyalty feelings behind and emerged our own adult selves.

Before my feet touched Korean soil, I called my ceramics series “adopted.” Since returning, I have changed the way I view myself. Using the word “adopted” presents an action taken by someone other than myself. I am grown and can now act on who I am … an adoptee.

09 November 2014

Let’s hear those adoptee #validvoices #flipthescript! Add yours!

Telling one’s truth is exhausting! Adoptees are taking the mic and tweeting. #FliptheScript began at Lost Daughters when I posed a campaign for the month of November. My sisters were supportive and excited. We are a family of adoptees. Each of us has a different story to tell, and our family of writers runs the gamut … domestic adoption, transracial adoption, foster care, international adoption and more. Some of our sisters are adopted parents as well as adoptees. I am always amazed at the diversity of voices.

November’s significance lies in a few adoption industry campaigns, National Adoption Month, Orphan Sunday and today … World Adoption Day.

The wonderful talents in the adoptee family have converged to make sure our voices are heard and seen as #validvoices. Filmmaker Bryan Tucker (Closure), created a wonderful video featuring the Lost Daughters voices.

Now, I look to you. Adoptees only. Join your family and tell your story below in the comments. Also note that I will be pulling out some of your comments to tweet this month. Let our voices ring out … loudly, honestly and collectively.

While frustrated with my old woman confusion, my son did help me create a MEME; and yes, he is the baby in the photograph.