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Monday, 18 January 2021
Twenty-Three Things This Korean-Adoptee Thought About as a Child Print
Another adoptive parent alerted me to this blog entry, originally published at Heart, Mind and Seoul. Paula, a Korean adoptee and adoptive mother, granted us permission to reprint the article. Many thanks for this honest, insightful reflection.

Twenty-Three Things This Korean-Adoptee Thought About as a Child
  1. That many times I was embarrassed and ashamed of my birth culture because it was so profoundly different than that of my family and my friends. That too often it served as an easy and irresistible source of teasing and fodder for others - strangers and classmates alike.

  2. That despite my parent's unconditional love for me, I couldn't help but feel that I was the last option for them to finally have children.

  3. That phrases like "Thank God we can always adopt" or "Well, at least there's a world of unwanted children we can adopt from since we can't have kids of our own" only fed into my belief that adoption truly is, for virtually all couples, the very last resort by which to create a family.

  4. That as a young girl, the thing I was most grateful for was not having a sister who was my parent's biological daughter. That even the mere thought of being compared or having to share my parents with a sister who was their "real" daughter was too much for me to bear. Being the oldest and the only girl was my way of telling myself that I was special, even when I didn't always believe it.

  5. That instead of always hearing, "You're so lucky to be adopted", that it would have been nice to just once hear "It must be hard sometimes to be adopted."

  6. That the insatiable need for me to be perfect was a way to make me feel more valuable, and therefore less likely to be abandoned once again.

  7. That the insatiable need for me to control every facet of my environment was a way to feel safe and secure during a time when I felt that I was disposable.

  8. That my mind understood why my Korean mother had to give me up, but that my heart didn't.

  9. That the message "She loved you so much that she gave you up for a better life" meant that it was sometimes scary to be loved so intensely by my adoptive parents.

  10. That deep down, I wondered if I could ever be good enough. After all, I was left and given away as a baby; why would anyone leave their baby unless that baby was bad and unwanted?

  11. That I dreamed of going back to Korea just to be able to fit in amongst my peers. That I would have given anything to just once be the girl who was thought of as being popular, pretty and "normal", instead of the one whose sole appearance brought forth so many unwanted questions and assumptions.

  12. That often I thought of ways I could make myself look more white, just so I wouldn't feel like such a monster.

  13. That I wondered what it would have been like to be the girl someone fought fiercely over, instead of feeling like the child my Korean parents didn't want and the daughter that my adoptive parents had to settle for.

  14. That I felt so incredibly guilty anytime I felt anything sad or bad about my adoption. That it was much better to hold everything in than to hurt my parents who I know loved and adored me more than life itself.

  15. That I became very adept at spinning my own adoption story, for the sake of my own survival.

  16. That it was impossible to be angry or hateful towards my Korean parents for leaving me, and yet impossible to forgive myself for being left.

  17. That I got to a point where my mind truly believed everything I was saying about not feeling any effects or fallout from being adopted, even if my heart and body felt markedly different.

  18. That one's body will not lie, no matter how much you ask it to keep on pretending.

  19. That my tantrums, outbursts and fits of rage were my way of trying to say, "I'm hurting so badly inside and more than anything, I am afraid that you will leave me."

  20. That love, no matter how deep nor abundant, can ever erase the past.

  21. That in spite of everything, I knew I would come out on the other side.

  22. That I have loved, and been loved and that one day I would feel that I was actually deserving and worthy of that emotion.

  23. That what others saw in myself would one day be evident to me as well. And hopefully one day, with God's grace, I would truly learn to love and forgive myself.

Thank you
Written by Guest on 2009-10-24 08:25:04
Thank you so much for putting in words what we know our beautiful daughter is feeling. 
We will print this out for all of us.
Written by Jane on 2010-02-02 11:02:05
This is so sad. Poor girl.
me to
Written by miah on 2010-04-01 16:58:56
i felt the same way growing up the circumstances were a lil differant but i know how she feels 

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