Saturday, June 14, 2008

What it means to be Adopted: Conclusion

Obviously I don't feel like I belong strictly into any one of the previous categories. Yes, sometimes its frustrating and sometimes its sad. However, I guess I need to learn to focus on the positive side.

Even with all this turmoil inside of me, I know getting adopted is the best thing that ever happened to me. Id much rather face this problem than the huge problems that I would have probably had to face had I never been adopted. To think about it, this problem probably pales in comparison, but it is a real problem that I struggle with, so its important to me.

I love Korea, korean culture, language, and people. I really desparately want to live in Korea someday. This will let me experience all of this for an extended period of time. I want to own a Korean apartment, drive a Korean car, speak Korean fluently, and go out with a bunch of Korean friends speaking only Korean! (maybe even have a Korean girlfriend! If Im not married by this

But, I can't forget the country and people that have taken me in, no matter if I "stick out". They have given me what so many Koreans would be jealous of. I can speak English fluently, graduated from a good US college, and have an excellent US job. I am thankful for all of this and I am sure I would miss other not-so-obvious things if I ever lived outside of the US for an extended period of time.

In conclusion, I guess its not so bad. I guess I get to pick the best of both worlds. I just need to learn Korean (which I promise myself I will start doing! aza aza fighting!). I dont have to do the military service in Korea, nor do I have the pressures like the Korean kids do for school and getting married. I guess I have more pressure from the American part, being that I grew up in America. While sometimes I wish I was just a normal Korean or normal American its not always bad being a hybrid. Even with this realization, I dont think I will not have this topic creep up in my mind, I think it will always be there. I think its human nature to want to know about our origins. I will always wonder what it would have been growing up in Korea. Or growing up in America as a non-adopted American.


  1. Hello,

    Thanks for the informative comments on diesel and gasoline prices on my blog. I used to be a financial journalist writing about oil prices, but obviously my knowledge about technical stuff is still quite limited, and I'm glad you corrected my misunderstanding :=) I just assumed that because diesel is one of middle distillates products heavier than light distillates like gasoline, it's natural for diesel prices to be lower than gasoline prices (like fuel oil is cheaper than distillates), but I guess it's not!

    Anyways, I don't work as an oil reporter any more, and oil isn't exactly what I've wanted to write about a journalist. Professionally and personally, I've been more interested in human stories, and as a Korean, I've been always interested in learning more about Korean adoptees like yourself. And I'm glad to find your blog. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for reading!
    If there's anything you'd like to know or would like to see on my blog, please let me know!

  3. I just stumbled upon your blog and it's super interesting! I can totally relate to you regarding all the adoption issues. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more :)

  4. I'm an Australian with a Korean wife and half-Korean daughter. I completely understand your need to connect with your biological culture and discover your identity with it. It's something that I want my own daughter to do because although she's an Aussie citizen and has so-called 'Aussie blood' running through her veins she's also part-Korean and needs to know her heritage. Even if she wants no part of it when she's an adult it's vital that she eat Korean food, know its language, and live there for a little bit to understand completely where she comes from.

    Having said that it surprises me somewhat that you want to be all things Korean. I'm living in Korea now teaching English to high school students and it's very interesting to compare those students who've lived in western countries and those who've only lived in Korea. They're like chalk and cheese. The ones who've had exposure to western culture resent the Korean culture of stress, the infamous 빨리 빨리, the lack of creativity here, the push to conform to the 'mob' and ignore individual difference, the pushing and shoving, the obscene competitiveness that afflicts every walking soul, the lack of consideration for others, and the lack of common sense and etiquette that Koreans show on a regular, daily basis. Even my wife, who's only lived with me in Australia for a mere year and a half has the same frustrations and we yearn for the day that we return to Australia. There, people know how to relax and they don't push, shove, and clamber over one another just to get onto a bus.
    I'm not exaggerating here. I pity the children who are raised here because they endure constant pushing by their parents to succeed, succeed, succeed. Some kids here NEVER see their parents on a regular basis but instead live with their grandparents; their idea of an ideal holiday is to spend time with their folks. They're in a 학교 and 학원 until 11pm (!) and have no time for hobbies or sports because they study needlessly for hours on end. There's no way I want my daughter to grow up in such a place.

    I'm not saying all this to put you off and I make no judgement of your genuine (and necessary) need to connect with your roots. That's a God-given thing which should be explored and I think you're admirable for doing it. But speaking from my experience the reality of this country seems to be at in a sharp contrast to your expectations. I think if you do live in Korea for a time it will shock you, both in good ways and bad, and you'll definately look on your American heritage differently. My guess is that you'll appreciate it all the more. That's the case for me, a 외국인 but I've also seen the same tension occurring with my wife and students.

  5. Richard,
    I really like your optimistic thought. I'm sure you will achieve your goal soon. aza aza fighting!