Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To Search or Not To Search: That is the question.

I think this is going to be the toughest post I write. I have been thinking about how to write it for the last couple of days. The reason its going to be the hardest is because its the most "personal" one I've written to date. Lately I have "met" some new people because of the whole adoption posts. I have had some great dialogues with these people. I have decided to publish these thoughts for the public to read in the hopes that it might help others to see what goes on, at least in my mind, when dealing with this topic.

My previous post I showed some videos of an organization called GOAL which helps Korean Adoptees to search for their birth parents. I met with this organization when I was in Seoul last year. However at the time I was not ready to begin my search.

Actually to this day, I am still not ready to start the search. However, the more time that goes by the more that I feel closer to being "ready".

If your not an adoptee you may wonder why someone would not want to search for the parents right away. You may also wonder what it means to be "ready". Unfortunately these are not easy questions to answer. The answer actually depends on each individual.

When I was growing up, I was never really interested in searching for my birth parents. I never really thought much about this subject while I was growing up. Since visiting Korea last year for the first time, this subject has resurfaced. My opinion is slowly changing. I don't want to start my search yet, but I do feel that I am slowly moving in that direction.

While I was growing up, I was not interested in searching for my birth parents because in my mind, the only parents I had in my life were my adoptive parents. I'm not blaming my adoptive parents, and I'm not saying it was because of them that I didn't search. It was totally my decision. My parents were always open and I knew all growing up that if I wanted to search for my birth parents my adoptive parents would have been as supportive as they possibly could have been. However, my life was comfortable and I didn't want anything to disrupt that.

There are several reasons that I don't feel ready.

First, I think I am emotionally scared. Meaning I don't know how I would react to the whole scenario if I were successful in finding my birth parents, and I guess I am a little scared of that.

Second, When I do meet my birth mother, I want to be able to speak to her. That means that I need to learn Korean. If you watched those videos in the previous post, you will notice most of the adoptees couldn't speak to their parents. I think that would be an agonizing feeling. I know it would really upset me, not being able to speak to my birth mother when I find her.

Third, in my situation, it is highly unlikely I would be able to find my parents. Since I was found in a bakery, There is no documentation about my parents. Basically I would have to participate in a television program where adoptees can search for their parents, and people call in if they have any information. I feel that my situation would make the likelihood of me finding my birth parents to be very unlikely which I guess discourages me from starting the search. I know this is a weak excuse, it still plays a role in my decision.

My last concern is if I am successful in finding my birth parents, that the urge to move/live in Korea would be too much for me. I think I would end up moving to Korea almost immediately. This would really hurt my career and I am not ready to put my career on hold right now.

I am slowing working on these items. I am slowly coming to terms that I will want to start the search for my birth parents soon. I am taking Korean tutoring right now, so hopefully I will be able to speak Korean to my birth mother.

As a result of addressing these items, I create a fear. I am fearful that while I prepare to begin my search that I risk that my birth parents may pass away. Obviously the longer I wait the more of a risk this becomes.


  1. This is an incredibly honest post. I google-shared it, because I want to make sure other APs read it. Knowing the process you are working through will definitely help us help our kids. Thanks very much.

  2. Hello! I am still really new to your blog, and I haven't had much time to read through everything yet. I just wanted to say to you "bravo" on putting out your feelings so boldly. I know it must have been hard for you to do so. I bet that when the time is right everything will fall into place and it looks like you are taking all the right steps. Especially in learning Korean, not being able to communicate when you do find them would be excruciating. Good luck. :)

  3. "When I do meet my birth mother, I want to be able to speak to her. That means that I need to learn Korean. I think that would be an agonizing feeling. I know it would really upset me, not being able to speak to my birth mother when I find her."

    Yes, it is quite agonizing.

    It's also humiliating and gutwrenching.

    In fact, I don't even have the words in the English language that could ever describe it.

  4. Thanks again for another wonderful post. I just received some baby pictures from HOLT that were in my file. I've come full circle in my quest to find my parents. In my teens and early twenties I was so angry every time I looked in the mirror because of I didn't feel Korean, but I looked it. I was ashamed for being adopted. I just wanted to "fit in." (if there is such a thing) Now pushing 30 and having two children I am more open to the idea of information. The social worker is still researching the where abouts of my parents based on limited information. I have tons more questions for you regarding your travels there, I need to find some time and get them into an e-mail for you. You've definitely opened my eyes though to this venture. Again, thanks for the wonderful blog you keep. I watched the documentary the other night, box of tissues didn't cut it, I needed a towel.