Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blood and Water

The last 10 days have been quite a roller coaster of emotions, and I'm still working on processing it all. 

I found a translator to make communication with my biological father easier (well, possible), and it's been relieving and frustrating and heartbreaking all at the same time. When I first found my biological family, the adoption agency had translated a few letters, and it was brought up that they want me to visit Seoul.

Nearly 10 years later, I'm finally entertaining the possibility of actually doing so. The idea of it scares me for several reasons. Heading to a country where I can't even fudge my way through understanding the language because I have zero idea of what the characters mean is the first hang up. Secondly, I have a non-existent sense of direction. How am I going to figure out where I'm going in this incredibly foreign country? Finally, I can conceptually imagine what it would be like to meet my father, mother, and 3 older sisters, but I know without a doubt the actual experience is something I won't be able to prepare for on any level. Then, to top it off, going back to the language thing- I'll be in front of these people who hold a large chunk of my identity and I won't be able to say a word they understand nor they to me. 

But, like my friend said today, "communication is in body language, sharing a meal, spending time with them." I said I wasn't ready. He told me my time is running out. I take for granted that we live in the United States where the way we live and work is vastly different from the way the poor in a country like South Korea work. The reality is that my parents are getting older, they've led hard lives, and their health is already beginning to fail. 

In this case, I don't know that there is a "right" moment- the right moment is me going in spite of my fear, in spite of not feeling ready. The likelihood of feeling ready to meet the blood from which I came is probably slim. So, this year, I won't wait for the elusive opportune moment. I will go visit my biological family and face a history that was, until now, only loosely sketched out on paper.


  1. About time! ;-) There is no way to prepare for that moment when, after years of speculating and dreaming, you stand with your family face-to-face. At the very least you will affirm their decision to give you a better life when they meet the beautiful, caring, charming, fascinating woman who is their daughter. You, too, will appreciate more fully the opportunity you were given to be raised by a loving family with means beyond the dreams of your biological family. I'm sorry I missed you when you were back east over the holidays. Love you!

    1. Thanks Sue :) I'm sad I missed you too- I was half to full sick the entire time, so it might be for the best you missed me. I'll catch you the next time I'm back. I'll also keep you posted on what unfolds... I'm in the process of making arrangements with my father. Exciting stuff. :)