I realize it has been a long time since I last updated this blog. I think things came to a halt in the lead up to my reunion with my Korean biological family back in August. The weight of the event and the stream of every emotion possible that I was feeling prevented me from feeling capable of communicating the experience in an accurate and meaningful way. so i just stopped. I simply do not have the skills as a writer to describe all that happened and how it all made me feel, and I felt trying to do so in a public blog would trivialize it in some way.
Last week I attended a digital storytelling workshop in Lyons, CO. This unique opportunity allowed me to really reflect on my entire journey to Korea, my family(s), and my emotional response. I am tremendously thankful for the people I met, the skills I was taught, and the environment where I was able to create this piece.
I hope that it may give you a glimpse of what meeting my family was like, of what living in korea was like. I hope that if you are an adoptee considering reunion, that it inspires you in some way. This was the most difficult and rewarding moment of my life that I am proud to share with you.
Film has been essential to my process of understanding my own identity. In college I was given a copy of First Person Plural, a documentary by Deann Borshay Liem, a Korean adoptee who recorded her journey to Korea to meet her biological family. The film brought me to tears almost immediately, I assume because of how deeply I felt I could relate to the filmmaker’s life story, and the realization that I knew so little about my own relationship with adoption and the country of my birth. Hearing her words felt like she was exposing all of these personal thoughts I had about adoption that I never could articulate on my own. I remember while watching that film, I felt a connection to a diasporic community of confusion, loss, and trauma that was both frightening and comforting at the same time. I remember thinking then that I would need to travel to Korea at some point in my life.Next weekend, the first annual Adoptee Art and Film Festival will take place in Seoul, showcasing films and other works of art by Korean adoptees from around the world, including the second documentary by Deann Borshay Liem. Too often is the topic of adoption silenced in Korea because of language barriers, social stigma, and embarrassment. I am looking forward to attending this festival with the knowledge that this gathering of adoptee artists and their works will inspire and empower, creating a greater cultural awareness of Korean adoptees in the country where we all came from. http://aaff.co
corporal punishment for no homework…
I have no idea what they’re asking me.
people stop me by the subway and ask for directions.
Despite being a thoroughly 21st-century nation and an economic powerhouse, South Korea, the Land of the Morning Sun, holds tight to its traditions. From its hanbok costume — paraded proudly at fashion shows, state meetings, and even department-store openings — to the coming-of-age ceremony that marks a Korean’s entry into adulthood, rituals color every aspect of South Korean life.
Pictured: A day in the life of a monk, Seoul’s Chogye Temple.
see more — South Korea: Kiss the Morning Sun