By Chloe Sofield
Adoption. The single word brings many feelings into the hearts of so many different people. For some, pity and confusion, for they have a certain ignorance to the true meaning of the word. Others face pain, and resentment for being abandoned and turned away. For myself, I feel blessed for I have been placed within the family in which I belong. I myself was adopted; a simple fact I cannot ignore. I was born into this world not by the woman whom I call “mom”, but a girl who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I will always be different; it is something I cannot change. I will never be in possession of the blues that shine in the eyes of my father, or the fair skin of my mother. My eyes were destined to be brown, and my mother’s skin will always be a few shades lighter than my own.
Growing up as an adoptee, I never truly acknowledged the unique situation I was living in. Having parents of a different race seemed like the norm. As I grew older in age I realized how truly lucky I am to be adopted. I have a dual culture. On the outside I am Korean, but on the inside I have absorbed the culture of my parents and learned a multitude of skills from their knowledge. This is something in which I take much pride, for it is who I am.
When visited the HOLT, the agency that took me in and prepared me for adoption, it really left a lasting impression. Finally after 13 long years I have taken the first step to knowing more about my birth and homeland. Once there, my father and I reviewed my files. Because I am still young, the documents that I could be exposed to were limited. Surprisingly, I found myself craving more information. I wanted to know more. But alas, rules are rules, and I’ll just have to wait, for in time I will know more. Putting that aside, I got so much out of it. I learned things I never knew about my biological parents, things I thought I would never know when I was younger. It was all so overwhelming.
I knew that I would have to wait to meet my biological mother until I grow older, but I had been informed that I would be able to meet my foster mother. I guess for the period of time leading up to the trip it hadn’t seemed like much. To tell you the truth it didn’t really seem real; my brain didn’t seem to register what was going on. But soon the day came and I realized how nervous I truly was. What would she think of me? Would she be proud of whom I have become? This single woman was a connection to my birth, a link to the early moments in my life. Soon after reviewing all of the files I was informed that my foster mother was older than most when I was placed in her care. It was then explained that she would most definitely be an elderly woman at the present time today. It finally came out that she would not be coming because of this reason. A sudden pang of disappointment rang throughout my body. Silently frustrations floated inside my head. Another tie severed. Although I was letdown at the time, now I realize it can only mean that there are more ties to be created. In time, I will be able to learn more about my past and be able to embrace it to its fullest.
Going to HOLT that day with my father only made me that much more determined to gain more knowledge not only on my birthparents and my adoption, but my culture and heritage. The experience I had when visiting Korea has really changed how I view myself.