Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekend Fun

 A sweet friend that we met through the adoption process, who also happens to be an adoptee came to San Antonio for a visit! I am so grateful for this friendship. We battled the Texas sun and saw the most important sites of the Almao City. The best part of the trip though, was being able to talk in person. I would like to say that we chatted through the early morning, but I think that motherhood has made our bedtime hours change just a tad.  Like all good things it came to an end too quickly, but I know we shall see each other soon! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Saying Goodbye

...the week has gone soooo quickly, in some ways it will never be enough time, but I know there are two special guys waiting for me at home, which helps prepare my mind for saying goodbye.

We quickly eat breakfast and then wait for my family's friend to take us to the airport.

When we get to the airport I check my luggage, return my wifi router, and exchange my money. Then my parents and I sit and wait for my niece and 3rd sister to say goodbye. Not all of us could fit in the van, so my sister and niece take a bus. They finally arrive. I hate goodbyes. I really do. I avoid them at all costs, but there is no way to avoid this one. Before we head over to security I have my niece take one last pic. When I stare at this picture, it makes me chuckle because when I first received pictures from Korea, I did not think I looked like my Korean family at, I know there is no doubt that this is my family, too.

As we walk to security, I can tell my omma is getting emotional. My 3rd sister keeps repeating in English "no crying" which makes me laugh. I take a short video...I am touched that my niece sheds tears. I know that my omma is holding it in. Quick hugs are given and I get in line.

For those of you who are familiar with Incheon, you know that once you get past the initial check  people cannot see you, and it is there that I allow myself to cry. I cry for never having enough time to make up for years lost and I cry in fear always wondering if this will be the last time that I see my aboji and omma. My sister writes and tells me that my omma is sobbing in the car...As I wait in line to board the plane, another passenger remarks how it is raining and how Korea must be weeping because we are leaving...
and although I am ready to go home to see my husband and son, I cannot help but wonder when will I return...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


My final night is my favorite night! We are finally going to noraebang!!! Karaoke! We walk to the main street by my family's home and we turn into a stairwell, and there it is! The air conditioner is turned on high, beer is served, and once the song starts the lights go off and the disco lights come on. 

It was the most fun I've ever had doing karaoke! My niece who happens to be the same age as my youngest sister in the U.S. has a beautiful voice! In my opinion her voice can rival any K-Pop star! And, really we can all sing fairly well, just call us the Korean version of the Partridge family...just kidding.

At one point in the night my sisters pick a song and motion for me to come and stand between them. I have no idea what the words are, but the feeling is of love and friendship...

...and what did I sing? Well to be honest I'm totally out of the loop when it comes to popular songs...if I'm in the car driving to work I'm usually listening to classical music before the work day starts to calm my nerves and after work, I'm listening to the Broadway music channel, and according to Matt I lived in a cave listening to music growing up, LOL ... so when it's my turn to sing I have to find either musicals or "oldies but goodies".

One of the oldies but goodies that I pick is Hey Jude...and by this time, the majority of us have imbibed to make us more confident...however, as you know alcohol affects people in different ways....

The adoption story affects everyone. However, for most adoptees, it is a very one sided story. Many adoptees hunger for clues to their past, in hopes they can fill in the blanks that many people take for granted. For 35 years I believed that my mother was a young single/unwed woman, and then I believe that I continued the story in my head that she went to college, graduated, and had a family of her as I've mentioned before, it was very shocking to find out that my parents were married and I was the youngest of 5 children. During the time before I met my family there were many one sided discussions going through my head. However, people cautioned me, with good reason, that my Korean family is probably going through similar emotions.  The age range between me and my 1st sister in Korea is similar to that of me and my youngest sister in the US. To think of having to have said good bye to my sister the day she was born is unbearable. Up until we started the adoption process ourselves I would have probably scoffed at the idea of "loss and adoption", I admittedly lived in a "bubble",  but now I know that with great joy, there also comes great loss.


My throat is killing me, but they want me to keep singing. I oblige, but now I cannot look at their faces while I sing because I realize my trip is coming to an end.

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

Monday, July 1, 2013

Out and About with Omma

I was with my family for a week, and we walked the neighborhood every day, but I have to be honest, I'm not sure if I could find their home. There are so many alleys and streets, that it's hard for me to remember. I am intrigued by the buildings and noises that you may hear coming from the other side of the walls....

I am fairly sure that this is some sort of school. 

Plants are appreciated. People seem to have potted plants everywhere.

I am always intrigued by the beautiful gates, wondering who lives behind them, what does it look like.

My family in Korea are entrepreneurs. My 3rd sister's salon. 

Aboji's real estate office.

1st sister's restaurant is in the distance.

The hills are in my family's neighborhood. To be honest, I'm not sure how people are able to drive let alone walk these steep hills during the winter time. Last year my omma had knee surgery. I can't imagine her walking these hills and then walking the 3 flights of steps up their apartment. However, if anyone could do it, she can. 
Most of my time is spent with my omma. Many times I stare at her and attempt to process that this woman is the woman who carried me for 9 months, who could not look at me when I was born or hold me, went back to take me home but couldn't and had prayed for my well being from the time I left her side...sometimes I think this is still a dream...I love when she laughs. From the few words that I know I have been able to make her laugh. And, even though half of the time I have no idea what is being said to me, she tells the translator at our meeting that she believes that I can understand every single word that she says. I am embarrassed and proud to say that she does not let me carry a 30 pound tub down to a taxi. (people, she is in her 70s!) I try to take it from her, but she keeps batting me away. She does not allow me to help at all, and has even given up her bed for me... I believe this inner strength she has, has been passed down to her daughters and has made her a survivor as well. 

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