Friday, November 14, 2014

won, sul-hee

Won, Sul-Hee
It's National Adoption Month. Seems like a pretty good topic to blog about since well, I'm adopted. But ever since learning it was National Adoption Month, I have struggled with exactly what to say on the subject. My friend, Carol, who has adopted two children, mentioned on Facebook that she finds the use of the term "adoption" in reference to animals to be offensive because animals get "left somewhere." As it turns out, some of us do just get "left somewhere."

A couple years ago, I decided I would contact the adoption agency to see if there were any details about my adoption or my biological parents. My search was shortlived as there was very little information in my adoption file. Here is what I learned ...
I was abandoned at Nambu Market on January 12, 1978. They estimated my birthday to be January 10, 1978, which means I was only a few days old at the time. I was eventually brought
to a police station and turned over to Holt, the adoption agency that finally placed me. As I had no identifying information, the adoption agency gave me my name, Won, Sul Hee - most likely because I was found in Won Ju City. I was then placed in a foster home from January 20, 1978 to July 10, 1978. I arrived in the U.S. with my mom on July 11, 1978.

Learning that you were, indeed, just "left somewhere" hit me a lot harder than I would have expected. While I have so many things in my life to combat the feeling, that initial feeling of un-wantedness haunted me for a few days. I have been surrounded by love and support for as long as I can remember, and as a mom of little ones I can attest to the fact that I am never unwanted. Someone always wants me to play Candyland, bake cookies, read books, get them milk, give them a hug, etc.

I was "left somewhere" as a newborn, and the gravity of the fact that my life could have turned out very very differently is not lost on me. I had a mom that wanted a little girl so much that she waited four years. When they finally got my picture, my mom showed it to my brother who said I looked like I'd be a good sister. My mom was so anxious to meet me that she even wrote to her Congressman to inquire as to why the immigration process was taking so long. I've always known that I was pretty lucky to come from such an amazing family, and as it turns out maybe it was really just that ... pure luck. I could have gone to anyone, anywhere, or perhaps remained in an orphanage for years, and yet I ended up in the perfect spot with the perfect parents.

I was "left somewhere" as a newborn, and the gravity of the fact that this may have affected my biological parents in an unspeakable way is not lost on me either. Knowing how much unexpected love (or perhaps it was just the sheer relief that it was finally over) I felt the minute my babies took their first breath, my heart breaks for those parents that left their two day old baby girl in Nambu Market. I can't imagine what their situation was, but I do know the mere thought of not seeing my kids every day leaves me a little panicky. They have no way of knowing that I turned out fine, but I hope that day has not haunted them.

While I don't feel much of a connection to my Korean name, I'm still that girl that got "left somewhere," but who is most certainly not unwanted.

Foster mom

Mom in Korea

Grandma accompanied Mom to Korea

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

trick or treat 2014

Growing up in rural northern Minnesota, my Halloween consisted of my mom driving us up and down Cedar Island Drive with a winter jacket over my costume. The infamous 1991 snowstorm left us without electricity for several days and we ended up shacked up at the Eveleth Holiday Inn. So the fact that my daughter can trick or treat in short sleeves and has plenty of neighborhood kids to wander the streets with will never get old.
For the past three years, we've been lucky enough to score an invitation next door where my lovely neighbor, the hostess with the mostess, puts on an awesome pre-game spread.

Then it's off to the races. Little Miss J may have had her best Halloween ever. She raced up and down the sidewalk yelling, "Trick or treat, smell my feet," and was so happy to be hanging out with the older girls. A big thank you to Emma and Karly for being so patient with her.

Of course the adults don't let the kids have all the fun. There was plenty of wine to fuel that walk through the neighborhood. My little man of steel kept it safe in the wagon.

Little Miss J picked the theme for this year's costumes. Photo credit to Julie Bishop.

After Little Miss J filled two bags of candy, she requested that we return home to "finish the party at Peter and Julie's."

Thank you to the Bishop family and East Sac for another fantastic Halloween!