I.In a previous post entitled, "his First Words," I referred to a poem that I wrote when I was ten years old.
I have never thought much of the poem until recently, when I read it again in the current context of processing my adoption experience, and in particular, in light of the hope of traveling to Korea to soon reunite with my birth parents.
Here again is the poem I wrote when I was ten:
Flowers make me think of peace because when the wind blows at them they don't try to fight back. When winter comes flowers wrinkle up and just disappear but they die happily because they know that another flower like it will come and take it's place and make everyone happy. When people come and take flowers away from their home they don't cry or try to do something bad. They just think of peace and say in their mind I'll make this person think of peace, love, and happiness.
What struck me quite poignantly this time are the seemingly benign words, "When people come and take flowers away from their home they don't cry or try to do something bad."
Although I was a mere child when I wrote these words, now as an adult reading them--in some ways again for the first time--my eyes welled up with tears and a building storm of emotion began to rumble.
As I process the tension emerging between my American identity and my Korean identity these words written by my ten-year old self stirred within my 33-year old self something that felt deep and ineffable.
In the shadow of the adoption experience, I can not help but wonder what my ten-year old self was thinking as she wrote those words.
And considering all that I have been learning over the past several years--all the insight and understanding granted to me through reading, research, and correspondence, I can not help but wonder whether that ten-year old little girl was not expressing in metaphor what she could not express literally.
I can not help but think that perhaps my expression of the one flower dying and the other coming to take its place was not a projection of what I felt deep within--and yet had not the words or awareness to speak plainly.
I wonder what my ten-year old self was thinking when she wrote, "...when the wind blows at them they don't try to fight back...They just think of peace and say in their mind I'll make this person think of peace, love, and happiness."
It would appear that the little girl wanted so much to be a good girl, wanted so much to bring to her family and her surroundings good feelings and good things.
She did not want to fight even when fought against. She wanted to be compliant and thoughtful, peace-making and peace-bringing. She wanted to remain.
As I have expressed time and time again, each adoptee experiences adoption in their own way with their own individual reactions. I understand those who grapple with the sentiments of rage and injustice, feeling as though they were ripped away and uprooted from their homeland and people.
In truth, that is what happens when a child who was born in one country is adopted out to a new and foreign nation of people.
However, in this case, I want it to be clear that I am not trying to stir up some socio-political debate here. I know that there are strong opinions and even stronger emotions coming from a million different sides regarding this whole issue. And solutions need to be considered and decided upon.
But that's not what I'm trying to do here. At least not now in this moment.
Ultimately, all I'm trying to do here is to share what has been stirred within my own experience. (I suppose I say all this as a disclaimer to those who would inadvertently take my words and try to read something between the lines that is not there.)
I am not making a socio-political stance here. I am taking a human stance--one that feels and longs to heal.
IV.I am simply attempting to share my heart in hope that others will find some ounce of connection that will allay at least for a moment the sense of loneliness and alienation that can hang over all of us...
So that the ten-year girl who felt as though she had died to be replaced by another, so that the ten-year girl who felt as though she had not time to cry or weep over what she had lost can now live again, can now learn to cry the tears that she had buried so deeply within the hard and cold winter ground.