Of course, someone else had to translate the letters from Hangul into English so that I could actually read them.
But once I could read them, both letters were parturient with deep emotion and longing. Even after a year has passed since the News, so much remains unfinished, incomplete, and almost desperate at times.
The rift of the language differences remains expansive and not easily bridged. I am grieved deeply by the inability to communicate with them directly, yet I am equally UNmotivated to learn the language. I know it is what I need to do if ever I am to have a functional, more normalized relationship with each parent. But I seem to shrink back and somewhat wither beneath the heat of such intense pressure.
Even though it was only six months ago that I last saw my Omma and my Appa, the language barrier makes the months seem like years.
For instance, I don't actually get the chance to visit my Mom and Dad but once a year or every other year, yet we can talk on the phone at any time. I can fire off an email to them whenever I'm thinking of them. We can talk weekly or daily, and hence, close the distance that would otherwise corrode and steal away the time that we must be apart.
But with my Omma and Appa, time apart is truly time lost. I cannot simply pick up the phone and ask my Omma, "How was your day? What have you been up to?" I cannot call up my Appa and have a conversation about how each of us has been spending our time over the past month or week. The time is lost.
Rather, we communicate in truncated, concentrated chunks of information, saturated with emotion.
So, although we have "reunited," it is as though we cannot move past the initial stages. Our relationships remain somewhat stunted and unable to grow.
However, I am not complaining nor am I taking for granted the incredible opportunity I have to even be able to deal with such a dilemma.
It is simply the reality of the situation. Although I feel very fortunate and grateful to have found those whom I thought were lost forever, I would be lying if I said that it's easy, or that it's everything that I ever dreamed it would be.
The dream of finding my biological parents has no doubt been realized. Now, the dream of having a functional, healthy relationship with each of them--well, that remains to be seen. I am ever hopeful, but one never hopes for what one already has. The very nature of hope is to seek after that which seems intangible, untouchable.
Ultimately, I suppose all that I am saying--like I always say--is that being an adoptee, particularly one who is in post-reunion, is not the fairy tale that some would be inclined to assume.
It just is.