Thursday, April 8, 2010

Watching the video footage from the reunion for the first time...


Mike and I have finally been able to begin to watch all the video footage we captured during our trip to Korea last year. For reasons that are not worth explaining, it was not until this week, almost a year since we made the first trip to Korea, that we were able to sit down and see what we got.

Wow. I had no idea.

I had not been aware of the fact that Mike had actually caught on video the very first moments.

The very first moment I came face to face with my birth mother.

The very first moment I embraced my birth father.

The very first moment our voices met and our eyes gazed at one another.

The first moment of embrace. The first moment of contact.

After a long thirty-four year separation, the first moment of...everything.

* * *

Suffice to say, I have been feeling intensely emotional. Watching the video footage reeling in front of me as I talk with my Omma, as I exchange thoughts with my Appa is proving to be more startling and more confounding that I had anticipated.

It truly remains ever surreal.

I almost can't believe that the woman in the video sitting next to her biological mother is me.

I almost can't believe that the woman sharing her thoughts with her biological father is me.

Surely, that is someone else walking through Namdaemun market with her Omma.

Surely, that is someone else standing next to her Appa, as he holds his fingers up to make a peace sign.

Surely, the woman in the video sitting at the back of the bus listening to her Appa tell stories of his life is someone else.

Or the woman strolling down a trail with her Omma toward the tombs of King Michu is not me.

Although the video footage is shaky and jumpy at times and shot at odd angles here and there, it still feels as though I am watching a movie about someone else's life, about some other woman's first moments of reunion with her biological mother and father.

But then I look more closely. I listen to the voices and see the faces. The memories begin to flood my mind and heart --and I realize without a doubt that the woman I see is me.


5 comments:

Liv said...

I can't even imagine! Yes, I could see how watching these videos would be surreal. I am so happy that you will always have these videos to watch, this proof of a completely new and amazing reality.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Liv. It is a treasure to be able to have the videos to watch...

Mia_h_n said...

Wow, Melissa. I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel to watch that footage, but surreal does seem to cover some of it.

But you are really luckky to have all those experiences on tape. Another perk of bringing Mike along ;) I often find that in extremely emotional situations the intensity makes me semi-black out and afterwards it can be difficult/impossible for me to remember details, even if I had promised myself never to forget those moments. It would be nice to have footage to help my memory along sometimes. That's probably why we took a million pictures in Korea :)

Wendy said...

I am so behind. We were on vacation and then with work I have not had the time to catch up.
How wonderful to have those videos. We brought our video camera, but were told strictly that we were not to take video--I wish I had anyway, I wish I would have at least had the audio for future reference. We have those pictures, taken a couple of hours later--when they were allowed, but I so wish for those opening moments. I know M will wish for them in the future. I know next time we can video, but will it be the same, I don't know.
I know this is different, but it did take me over a year to watch M's adoption day video. The pain. It is wrenching even now. So many people share those raw moments with the world via their blogs, I cannot. For me it would be like sharing a video of us in a major car accident or watching someone being stolen from a mall. I just cannot. I see myself, my husband, the women involved in handing her over, and my daughter...it is surreal. It is like watching someone else and then I know it is us, well...the us that existed prior to her, prior to knowing her. Amazing.

윤선 said...

I can't believe you got it on video! I think I'd be too scared to have a video camera there at the same time!!!