Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why I need "breaks": First footage of my initial Reunion in 2009

To view the multi-media piece/video, "Reuniting" by Jeanne Modderman, at Vimeo, click here.

I thank Jeanne for giving her time, energy, and heart to telling this story...


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When I take a "break" from the adoption community, it's not that I'm taking a break from dealing with being an adoptee--that's nearly impossible for me, at this point.

Rather, it allows me to be able to deal with my own adoptee issues and experiences. Don't get me wrong, staying busy with processing and answering other people's questions and thoughts about their experiences does in some ways help me to process and answer many of my own questions. But it can also be a distraction.

There comes a time when I get so emotionally over stimulated that I feel about ready to implode. It's then that I realize that I need to take a step back.

Hence, one of the things that has prompted me to feel the need to take a step back and "process," in addition to dealing with pregnancy and pending motherhood, is the above multi-media piece (or you can also click on the title of this post to view the video).

A friend of mine and a fellow Korean adoptee, Jeanne Modderman, finished it about a month ago. She gathered the different video clips and photos during my initial reunion with my Korean mother in June/July of 2009. (I also reunited with my Korean father, but for privacy issues, photos and video must be kept private.)

I've watched the above piece a dozen times. I have been trying to process it over the past month. Every time I watch it, a deep reservoir of thought and emotion stirs.

So much has changed since the reunion--my life, my thoughts, my feelings--who I am. The experience is constantly evolving. Some things I thought then, I don't think anymore. And some things I didn't feel then, I feel all the time now...

I share this with the hope that it will depict reunion, at least from one perspective, in an honest way. But also understand, that this depicts only the beginning. And the beginning of reunion is certainly not the whole picture. It is so much more complex than what any video or photo or word can express or communicate.

So, although you may be tempted to think that this video tells all that needs to be told, it only tells part of the story. Please restrain yourself from assigning a label to it, whether you wish to identify it as a "happy ending" or a "happy beginning" or a "sad beginning" or a "sad ending."

It's all of that and so much more...


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20 comments:

angelicayimdesigns said...

Thank you for sharing this with us Melissa! It's a very intimate part of your life and I know it's not an easy thing to be so vulnerable and open yet I know you and your heart for people! Love you! Thinking of you often.
~Angelica

one + one said...

Thank you so very much for sharing this... such an intimate piece.

Amanda said...

I got a couple minutes in and couldn't watch the rest. It is absolutely beautiful yet all of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences heart wrenching at the same time. I am at my mother-in-law's house and had to tell her my sinuses were acting up so she wouldn't wonder why I was sitting here sniffling. I am going to watch the rest of your beautiful reunion when I get home :-)

I can understand the need for a break. Not necessarily from being adopted or dealing with those issues, like you said, that's kind of impossible to do. But doing fewer things, like taking a break from reading articles and blogging (or whatever else) so that you can have some more you-time :-)

I was going to post on your last entry that I am going to miss your posts if you go on hiatus for a while! email me any time declassifiedadoptee@gmail.com

Von said...

Thanks for sharing this very private part of your journey.Hope all is going well in the next stage and good wishes for the times ahead.

Von said...

Thanks for sharing this very private part of your journey.Hope all is going well in the next stage and good wishes for the times ahead.

Yoli said...

Thank you for sharing Melissa, I could barely keep it together. I cannot imagine what must have felt like for you then and now.

klmd said...

i couldn't help but be drawn to your husband's love..protection...empathy ...sympathy and adoration he has for you...merry christmas and thank you!

keri

HollyMarie said...

Melissa, thanks for sharing this very beautiful and intimate video... so many emotions running through me... blessings as you take your break.

Sona said...

Sweet friend! I LOVE hearing your voice. What an emotional video - the look on your Omma's face throughout just breaks my heart - I can't imagine what is going through her head and can't fathom the gamut of thoughts and emotions you were and are processing of living in between two worlds.

Harmony said...

Melissa, thank you for sharing this. I'm overwhelmed for you. The scenes with you, your mom, and the translator really got to me.

Is your birth mother still planning on coming when you have your baby? If she is, send me an email or a message on facebook if you want and I'll tell you a bit about what to expect. Koreans treat the postpartum period very differently than Americans do, I have learned.

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Hi again, I deleted my first comment since I realized I did a mistake in it. Not to steal this precious moment from you but it reminded me of my own reunion. Especially the first meeting and the movie made me cry and I had to rewatch it. It was so beautiful, thans for sharing.

Jessica said...

I've watched it twice now Melissa. So many emotions. The first time I couldn't keep it together enough to really listen all that well. I hope your pregnancy is going well and that your mother is able to visit. What an amazing experience that would be.

Sandy said...

Melissa,

Simply heart wrenching - joy and pain at the same time. I do hope your mother is able to come and that both of your families can come together to share in the joy of your new little one.

I cannot imagine trying to reunite and navigate all the emotions with a translator transcribing your deepest thoughts and emotions - you are right it seems so unfair...

I will be thinking of you over the coming months and hope you at least let us know all is well with the new babe.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,
Thank you so much for sharing this very personal and touching moment. I am feeling choked up having just watched it. I am reminded of all the raw emotions I experienced when reuniting with my daughter. You are flooded with so many emotions and it is impossible to ever fully prepare yourself. It is taking years (4 so far) for my daughter and me to make sense of things. I very much understand your need to step back and take stock. I will miss your blog as I have found your contributions very thoughtful and inspiring.

I wish you and your husband well as you welcome your little one. I know your Omma appreciates your willingness to let her into your life and I can only imagine the joy she will feel when she first embraces your dear child.
Hugs to all of you,
Michelle

The Byrd's Nest said...

I just can't stop the tears from flowing. Thank you Melissa, for sharing this very intimate part of your life with all of us. Merry Christmas my friend.

An said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and best wishes for the new year.

Mei Ling said...

Finally watching the video - now that I have sound restored on my computer.

And oh my god, the words from your mother...

Your video makes me cry.

Melissa said...

Yes, Mei-Ling, makes me cry EVERY time, too--regardless of the fact that I've watched it dozens of times, and will watch it dozens more...still doesn't feel real sometimes...and yet when the pain and sorrow sets in, it feels all too real...and that's why I have to take breaks...

LauraD said...

Melissa,

Wow, just wow. I simply love the pure joy on your mom's face and how she is constantly touching you and hugging you and looking at you. This is a really amazing video, thanks for the good cry I had today :)

Laura
(Lost Daughter's adoptee)