Friday, April 24, 2009

frequently Asked Questions

Really the answer to each one of the following questions could easily be expanded upon and could each become a post in and of itself. Maybe at some point, I will expound.

But for now, this is all that I can churn out.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and find myself flailing and gasping for breath beneath the behemoth of intellectual and emotional stimulation that this whole process plops on me. I know it's inevitable. But like they say, I've got to eat this thing one little bite at a time. Or else I'll choke.

And seriously, at this point, I can't eat a thing--first I've got to work my way out from underneath it all...Besides, who wants to eat a behemoth, anyway?

I'd rather befriend it, hop on its back, and see to what far parts of the world it takes me.

Why did you decide to search?
That's a whole other post really. But to be concise, because I wanted to know the unknown, the why. Is it not natural to want to know one's origins? For the same reasons that families know their genealogies and tell stories about their great grandparents and ancestors, I wanted to know what happened, from where and who I originated.

How long did the search take? About six & half years. I initiated the search in May of 2002. I got the phone call that my birth parents had been located on January 7, 2009.

How do your [American] parents feel about all this? They are very supportive--albeit, naturally and understandably, a bit apprehensive and protective. But what parent would not be? They love me and just don't want any harm to come to me. Yet they understand my need, my drive to want to know and to make the connection.

What's your post-reunion plan? Er, well, I hope for a long-term and healthy reconciliation. But I'm only one factor in this very complex and complicated equation. Ultimately, I cannot control or determine what will happen--I can only decide and control how I will respond to and deal with what does transpire.

Do your [Korean] parents speak English? That would be a negatron. No. They don't speak English. And I don't speak Korean. I'm trying to learn, but, er, that's gonna take some major time and effort. And I have my doubts and insecurities about ever actually mastering the language enough to be fluent.

Do you have [Korean] siblings? That would be a positron. Yes. Four half-siblings. Two on my Korean mother's side and two on my Korean father's side. But at this point I am getting the impression that they know nothing about me. And I do not know whether they will know anything about me in the near future. It's beyond complicated. I also have an uncle and an aunt on my Korean father's side, and two uncles and two aunts on my Korean mother's side. Again, I am not clear as to their knowledge or stance regarding the situation.

I'm sure there are other questions that I'm just not remembering right this moment. If I think of any others, I'll be sure to feed the behemoth.


Mei-Ling said...

It's very easy to let things overwhelm you.

It's taken me over 2 years to process basic facts and every time I learn something new, I -really- learn something new!

Sometimes though, there are things I learned that I wish I had never found out about. Your journey may likely have some of those aspects.

[Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and find myself flailing and gasping for breath beneath the behemoth of intellectual and emotional stimulation that this whole process plops on me.]

I've been dealing with these sort of panic attacks lately - ever since confirming the flight and once each week has gone by, I find myself thinking "Only x days till I board the plane."

And it seriously freaks me out. But why wouldn't it, considering what I'm going to do? It'd be abnormal if I wasn't freaking out.

Remember to breathe. Try to relax (haha, right). Don't overwhelm yourself too much. Whatever happens will happen and you will just deal with it when it does. It's the only way adoptees make it through reunion. Little steps at a time.

Re: the language learning... I find that to be the most constricting thing so far. Not even the timezones, because with the wonders of technology timezones aren't all that frustrating (for me). It's really the language barrier because it's how we connect and form relationships.

Also keep in mind that an adult's mind absorbs language differently compared to a child's.

I haven't gone yet, obviously, but these are just some general things I've figured out within the past 2 years of "communication"....

Mila said...

Mei-Ling, thank you for your support and understanding...i have indeed begun the count down by weeks...we're at 8 more hubby & i had a long conversation yesterday about some of the things i'm thinking & is very difficult, at times, for me to understand all that is happening, so i appreciate your insight to not overwhelm myself or pressure myself too much to figure it out, but rather to just deal with each thing as it you said, little steps ;) i just need to keep telling myself this...i can't believe you're so close now...

lissa said...

I found this from a link on your YouTube, as I am also a Korean adoptee.

You have probably seen this already, but I wanted to pass it on to you, because it reminded me of your search. I received it from Holt International..
You only have to pay for airfare + personal expenses.
Sorry if this is like.. spamming your page or something? But I thought it was a wonderful opportunity and if I had the time and money, I'd be going!


After the successful "First Trip Home" in December 2008 we decided to continue this program with the support of the Overseas Koreans Foundation. This time we plan it from 31st July ~ 7th August 2009. This trip is not only about returning to Korea but mainly about searching for birth family. Accommodation and meals are provided but airfare has to be covered by the participants themselves. Please download our documentation from our website for further details and conditions. Application deadline: April 30, 2009

Application Form:
For inquiries please email to: .

Mila said...

Elissa--thank you for sharing the information! I appreciate your thoughtfulness. My husband and I will actually be traveling to Korea this summer through my adoption agency...many kind and generous people have donated and helped us to reach the goal--so it is a done deal. In about 8 weeks we'll be boarding a plane on our way to meet my birth parents for the first time! Yipes!

lissa said...

Wow, that is wonderful that you were able to receive the funds needed!!! :) I'm sure I don't have to even say this but... let us know how the trip goes...! ;) :) I can't even imagine the emotions you're going thru as you're preparing for your trip!!! God bless :)

Mila said...

Thanks, Elissa! You know I will definitely let all know how things unfold. We'll have a camera and hopefully a video camera (i think we'll be able to borrow one from a friend) to chronicle the trip...and yes, you said it--the emotions are overwhelming as the time gets closer...sometimes I just feel like i could bust out in tears at any moment...but overall, i feel very excited and grateful that this is happening...

Cavatica said...

Came over from Mei-Ling's site. I'm an adoptive mom of a 2-year-old girl from China and am very interested in following reunion trips. How amazing, exciting, and terrifying. I'm hoping to learn how to support my daughter through these issues as she grows. Hope it's okay for me to follow along.

Mila said...

Hi Cavatica...sure it's my pleasure for you to follow along...thanks for wanting and trying to understand your daughter's will always be deep waters...